Sir Alex Ferguson was left to reflect on the loss of an 11-game unbeaten league run and a major selection decision he seemed to get badly wrong.
In offering £5million new-boy Patrice Evra his debut at left-back, Ferguson was taking a risk anyway, but by drafting Mikael Silvestre in to chaperone his fellow Frenchman, he weakened his defence too much. Evra never looked comfortable and was replaced at half-time, while Silvestre’s blunder gifted Darius Vassell City’s second.
Ferguson: ‘Maybe it was a bit of a gamble playing Patrice. I took him off because at 2-0 down I wanted to make sure we didn’t lose any more goals and John O’Shea has more experience of derby games.
‘I am not singling anyone out. The defending was poor and that is what has cost us the game.’