Pictures show why the Manchester derby in China was called off

There was huge disappointment when it was confirmed this morning that the planned game between Manchester United and Manchester City in Beijing was cancelled.

There was a lot of interest in the first meeting between the two sides since both installed new managers - Pep Guardiola at City and Jose Mourinho at United.

But pictures shared by Times journalist Paul Hirst show that the decision was inevitable given the state of the pitch.

Recent bad weather has left gaps in the grass, with as much bare brown earth visible as greenery.

It is tough on supporters who were looking forward to the game, but they can’t blame the clubs for not wanting to risk injury to their stars playing on a substandard pitch.

Of course, when the news was announced, pretty much everyone made the same joke.


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