“Too many players are not good enough or don’t care enough.”
Kevin de Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez scored twice each in a City masterclass, with Jadon Sancho having levelled for Ralf Rangnick’s United at 1-1.
United were completely outclassed, only forcing Ederson into one save, and could have lost by more – Phil Foden hitting the post with one of their many chances.
Former United goalkeeper Schmeichel, who also played for City, was watching the game for BBC Radio 5 Live and said: “I thought Rangnick should have changed things at half-time. He may have had words, but the second half was worse. At no point were United in the game apart from on the scoreline.
“Far too many players are either not good enough, or don’t care enough. Having an interim manager means he can’t do much. He knows he’s not going to be there, so what can he change?
“Manchester City were majestic, but they haven’t had to work that hard for it and I think that will hurt United most.”
‘They shouldn’t play for Man Utd again’
Schmeichel’s former United team-mates Roy Keane and Gary Neville went further on Sky Sports.
Keane said: “United gave up and in a derby, in any game, it’s unforgivable.
“I can forgive mistakes, but not running back, not trying to tackle – there are players out there who shouldn’t play for Manchester United again.
“We’ve all lost football matches but it’s the way they lost. You expect them to play with a bit of pride but that’s a reflection of where the team is at the moment.
“If you can’t run back and put your body on the line when you’re playing for Manchester United, it’s shameful.”
He also accused midfielder Fred of “looking like he was waiting for a bus instead of going for the ball” before De Bruyne’s second.
Keane continued: “Who’s running that dressing room? These guys seem more bothered about, ‘how am I looking? How’s my hair looking? Are my boots nice?’ You leave your ego at the door when you play for United.”
‘We have a long way to go to close the gap’
The Red Devils did not have a shot in the second half and are outside the Champions League places, a point behind Arsenal having played three games more.
And Neville reserved his most forceful criticism for how United finished the game, labelling the final 25 minutes a “disgrace”.
“After the third goal went in, City had 92% possession,” he said. “That’s unprecedented, that’s unheard of and it’s unforgiveable.
“The dressing room isn’t broken, but it isn’t far off. You find out what it’s like when the going gets tough and a lot of them went missing.”
BBC pundit Chris Sutton said United were “embarrassed” by their city rivals.
Rangnick has won only eight of his 18 games in interim charge, with a permanent successor for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likely to be named this summer.
“It is a difficult game that shows we have a long way to go to close that gap,” said Rangnick.
“Everyone knows how good they [City] are. They are one of the top teams in the world and there is a gap between the two teams.”
Liverpool are six points behind City now and ex-Reds midfielder Jamie Redknapp suggested his old side would be angry with what he saw as United’s lack of fight.
“Manchester City have created a team and thought about the players to make it. United have thrown money at the team and hoped to find a team. It’s not working,” he said.
“It takes time and it takes the right culture but at the moment United are a million miles off. If I was [Liverpool manager] Jurgen Klopp watching that I’d be fuming.
“United didn’t even try. There was no idea and no structure.”
‘One of highest levels we have played at’
Meanwhile, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said: “The second half was one of the highest levels we have played at in years.
“I’m not from Manchester, but I know what it means to our fans to win the derby. We should have scored more goals.”
He also admitted that United had caused his team problems in the first half.
“It was so aggressive, the mentality for Ralf,” he said. “Without Cristiano [Ronaldo] they can do it [press aggressively]. We struggled to make it up. The first half we had more chances on the counter attack.
“In the second, Bernardo [Silva] was more involved, the movement from everyone was excellent and we played really good. Our decision making during the game was good and that’s why we won the game.”
Mahrez, who scored twice, told the BBC: “We totally controlled the second half. When we are like that, it is difficult to take us. We have confidence in our football, but we are taking it game by game.”