Phil Neville: Toure not to blame for Man City’s defeat

BBC Sport pundit Phil Neville has some sympathy for the under-fire Yaya Toure following Manchester City’s humiliating defeat against their first rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, as he feels the Sky Blues midfielder was destined to fail on the weekend with the system manager Manuel Pellegrini picked.

Manchester City were criticised all over the park, but Yaya Toure has stuck out due to the towering midfielder’s inept display in the middle of the park. He started well in the game, but soon became anonymous due to the numbers of United players in the middle of the park controlling possession.

As a result, the Ivorian international struggled to make any sort of impact once United clicked into gear, and he looked isolate and clueless how to stop him. City manager Manuel Pellegrini has been criticised all through the season for playing Toure as a deep-lying central midfielder in the big games, as he continues to struggle defensively, and Phil Neville feels that Toure was set up to fail the minute Pellegrini picked his system for Sunday’s game.

The former Manchester United and Everton midfielder was quoted as saying: “Pellegrini keeps making the same mistake and it is City’s system which is the problem – I don’t think you can blame Toure. United were out-numbering them four to two in the middle of the pitch. That made it an impossible job for Toure and whoever is playing alongside him. It has happened time and time again in City’s big games this season.”

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