Ian Herbert, Independent on Sunday
City can still finish fourth but it will be tougher now and they needed something from this game. They began tentatively. De Jong’s desire and razor-sharp tackling allowed them to compete and then settle into their game but City depended too much on Emmanuel Adebayor, who was comfortably dealt with by Jonny Evans and Nemanja Vidic.
For much of the game, the stars were defenders. Vincent Kompany recovered from a nervous start to outplay Wayne Rooney, who started for United but didn’t seem fully fit.
But City did contribute to their own demise. They were hesitant when the chance to counterattack arose, frequently advancing in twos and threes when six or seven were needed, and the quality of their final cross and pass was excruciating at times.Paul Wilson, The Observer
City can and doubtless will buy big if they have a Champions League place to look forward to over the summer, though to secure that they must get more from this season's big acquisitions. There was almost nothing from Emmanuel Adebayor or Tevez, with the latter not only failing to tweak Ferguson's nose but giving a vivid demonstration of why he was not automatically considered worth snapping up for £25m at Old Trafford. He did not miss any easy chances or anything – City did not manage to create any easy chances – he simply ran about a lot without managing to impose himself on the game.Duncan White, Sunday Telegraph
Worse, though, was the decision to take off Nigel de Jong. If Scholes had been the best player on the pitch with the ball, De Jong had been the best without it. Is there a better proponent of the slide-tackle in the Premier League? Time after time he thumped into hard, clean tackles, breaking up United’s play. It’s perhaps too easy to say it with hindsight but would he have let Scholes stroll into the penalty area unmarshalled? It was a baffling change.Rob Draper, Mail on Sunday
Perhaps it was because the unusual sunshine had inflated the optimism, or maybe it was because they were at home and the collective sense of anguish among 46,000 souls is almost palpable. More likely, though, it is because, for the first time in decades, such a defeat could be potentially decisive in something more important than mere local bragging rights.