Manchester United's struggles against their local rivals have once again been laid bare in their recent defeat to Manchester City, prompting midfielder Casemiro to urge his team to emulate the success of the reigning Premier League champions.

In their sixth defeat out of the last seven Manchester derbies, Manchester United fell 3-1 at the Etihad, underscoring City's decade-long dominance in the rivalry. Despite recent off-field positivity stemming from Sir Jim Ratcliffe's significant takeover at Old Trafford, successive losses to Fulham and City have dampened spirits among the Red Devils faithful.

Now positioned 11 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa and a daunting 19 points adrift of league leaders Liverpool, Casemiro stressed the need for Manchester United to adopt a mirror image of their local adversaries if they aspire to return to trophy-winning ways.

Speaking to ESPN Brasil, Casemiro emphasized, “That is the big objective [to get to where City are]. We also have to be humble to accept that they are at the moment – not in history, as the history of Manchester United speaks for itself – but they are today the team to beat. Everyone wants to beat City. We have a mirror here, which is City, and they have been doing a great job.”

The absence of a league title since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure in 2013 contrasts sharply with Manchester City's six Premier League triumphs in the last decade, highlighting the vast gulf between the two Manchester clubs.

Despite glimpses of promise in Sunday's derby, where they were “comfortable” for periods, according to Casemiro, Manchester United succumbed to City's relentless pressure, conceding an early goal in the second half that ultimately proved decisive.

Off the field, Ratcliffe's restructuring efforts have seen the appointment of key personnel like Sir Dave Brailsford and Omar Berrada, with plans to bring in Dan Ashworth as sporting director from Newcastle. However, on-field progress remains elusive, with Erik ten Hag's side regressing since their third-place finish last season.

With Champions League qualification hanging in the balance, Manchester United face a pivotal period ahead, starting with a crucial clash against Everton, followed by an FA Cup quarter-final showdown with Liverpool. As they strive to salvage their season, Casemiro's words are a stark reminder of the path they must tread to reclaim their former glory.