Bernardo Silva's resurgence manifests in dominant performance in Manchester derby

It was only 2-0. That, you could say, is definitely an improvement on Manchester United's last home fixture; a 5-0 humiliation at the hands of Liverpool.

Having said that, with the visit of another bitter rival, came another utter domination. Manchester City's trip to Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon looked nothing but routine for Pep Guardiola's men.

Bar a brief ten-minute period after the interval, United could not compete with their city rivals. The wingers dominated their defenders, the full-backs therefore had time and space to build play and the midfielders found space continuously.

What made Guardiola's dominant tactical set-up pay, however, was the elusive performance of Bernardo Silva, whose afternoon gave his side something tangible to take away from the contest.

In an offensive sense, he was the key to the Cityzens' domination. Clearly attempting to create overloads in the middle of the park, Silva's presence as a false nine was integral. His positional awareness and movement made it impossible for Fred and Scott McTominay to cope with the bodies in blue.

Dropping deep, he cut off Victor Lindelof's opportunity of staying tight while also either getting on the ball or occupying a United midfielder to open pockets of space for Ilkay Gundogan or Kevin De Bruyne.

In possession, he was typically direct and untouchable. Weaving through challenges, turning away from tight spots, picking out the right pass to drive his side upfield - Silva was immense in his sides progressive, stylish, and effective play throughout.

Bernardo Silva battles for possession | Clive Brunskill/GettyImages

Out of possession, he was just as vital. His pressing lasted throughout - indeed, with seconds left on the clock, he could be seen sprinting at the heart of United's back line to stifle any progressive avenue they could take.

He was one of the most significant reasons for City's incessant and unmanageable pressure on their hosts. His influence on proceedings turned direct just before the half time whistle with a goal.

The Portuguses demonstrated that untraceable movement as he peeled off the back line and drifted in at the back post. Undetected by Luke Shaw, he ran in on Joao Cancelo's lofted delivery and somehow squeezed the ball in from the narrowest of angles.

A richly deserved goal was the highlight in a brilliantly important performance. Although not all noticeable and central, his influence on City's overarching domination over United was gargantuan.

On Sky Sports' commentary, Gary Neville described City's general performance as a 'calm annihilation' of their rivals. Well, central to that, was Silva's subtle obliteration of any chance United had of coping with their opponents.

Silva's performance on Saturday was both directly and indirectly paramount, and that individual demonstration of domination was a clear manifestation of his stunning resurgence this campaign.

Source : 90min