Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy believes that Jose Mourinho’s pragmatism will give Manchester United the edge over Manchester City in the title race this season.
Man United kept themselves level on points with Pep Guardiola’s side, who trounced Crystal Palace 5-0, by winning 1-0 over Southampton on Saturday afternoon.
Jose Mourinho’s men have now won five of their six Premier League games – their best start since the 2011/12 season – and conceded the fewest goals (2) out of any other side.
And Murphy, speaking on Match of the Day, noted that the work rate invoked by Mourinho makes them title contenders over Man City.
“People doubt sometimes if they want to do the hard yards (creative players) but for Mourinho you have to or you’re out,” he said.
“It’s great to see players playing for the team even at a big club where they’re expected to go and dominate. They do it because if they won’t they won’t play.
“Performances like today are why I think United will win it ahead of City. They’re more pragmatic.”
Make no mistake: City look like a fierce outfit this season. Their attacking options are unparalleled in their diversity and potential to inflict damage.
Sergio Aguero, Gabriel Jesus, Leroy Sane, Bernardo Silva, Kevin de Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, David Silva, Yaya Toure – alongside the threat of Benjamin Mendy and Kyle Walker from deep – will ensure that the goals keep coming for City this season. But can they hold firm against bigger sides in more pressurised situations?
This is one area – a defining area – where Mourinho could prevail over his old nemesis.