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Casemiro: Utd should 'mirror' Man City in rebuild

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Published in Soccer
Sunday, 03 March 2024 17:17

Manchester United midfielder Casemiro has said that the club's new minority owners should use Manchester City as "a mirror" in their bid to get the team back to the top of English football.

United were swept aside by City at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday, losing 3-1 despite Marcus Rashford's early opener.

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It was the first Manchester derby since Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Old Trafford stake was confirmed and provided a harsh reminder of the gulf between the two teams.

Asked whether he sees positive signs from the new minority ownership group and if there is a long way for United to go to reach City, Casemiro told ESPN Brasil: "That is the big objective, we also have to be humble to accept that they are at the moment, not in history, as the history of Manchester United speaks for itself, but they are today the team to beat. Everyone wants to beat City.

"We have a mirror here, which is City, and they have been doing a great job."

Ratcliffe, chairman and CEO of chemical company INEOS, has pledged to "knock City off their perch" within three years.

There is hope that the arrival of the British billionaire, 71, will trigger a resurgence after more than 10 years without a title -- a period during which City have won the Premier League six times.

"Of course, when people from outside arrive, who want to add and evolve the club's level, it is always important," Casemiro said.

"It is very clear that the company [INEOS] and the new owners want to do this. I hope that they [new owners] arrive and grow together with us, as it is important for the club to have people who want to grow here."

United took the lead against City thanks to a wonder strike from Rashford, but were second best for much of the afternoon.

Pep Guardiola's team managed 27 shots on goal compared to three from United, but afterwards Erik ten Hag argued that the result had not shown there is a significant gap between the two teams.

"No, I don't think so, absolutely not," the United manager said.

"You can see we have many problems with injuries and still we had an opportunity. Really small margins and we could have scored the second goal in a debatable moment.

"It's not that big [a gap] and when we have everyone on board we can be competitive. I think also we showed in the cup final against them when it was really close but City, is in this moment, the best team in the world. Don't forget this. We were really close to winning or at least get a point here."

Information from ESPN's João Castelo-Branco contributed to this report

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