EPL: All your fault, Moyes

Manchester United are in a mess almost entirely of their manager's making.

Derby defeats are one thing, but Manchester City's 4-1 victory on Sunday was nothing short of catastrophic.

Forget the one-sided romp against a lame Bayer Leverkusen last week.

This was the real Manchester United - limp, listless, passive and pedestrian.

David Moyes' caution is killing his club loudly. The Red Devils are dying from the inside out. They don't know how to play his way.

His entrenched conservatism goes against the grain of all that has been great about Man United in the last four decades.

Take nothing from City - they were magnificent in their positive, attacking display - but their opponents laid down the moment Moyes put pen to paper.

Again, his first 11 included the ineffective Ashley Young. Again, he picked the defensively vulnerable Antonio Valencia.

Again, there was no place for the attack-minded, improvisational strengths of Shinji Kagawa.

And Moyes' prized signing Marouane Fellaini appeared to have wandered onto the pitch from a travelling circus, unsure of why he was there and what he was supposed to do.

At this stage, he is not a replacement for Paul Scholes.

The retired midfielder might push Fellaini for a place in the starting line-up now.

United lost Robin van Persie through a thigh injury before kick-off, but their manager lost his nerve and the Red Devils lost the game.

Manuel Pellegrini might talk a glass eye to sleep in a press conference, but he allowed his players to do some talking at the Etihad last night. This was a mission statement delivered through a megaphone. City attacked from the first minute.

Led by the imperious Yaya Toure and a resurgent Samir Nasri, their bright runners were Bukit Timah monkeys to United's pesky fleas, picking them off with minimal difficulty. They pressed with purpose.

In the 16th minute, City went ahead with a goal that should be broken down into still images and hung at any art exhibition called Moments of Sporting Perfection.

In the meantime, Valencia can hang his head in shame.

As the United winger took a moment to contemplate the meaning of life, Nasri bulldozed his way through.

His run was majestic; his no-look back heel to the overlapping Aleksandar Kolarov magical and the whipped cross terrific, but Sergio Aguero's finish took the breath away.

The ball was arrowed slightly behind the Argentinian, but he contorted his body effortlessly, like an illusionist escaping a straightjacket, to volley an impossible shot past a stunned David de Gea.

The strike was simply perfect. Endless replays will not diminish its beauty.

They will remain a horror show for Valencia, who failed to track the run of Kolarov.

But City's lead was thoroughly deserved. United treated the ball as if it was ticking. They couldn't wait to get rid of the thing.

On the stroke of half-time, they were punished.

From a Jesus Navas corner, Alvaro Negredo outjumped United's defence to flick the ball goalwards.

Fellaini considered marking Toure but thought better of it. The midfielder ripped off the red and white wrapping paper and gladly accepted the gift.

A minute into the second half, a bad day at the neighbour's office turned into a living nightmare; an afternoon of abject despair that United will struggle to forget.

On the left, Nasri lost Valencia again.

Negredo held off his lightweight marker, again.

Aguero found space to tap the ball past a dumbstruck de Gea, again.

In the 50th minute, Nasri added an easy fourth as United's defence buckled, again.

Wayne Rooney's superb free-kick was no consolation. The Red Devils had unravelled, again. The pressure on the new manager will build, again.

United are turning into a broken record. And the trouble with a broken record is it gets boring after a while. Eventually, it gets smashed.

Last night, a superb City side wielded the sledgehammer. Their fractured opponents are suffering a serious identity crisis.

Moyes wears a United blazer, but still thinks like an Everton manager

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