BBC pundits: Man City deserved to beat United but title is not yet won

Vincent Kompany

Alan Hansen, Match of the Day pundit

I can understand the way Manchester United played in their 1-0 defeat by Manchester City, which sees Roberto Mancini's team move to the Premier League summit.

They played with five in midfield to go and protect what they had, and got men behind the ball.

Alan Hansen

The problem I had in the middle of the park was that they had a 37-year-old Paul Scholes, a 38-year-old Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-sung, who hasn't played for a while.

Getting behind the ball was easy but when they got it back, they could not support Wayne Rooney with ease and that left him isolated.

That's alright for the first half an hour, because they were absolutely cruising, but when you lose a goal you have to get more men forward to get back in the game.

In the last 15 minutes you're thinking, 'they have got to be a threat at some stage' but it never happened.

So it wasn't really the tactics that I was surprised about, it was more the line-up.

I thought David De Gea was at fault for Vincent Kompany's goal. He's been under pressure all season with the ball in the box, and I think he's obsessed with coming for it now. For the goal, he went to the right-hand side of Carlos Tevez, when if he stays on the line he can save it, although I know it's a bullet header.

Gareth Barry was outstanding defensively, but Yaya Toure was sublime. How much strength, technique and pace did he have? In an attacking vein in the second half, he gave his team some respite. It was a quite remarkable performance.

When do you ever see form like this from United when they are going down the stretch? They were as bad as you'll ever believe at Wigan and threw away a two-goal lead in the last eight minutes against Everton.

I've not a clue who will win the title race now.

Mark Lawrenson, Match of the Day pundit

Mark Lawrenson

Manchester City were very professional, they started a little bit tense because they were under pressure, they had to win the game and that was the difference.

The timing of the goal really changed the game and in the second half City controlled the match. For Kompany's header, Chris Smalling completely loses him.

In the second half it took a long time for Ferguson to try to change the game. Yes, he brought on Danny Welbeck for Park, but the other two substitutions, Antonio Valencia and Ashley Young, were very late just to try and pinch a goal, which is unusual for Ferguson.

We talk about the City two in midfield beating the Manchester United three and because of that Rooney was completely isolated.

Rooney is such a wonderful player but it wasn't there for him tonight and in the end, because he was so isolated, he was playing balls that just weren't on. In order to get any semblance of a result tonight, they needed him to play well.

In every single position City were better and I think they will win the league now.

They can go to Newcastle and they can virtually win it. The players they've got are used to big games.

Robbie Savage, BBC football pundit

Robbie Savage

There is no question Manchester City were the better team.

Roberto Mancini's side defended when they needed to but Manchester United didn't pose that much threat going forward.

I thought it was a mistake not to start Valencia. Park was ineffective in the United midfield, so you could say Ferguson got it wrong.

That gave City the advantage before the game started. It's not like the United team to concede like that before the game and match up against the opposition, because Valencia has been playing so well in a 4-4-2.

When Carlos Tevez was replaced by Nigel de Jong in the second half, it allowed Yaya Toure to go further forward behind Sergio Aguero and he was sensational. Gareth Barry was fantastic, too.

But the title race is not over yet. City have to go to Newcastle which is going to be a tough game. With two games left, the momentum is with City.

It was nice to see the managers shaking hands at the end [after their argument] but Mancini is not going to let Ferguson have it his own way. A lot of managers would have been intimated by Ferguson but not Mancini. He stood his ground and I like to see that.

As for rating United favourites still, I think Mancini is telling the truth. He thinks United will beat Swansea and Sunderland, and he was saying a few weeks ago that the Newcastle game will be as hard as tonight.

United got hammered up there, so I just make United slight favourites for the title.

Alan Hansen and Mark Lawrenson were speaking on Match of the Day. Robbie Savage was speaking on BBC Radio 5 live