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Reason why Jonny Evans started for Manchester United vs Manchester City ahead of Raphael Varane explained

John McDougall

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Reason why Jonny Evans started for Manchester United vs Manchester City ahead of Raphael Varane explained

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag opted to start veteran defender Jonny Evans ahead of Raphael Varane - and has explained the thought process behind that decision.

United host City at Old Trafford this afternoon in the Premier League in the latest instalment of the Manchester Derby.

At the start of the season, many United fans would not have expected to see both Harry Maguire and Evans regularly starting together in the heart of defence.

But thanks to injuries to the likes of Varane and Lisandro Martinez, it means Ten Hag has been forced to deploy Maguire and Evans to fill the gaps which have emerged in central defence.

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Varane was named on the bench for the encounter as Ten Hag opted for a defence of Maguire and Evans in the centre, with Diogo Dalot starting at right-back and Victor Lindelof being deployed at left-back, owing to United's injury woes in that area of the squad, too.

City led at the break thanks to Erling Haaland's penalty, which was awarded following a lengthy VAR check after Rasmus Hojlund was adjudged to have pulled Rodri's shirt.

Haaland netted his second and doubled City's advantage early in the second half, with Pep Guardiola's side on course to pick up three points at the home of their fierce cross-town rivals.

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Jonny Evans started for Manchester United against Manchester City. (Credit: Getty)
Jonny Evans started for Manchester United against Manchester City. (Credit: Getty)

Ten Hag spoke before kick-off and was asked about the selection decision in the heart of defence, particularly surrounding the selections of both Lindelof and Evans.

And the Dutchman explained it was simply tactics that influenced his decision making.

He told MUTV: "It's tactical. It's not the argument to make their selection [their experience], it's tactical and that's the answer."

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Featured Image Credit: Getty/Screengrab/MUTV

Topics: Manchester United, Manchester City, Erik Ten Hag

John McDougall
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