Manchester City legend Pablo Zabaleta ‘felt bad’ for Manchester United striker Anthony Martial after derby defeat

City outclassed United 3-1 at the Etihad to return to the top of the table and extend their lead over Mourinho's men to 12 points.

Martial gave United a glimmer of hope making it 2-1 on the hour, converting a soft penalty conceded by City keeper Ederson who fouled Romelu Lukaku.

That was the Frenchman’s sixth goal in his last seven games and Zabaleta has plenty of sympathy for Martial who he thinks is not given enough licence to play his natural attacking game.

He told Sky Sports: “I think this is Mourinho’s philosophy.

"We’ve seen this at Inter Milan and Real Madrid.

"When a manager has to convince players to play in the way the manager wants to play, it’s simple, some players will enjoy it more and others will enjoy less.

"When you look at Martial when you look at (Marcus) Rashford, they’re just always tracking full-backs rather than just attack and they just couldn’t in one on one situations.

"And I think if I’m in their position it must be hard not to be an attacking team and play in the final third and always tracking back full-backs.

Zabaleta lifted the lid on a conversation he had with Martial during West Ham’s 3-1 win over United earlier this season at the London Stadium.

He continued: "Of course when you play City who dominate possession you’ll suffer but when you play against other teams with less quality then maybe it’s different.

"We’re West Ham and we played Man United a few weeks ago and we felt this.

" was making overlapping runs and Martial was just tracking me back at some point he went ‘How old are you?’

"He made me feel young but I felt bad for him because he was just tracking me back all the time."

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