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Harry Maguire explains the difference between Manchester City and Manchester United after derby day defeat

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Ralf Rangnick’s side were put to the sword as City put on a masterclass in the second-half, leading to widespread debate about where United go from here.

Maguire has been frequently criticised for his level of performance since returning to club duty following England’s run to the Euro 2020 final, with his £80m transfer fee seemingly hanging over him.

While United’s problems are surely more systemic than the form of one player, Maguire is often seen as the prime example of the misguided transfer strategy at the top of the club, particularly when compared to the defensive signings both City and Liverpool have made.

Trailing their bitter rivals both on and off the pitch, it was another dark day for the club during what has been a hugely disappointing season.

Maguire, however, insists United were in the game before the break after Jadon Sancho had equalised following Kevin De Bruyne’s opener.

“We had good belief at half-time,” he told MUTV.

“We played the first half well, like I say, it was probably a 50-50 game in terms of both teams playing aggressive, both teams playing on the front foot.

“But the difference was, when we won the ball back off them in the first half, we were clean, we were good in transitions, we got on the counter-attack, we punished them a lot of times with finding good balls out wide and we kept the ball in their half.

“The second half comes and any time they put us under pressure we gave away the ball far too easily.

“It enabled them to control the game through possession and it made it difficult for ourselves to get up the pitch, and obviously they did what they do in terms of keeping the ball and they did that well in the second half.

“For me the most important thing is that we’ve got to look after the ball better.”

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