Rio Ferdinand criticises Man City for Erling Haaland approach in derby defeat to Man United

The Norwegian frontman has made a scintillating start to the campaign – registering 27 goals and three assists in 24 matches – but struggled to impact the derby on Saturday as Pep Guardiola&aposs side lost 2-1 to United at Old Trafford. The 22-year-old failed to register a shot on target in the disappointing defeat.

With Erik ten Hag playing Luke Shaw at centre-back against the Blues, Haaland will have been hoping to get back on the scoresheet after failing to find the back of the net in his previous two appearances. However, United defended well and restricted the former Borussia Dortmund man to just 20 touches in the clash.

There have been some suggestions – mainly on social media – that Haaland has somehow made City worse since his summer arrival, despite his remarkable goal return. Yet, former United centre-back Ferdinand was quick to rubbish such calls, instead suggesting that the Blues haven&apost been playing to suit him in recent weeks.

“A lot of people are asking if [Erling] Haaland has made them worse, you can&apost score that many goals in the team and the team become worse,” Ferdinand said on Vibe with Five. “I looked at City at the weekend and watched them, they&aposre not actually playing to suit him in recent weeks.

“The amount of runs he made and me and Joleon [Lescott] looked at each other and went, &aposhe&aposs in, he was in&apos. They don&apost play the ball forward no way near enough.”

He added: “If they played a few of the passes forward, he&aposs actually getting in on goal and facing up with De Gea, but they didn&apost see it.”

Guardiola conceded that City may not be getting the best out of Haaland after the Norwegian failed to find the scoresheet against United.

The Blues&apos dip in form in recent weeks has sparked debate over the forward&aposs position in the team and how Guardiola can get the best out of him. The Catalan admitted that the service he has may have to improve if he is to start scoring more goals again.

“Maybe we have to find him a little bit more in the final third,” he said. “We tried to drop him knowing [Luke] Shaw and [Raphael] Varane would follow him.

“Its not easy to create chances, United here the last few games concede one goal in the Premier League. We scored one, we had the last pass, the last cross, the last little bit moments, I give a lot of credit to United for the quality they have and the players they have.”