At the close of City's dominant first 40 minutes of the game on Saturday lunchtime, the most frustrating this about Manchester United was not that they were suddenly 0-2 down at home to their bitter rivals but that it felt like United were not even half-trying.
Here was the biggest game of our season between now and when the trophies are finally handed out next year and yet United were treating the tie as a one in which the club were defending a 1-0 first aggregate lead in a Champions League tie semi-final. More painful was that City's less Mancunian set up had their sleeves rolled up for a nasty tackle here and there and were generally much stronger in the challenge.
The redemption in the second half of those traits was perhaps the biggest take away from the game by the home side. Often times under Louis van Gaal and David Moyes, there was such a half-hearted attempt in games that United rarely looked like recovering from adversity in games. United fans have become accustomed to seeing their team give it a go regardless of the circumstances. Indeed, for us, there is such a thing as 'losing the right way'.
In that first half on Saturday, United were admittedly played off the park by City but it did not go down well with fans that the team seemed almost unbothered about events on the day. The passing was lacklustre at best and the passion was decidedly lacking in the tackle. United were the architects of City's first half domination.
It changed for the better in the second half after some much needed substitutions. Suddenly, City were finally in a game like no other they've had this season. It bodes well for them that they managed to find the graft to ride out the storm when they had to but United can take comfort that they made the finest team in the land choke out every ounce of their reserve energy before Mark Clattenburg allowed everyone to go home. That in itself represents progress. United are miles ahead of where they were at this stage last season even though they picked up four points from City last term.
That second half resolve will go a long way to repair some of the confidence lost in the first half. It's only September and therefore the lessons are still vitally important at this stage. For Jose Mouirnho and his players, the next couple of games are important in as far as responding to the defeat at the weekend is concerned. How quickly they get their mojo back will be another trait learnt about Manchester United in 2016/17.