Manchester United 0 Manchester City 3

FA Premier League
Tuesday 25 March 2014, 19.45 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Demichelis, Clichy, Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri (Milner 74), Silva, Navas (Garcia 68), Dzeko (Negredo 80)
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Lescott, Jovetic
Goals: Dzeko (1, 56), Toure (90)
Booked: Kompany, Fernandinho

Referee: Michael Oliver
Man of the Match: Fernandinho

Silva wriggles past Rafael.

Silva wriggles past Rafael.

City made the quickest start to the derby… opening the scoring inside 45 seconds. With the first attack of the game, the Blues almost netted twice before Dzeko eventually put the ball over the line – Silva was slipped in brilliantly by Toure, but was tackled by Rafael. The ball was played back in to Nasri on the left, whose effort left De Gea standing and struck the post, with the rebound hitting Dzeko and going in.

With the 20 minute mark approaching, City should have doubled their lead. Pressure on Ferdinand meant a bad back-pass to De Gea, whose clearance fell to Toure. He knocked it through to Silva who was onside and he squared for Dzeko one-on-one. The Bosnian, though, could only find the gloves of the United goalkeeper.

Five minutes later, Fellaini should have equalised. He found himself unmarked at the back post on a United breakaway, following a quick throw-in from Rooney. It was flicked to the Belgian, but his volley was straight at Hart, who held on to the effort well. The Belgian was then lucky to stay on the pitch after only receiving a yellow card for an elbow on Zabaleta.

Mata missed a golden opportunity to pull the hosts level on 40 minutes, following a fresh-air shot by Rooney. The low cross into the box was missed by the striker and fell to the Spaniard’s feet just inside the area. His effort, on his right foot, flashed over Hart’s crossbar.

City could – perhaps should – have doubled their lead early in the second half. Dzeko found space on the left to shoot, but it was well blocked by Ferdinand, before a cross was cleared as far as Zabaleta on the edge of the box. He volleyed it, but it was deflected behind by Carrick. Dzeko won the header from the corner, but he couldn’t find the target, while a near post corner was won by Kompany, but Fernandinho couldn’t turn the defender’s flick into the net.

Nasri fends off Cleverley

Nasri fends off Cleverley

Ten minutes into the half, though, the Blues did double their lead. A near post corner was missed by the front runner in Demichelis, but it fell nicely to the Bosnian to turn in around the corner with his right foot. It was a cute finish, cool and controlled.

United could have pulled a goal back with 20 minutes to play, as Demichelis gave the ball away trying to play from the back. It fell to Valencia to cross and Welbeck turned it towards goal, but a reaction save from Hart kept it out. The Argentine defender recovered to head clear.

With seconds to go before the fourth official showed the board for stoppage time, City sealed the win. A perfect breakaway from Milner allowed Toure to find space on the edge of the box and, when the Englishman knocked it square, the Ivorian took a touch to control and then belted it into the bottom corner. City were in control from first whistle to last and three goals could have been more.

It was one of City’s games in hand over Chelsea and one they won in emphatic style, racking up a record-breaking fifth consecutive Premier League clean sheet in the process.


Manchester City 4 Manchester United 1

FA Premier League
Sunday 22 September 2013, 16.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasic, Kolarov, Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas (Milner 71), Aguero (Garcia 86), Negredo (Dzeko 75)
Unused: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Jovetic
Goals: Aguero (16, 47), Toure (45), Nasri (50)
Booked: Nastasic

Referee: Howard Webb
Man of the Match: Samir Nasri


Kompany dominated in the air.

The last time these two clubs met with new managers in both dugouts was 1971 – then, City twice came from behind to draw 3-3 at Maine Road. Fast forward four decades and there was no danger of a similar story, as the Blues dominated proceedings and, in the end, won at a canter.

It started comfortably for City and stayed pretty much that way throughout the first half, as the hosts controlled possession and pulled the visitors across the pitch and out of position. Rooney made a beeline for Kompany to begin their running battle, while Zabaleta and Kolarov faced Young and Valencia. All three City players came out on top.

The first real action saw Nastasic booked in a challenge with Smalling. The centre-back was unlucky, as it seemed like a genuine attempt to win the ball and he headed the United man’s back. And on five minutes, it left the youngster on thin ice.

To his credit, though, Nastasic didn’t let him affect it. And, just over a quarter of an hour into the match, he was involved in giving City the lead. Navas did well to return the ball to Hart as the Reds tried to break and, as the keeper’s clearance was nodded back, the Serbian nodded it to the feet of Nasri. He cutely flicked it to Kolarov and his drilled cross was superbly turned into the net by Aguero.

It was almost two seconds after, as Nasri flashed a volley over the bar on his left foot, as he found space at the back post. Kolarov wanted a penalty for a bodycheck with Smalling, but it would have been harsh and he had few complaints when the referee pointed for a corner. Rooney, meanwhile, was walking a tightrope and, after several fouls on Kompany and a few poor reactions to decisions, eventually saw yellow.

As the half wore on, City were dominating, but struggling to find a way through a packed United defence. The Reds were camped in their own box and the Blues were searching for the key to the lock for their second. And, on the stroke of half time, it arrived – Negredo climbed to win a header from a Nasri corner and Toure turned it in from three yards.

And if United wanted a good start to the second half to get back into the game, they were dead and buried just five minutes into the match. First, Fernandinho stole the ball in the City box and sent the Blues on the counter. It found Negredo inside the box and, after some strong play against Vidic, he pulled it back to the unmarked Aguero inside the six-yard box. He was never going to miss.


The captain celebrates the fourth goal.

As the Reds tried to recover, City added a fourth: Kompany won possession in his own half and brought it forward. He touched it to Navas, who sprinted down the line to cross. It was perfect for Nasri, arriving at the back post, to volley straight into the net. City were running rampant.

Were it not for Vidic, it could have been five for the hosts just two minutes later: Navas again crossed perfectly between De Gea and the defence and looked for Negredo, but the Serbian centre-back got there first to turn it away.

It was all City. Toure almost squeezed in a fifth at the near post, but as the game hit the hour mark, the hosts slowed down and took their foot off the gas. United gained some momentum, but were struggling for chances – Rooney’s free kick into the wall the best they could muster.

It was down to some brilliant goalkeeping from Hart to keep United blank, as Fellaini swivelled and shot for the top corner. But the England keeper acrobatically touched it over the bar. Evra hit the post and a cracking stop from the rebound with his legs left Hart’s goal intact.

Dzeko joined the action and – like Negredo before him – was unlucky not to add City’s five on two occasions as he broke through the middle and unleashed an effort from range. One whistled past the post, the other was nearly spilled over the line by De Gea.

The only sour note for the home side was that they weren’t able to see out the clean sheet. With three minutes to play, a silly foul by Fernandinho allowed Rooney another set piece on the edge of the box and, having set his sights first time around, he found the top corner.

Nevertheless, it was City’s day and the derby ended with a humiliating defeat for the visitors.

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 2

FA Premier League
Monday 8 April 2013, 20.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Nastasic, Clichy, Barry, Y Toure, Milner, Silva (Lescott 90), Nasri (Aguero 71), Tevez (Garcia 90)
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, K Toure, Dzeko
Goals: Milner (51), Aguero (79)
Booked: Silva, Kompany, Tevez, Barry, Zabaleta

Referee: Mike Dean
Man of the Match: Gareth Barry

United1It started with a frantic pace: United got the first shot in at goal, with Hart swallowing up Welbeck’s flicked header, before Silva had an effort at the front post blocked behind. From that corner, the United clearance gave the hosts a two-on-one break, with Clichy pulling out a brilliant tackle to win back possession. Milner’s low drive was then palmed away by De Gea, as a blistering opening five minutes came to a close.

With 15 minutes played, it had been good pressure from City but they hadn’t been able to test De Gea. A deep cross from Zabaleta almost found Tevez, but he couldn’t get a header on target, before some good work from Barry skipping away from two challenges allowed him to find Tevez in the box. The Argentine, though, couldn’t turn and get a clean shot at goal, it deflecting behind off Ferdinand.

A deep cross from Kompany as he brought the ball forward found Silva, who had peeled away at the back post. The Spaniard hit a low, first-time volleyed cross towards Tevez who was sliding in, but Jones was there first to clear. At the other end, van Persie’s deflected cross fell nicely for Giggs to head, but he got underneath it and cleared the crossbar.

With 25 minutes on the clock, City should have had the opening goal. Silva’s cross towards the back post was blocked and fell perfectly for Nasri in the penalty area. The Frenchman had time and space, but he failed to hit the target with his effort, leaving De Gea rooted to the spot. Fortunately for him, though, the shot was wide.

On the half hour, United responded with their own pressure. Van Persie curled a free kick towards the back post and, after it missed the first challenge, Zabaleta had to sort his feet out quickly to scoop it behind for a corner. Kompany cleared that, with Young collecting the loose ball. His effort, though, was well over the bar.

With three minutes of the half to play, Kompany dived in on Young and picked up a booking for his troubles, but the Rooney free kick was dealt with by Nastasic. It fell to van Persie, but he skied his volley well over the bar. A flick on by van Persie on the stroke of half time fell to Rafael in on goal and his effort had Hart scrambling as it hit the outside of the post. It remained all square at the break.

United2United began the second half the better: Welbeck wanted a penalty when he ran into Barry inside the box, but there was nowhere the England midfielder could go to get out of the way and the referee turned the appeals down. At the other end, Silva couldn’t dig out a shot as he intercepted a short ball on the edge of the box.

Just over five minutes into the half, Giggs gave the ball away inside his own half and Barry broke away with the ball. As he approached the edge of the box, he cut it back for Nasri, who got the ball stuck under his feet. He did enough, though, to nudge it to Milner, whose first-time effort deflected and found the bottom corner past De Gea’s despairing dive.

The lead, though, didn’t last long. Six minutes later, a dubious free kick from the right flank was nodded back across goal by Jones. It hit Kompany on the back and bounced into the empty net, as Hart had come for the original cross and not been able to get there. There was little City could have done.

A short backpass from Clichy almost let Young in, but Hart was off his line quickly to hoof the ball away. It was more up than out, though, and it found its way to Rooney ins space on the right. He looked for the free van Persie at the back post, but it landed nicely for Hart to collect. Welbeck then flicked a header at goal, but Hart was across his goal well to hold.

Despite the United pressure building, City held their own. And, having survived it, they went down the other end and scored again: Aguero was brilliantly played through into the box and had nothing in front of him. He took it past three defenders and smashed it into the roof of the net at the near post.

With eight minutes to play, it should have been all even again. Barry let Carrick go inside the box and he squared for van Persie sliding in. However, the Dutch striker got his studs on the ball and couldn’t re-direct it towards Hart’s goal. He then followed that up with a free header two minutes later, but it was right at the City keeper.

There was more controversy in the final minute before added time: Silva was doing injured and United played on. City put the ball out, but the reds neglected to give the ball, choosing instead to take the opportunity to have another attempt at goal. But City held firm and got the ball away through Zabaleta.

It won’t do anything to the title race, but City held their own and won the derby.

Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3

FA Premier League
Sunday 9 December 2012, 13.30 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c) (K Toure 21), Nastasic, Clichy, Y Toure (Dzeko 84), Barry, Nasri, Silva, Aguero, Balotelli (Tevez 52)
Unused: Pantilimon, Lescott, Maicon, Garcia
Goals: Y Toure (60), Zabaleta (86)
Booked: Nasri, Y Toure, Tevez, Barry

Referee: Martin Atkinson
Man of the Match: Pablo Zabaleta

United1It was a fast-paced start from the home side, who were out of the traps quickly and took the game to the visitors. Rooney twice committed hefty challenges in the United half to concede free kicks and it was the second that spurned City’s first chance of the match: Balotelli drove an effort at goal, but it was deflected and easy for De Gea to knock around the post.

Silva was then the orchestrator as he slid the ball through for Clichy to chase down the left flank. He got there before it went behind and drove a cross into the box, but Balotelli, arriving late, couldn’t keep his shot down, sending it into the fans behind the goal. Balotelli almost played Aguero through minutes later, but the Argentine’s touch was too heavy and it rolled through the De Gea.

But with their first attack of the game and completely against the run of play, United opened the scoring. Young brought the ball forward after he received a touch-down from van Persie. He fed it on to Rooney, who scuffed his shot into the bottom corner. Hart was left rooted to the spot and the blues were facing an uphill task, despite starting the better.

It got worse for the home side, as, just minutes later, Vincent Kompany limped out of the game. And City were looking shaky, as the ball into the box from wide was causing the home side problems that both Hart and the back four were struggling to clear. At the other end, persistence from Aguero could have pulled the blues level, as he battled his way through to a shooting position, but De Gea was able to hold the effort.

On the half hour, the game had been completely turned on its head: Valencia picked up the ball on the right wing and he fired it into the box. Ghosting in, completely unmarked, was Rooney once again and he found the net with a simple finish. City were doing themselves no favours and the poor defending had returned with a vengeance.

Cleverley shot over from the edge of the box, before Barry found himself in a shooting position in the United half, following good work by Balotelli and Aguero. But the England midfielder’s effort was skewed wide. There were signs that City could have gotten back into the game, but after the opening goal, the blues just couldn’t keep the ball. The hosts’ early domination seemed a distant memory.

United2Tevez joined the action early in the second half and it completely transformed City’s play. Suddenly, the home side were looking dangerous again: Tevez was hassling and working hard from the front to keep the pressure on the United defence. Aguero then curled an effort just over the bar, before he was inches away from connecting to Nasri’s low cross to the back post.

On the hour mark, United added a third goal after van Persie hit the post with a brilliant effort, but Young was offside from the rebound and it was disallowed. It was a bad call and the goal should have stood. It was almost as if that was the warning that the blues needed: Immediately, they pulled a goal back. Silva and Tevez had shots blocked from inside the box, before the Argentine slid it to Yaya Toure in the area and his side-footed finish beat De Gea to the bottom corner. City were back in it.

With 20 minutes to play, Tevez stayed on his feet inside the area when he appeared to be fouled, but he couldn’t take advantage of the position and his effort was scuffed towards De Gea. The Spanish goalkeeper held onto the shot. City fans were then frustrated by the referee, who pulled play back for a foul on Yaya Toure, despite the Ivorian having skipped past it and being in behind the visiting defence. He was clean through, but the referee deemed him not to have advantage.

Ten minutes later, Silva was inches away from pulling the home side level as he blasted at goal from inside the box, having cut back onto his left foot. It was destined for the top corner until De Gea’s shoulder intervened, deflecting it onto the bar and behind for a corner. The goalkeeper knew nothing about the save, and City were left cursing their luck.

With four minutes to play, Zabaleta grabbed his first goal of the season and dragged City level. The ball was cleared as far as the Argentine, who was lurking on the edge of the box, and he rifled the shot low and hard and into the bottom corner. It was exactly what City had deserved for their second half performance.

But the game wasn’t over: In stoppage time, Clichy wanted Hart to come and claim a ball over the top, but the goalkeeper stayed put on his line. Instead of putting it out, Clichy took a bad touch and Tevez gave away a foul in trying to recover. From the resulting free kick, van Persie’s shot was deflected past Hart and found the bottom corner, via the post.

The game finished with a sour note, however, as Rio Ferdinand, who had been celebrating United’s late winner, was hit by a coin from the stands. A fan was also escorted away after running onto the pitch towards the United man, but Joe Hart ushered him away. It wasn’t the way City will have wanted the derby to have ended, in more ways than one.

The positive for the home side is that a six point gap is one that can be closed with half a season to play. But they’re going to need to both defend and attack better than they did during this game. It was the early mistakes that cost City, in a game they created enough chances to win.

Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0

English Premier League
Monday 30 April 2012, 20.00 KO

City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, Y Toure, Barry, Nasri (Milner 90), Silva (Richards 82), Tevez (de Jong 68), Aguero
Unused: Pantilimon, Kolarov, Balotelli, Dzeko
Goals: Kompany (45)
Booked: Kompany, Y Toure, de Jong

Referee: Andre Marriner
Man of the Match: Gareth Barry

With three points separating the two sides at kick off, City knew that anything other than a win would see them trailing the visitors with only two games to play. Worse, a United win would leave the reds needing a single point from their remaining matches to take the league. A City win, however, and the blues would go back to the summit of the Premier League table on goal difference. The atmosphere was tense and the home side started accordingly.

It was the visitors with the early pressure. From their first corner, City struggled to get the ball clear, with a last-gasp block from Kompany and the blues just about scrambled it away. United wanted a handball from the Belgian, but the referee waved the shouts away.

The reds didn’t test Hart in the opening stages, but they were in control of the game. City were struggling to hold on to possession and hadn’t threatened De Gea’s goal. Soon, though, that changed: Nasri weaved his way through the visiting defence and slotted it through to Tevez. He smashed the ball back across the box in search of Aguero, but Jones got in the way to clear.

Kompany was harshly booked for a slightly late challenge on Rooney – the Belgian’s case not helped by something of an over-reaction by the England centre-forward – before Clichy took it upon himself to carry City forward. He nipped in ahead of Nani to steal the ball and he carried it to the edge of the United box. He found Aguero, but the Argentine was crowded out and had to settle for a corner.

From that flag-kick, Rooney botched his clearance and fired it more up than away. Zabaleta won it and played it back into the box, where Lescott knocked it down for Aguero to volley. He smashed it at goal, but he skewed his effort high and wide of the post. City were getting themselves on top of the game and it was United who were beginning to struggle.

However, United were defending as well as City attacked; whatever the blues tried, they just couldn’t break through a packed back-line. Aguero almost found room for a shot, but Ferdinand was in his way and the Argentine couldn’t force the effort on target and, as the board went up for stoppage time, it looked like the teams would be level. However, Silva delivered a corner into the six-yard box, where Vincent Kompany had lost his marker. He connected with it perfectly and his bullet header almost broke the back of the net. As it stood, City were back on the top of the league.

A goal in front at the start of the second half, as City began on the back foot, but comfortable. A series of United corners were well dealt with by Kompany and Lescott, while Aguero, Tevez and Nasri were working hard to press the visitors’ back four when they had possession.

Phil Jones went into the book for a late challenge on Barry, before Yaya Toure almost doubled City’s lead after a storming run through the midfield. De Jong had come one and allowed the Ivorian to move further forward – and he was intent on wrecking havoc on the reds’ defence. A de Jong tackle on Welbeck had the managers going head-to-head on the touchline, as a disagreement between Roberto Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson escalated. It showed the importance of the game and the tension in the air.

With ten minutes to play, it was Yaya Toure again who could have added to City’s tally. He broke away with the ball once again on one of his trademark runs, but his curling effort from the edge of the box didn’t quite swing back in and it finished just wide. Nasri did well to keep the ball under pressure and win a throw-in, keeping City on the front foot and allowing Aguero to win a free kick. The ball in, however, was well cleared.

Zabaleta and Barry did brilliantly to keep the ball alive in the United half, as Giggs almost got it clear, before some hard would from Toure found Nasri free inside the area. He, though, couldn’t dig the ball out from under his feet to find the shot, before he had the ball nicked away from him by Smalling. City were inches away from sealing it, as the board for stoppage time went up.

With less than a minute remaining, United won a corner and packed the box. The first ball in was cleared, before the second found Rooney unmarked on the edge of the area. He tried to shoot, but Lescott got in the way and, as the rebound was crossed by into the middle, Smalling fouled Hart and the visitors’ pressure was over. To the relief of the City fans, the final whistle blew as the ball was cleared down the pitch.

From being eight points behind only a few weeks previous, City had clawed their way back to the top of the table. City and United were level on points, but the blues’ superior goal difference is what’s key. It’s advantage City – though the games against Newcastle and QPR won’t be easy. This title will go down to the last day of the season.

Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3

FA Cup Third Round
Sunday 8 January 2012, 13.00 KO

City: Pantilimon, Richards, Kompany (c), Lescott, Kolarov, de Jong, Milner, Nasri (Hargreaves 82), Silva (Savic 45), A Johnson (Zabaleta 45), Aguero
Unused: Hart, Clichy, Razak, Suarez
Goals: Kolarov (48), Aguero (64)
Sent Off: Kompany

Referee: Chris Foy
Man of the Match: James Milner

It was a repeat of last year’s FA Cup semi-final as the third Manchester derby of the season got underway in the rain at the Etihad Stadium. And it was the hosts who looked in full control from the kick-off, as United struggled to get out of their own half. City, though, couldn’t fashion a good shooting chance and it was the visitors who took the lead, completely against the run of play: Rooney nodded the ball into the net after a poor kick from Pantilimon set up the attack. Rooney knocked the ball wide and beat Richards in the air to the return to score off the bar.

It got worse for City almost immediately. Vincent Kompany slid in to dispossess Nani midway into his own half; he did go in with two feet, but it was more of a scissor motion and a side-foot tackle and, after what appeared to be no small encouragement from Rooney, the referee decided it was worthy of a red card. Nani – the man challenged – seemed happy to play on and Chris Foy appeared to be playing on, but suddenly changed his mind. It was a very harsh decision.

Aguero almost equalised with a curling effort almost straight away, but Lindegaard got across well to push the ball behind for a corner. The referee further annoyed the home fans by not producing yellow cards for late challenges by Giggs and Jones. And it didn’t get better for the blues fans, as Wellbeck swivelled and shot in the box, finding the bottom corner, after City couldn’t get the ball clear.

A rash tackle from Kolarov inside his own area then seemed to end the game: Rooney stepped up to take the resulting penalty and tried for the bottom right corner. Pantilimon got across to block, but he was very unlucky that his save bounced straight back to the England centre-forward, who headed the ball into the empty net. It looked all over before half time.

Step forward Roberto Mancini. Two half time changes and a switch in tactics helped City fight their way back into the game, helped by the hosts pulling a goal back almost immediately. Evra brought down Richards on the edge of the box on the right side and Kolarov stepped up to power the free kick into the corner of the net. It was just what City needed.

That changed the atmosphere. Despite having a man fewer, City were defending tightly and allowing United possession, but keeping them at arm’s length, looking to nick the ball for a breakaway. The visitors brought on the now out-of-retirement Paul Scholes and it was he who was at fault for City’s second. With 63 minutes played, Milner nicked his short pass to Evra and crossed low for Aguero. The Argentine’s first shot was saved, but he reacted first to tap into the open goal.

United tried to kill the game off with possession and City weren’t able to commit too many bodies forward to try and steal the ball. The visitors pressed, but didn’t trouble Pantilimon on that many occasions: Scholes hit one straight at the City keeper, while Rooney bobbled one wide. Kolarov then got away with a challenge in the box that should have been a second penalty.

With eight minutes to play, City were then denied a penalty as Jones appeared to handle the ball in the box in blocking a Kolarov cross. The home players and fans were adamant, but the referee only awarded the corner. Rooney got up to head away, but de Jong retrieved the ball and United were pinned in their own half by the ten men.

As the board went up for added time, Richards attempted an overhead kick but missed the ball, before Lescott was unlucky as he challenged for a Zabaleta free kick that Lindegaard got nowhere near. The United keeper then spilled a Kolarov free kick that was powered at him, but none of the players in blue in the box could get their foot on the rebound to turn it home. The visitors were hanging on.

With seconds to play, the home side won a corner and piled everybody – including the goalkeeper Pantilimon – into the box. Kolarov’s kick found the keeper’s head, but he couldn’t direct it towards the net and, as the away side cleared their lines, the final whistle blew. City came out of the game with their heads held high and with a lot of pride, but, ultimately, it was United in the fourth round draw.

Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6

English Premier League
Sunday 23 October 2011, 13.30 KO

City: Hart, Richards, Kompany (c), Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Y Toure, Milner (Kolarov 89), Silva, Aguero (Nasri 75), Balotelli (Dzeko 70)
Unused: Pantilimon, K Toure, Zabaleta, de Jong
Goals: Balotelli (22, 60), Aguero (69), Dzeko (89, 90+3), Silva (90+1)
Booked: Balotelli, Kompany, Dzeko, Richards

Referee: Mark Clattenburg
Man of the Match: James Milner

The opening pressure of the game came from the home side, as Richards gave away a free kick on the right flank, but Young’s ball was cleared by the City defence. Anderson then headed well wide at the back post, as Rooney chipped the ball in from the right. Milner then had City’s first effort, but it was deflected back to De Gea. Richards then produced a diving header to clear from Anderson.

City’s first spell of pressure came through Richards and Silva. The full back got down the right flank well to get in a low cross, before a mazy run into the box beat five of the United defence. Toure managed to get the shot away from range, but it was deflected behind for a corner.

Kompany then put in a good tackle on Rooney in the box to win the ball, as United continued to press and City struggled to keep the ball. Fletcher looked for Rooney over the top, but he could only find Hart’s gloves. Kompany then had to clear a low cross from Nani.

But then, against the run of play, the visitors took the lead. Clichy slipped when trying to cross, but was able to win a throw in on the left. Silva then found some space in the middle and found Milner. His ball was behind Silva, but Balotelli was there to slot it into the far corner.

City suddenly had wind in their sails: Clichy picked up the ball on the left and carried it right to the edge of the United box. His ball square found Aguero and he dinked it to the middle, but it was slightly too high for Balotelli’s head and United were off the hook. Richards then broke out of defence and tried to chip De Gea from the centre circle, but it dropped well wide.

Hart got up well to punch away a United corner just after the half hour, an Anderson picked up the pieces for the home side. His shot from the edge of the box, though, was straight at the England keeper and he was able to hold on to the ball. Balotelli then won a free kick for City on the right flank, but Silva’s ball to the back post dropped behind before the Italian could reach it. Rooney then had a go from range, but Hart was able to hold on again.

A miss-kick by Evans in the six yard box let City off the hook from a United corner, when the home side’s centre-back should have pulled the hosts level. Aguero then had the chance to shoot inside the United box, but it was well blocked by a combination of defenders. Kompany was then booked for stopping a United breakaway, as he pulled Anderson back when he was looking to get in behind to a ball over the top.

The first action of the second half saw City win a free kick on the edge of the box and Johnny Evans dismissed. Balotelli slipped past the centre-back and was through on goal when he was pulled down right on the line of the box. The effort from Balotelli, though, was blocked and Richards couldn’t find a shot from the rebound. Richards then went down in the box and could have had a penalty, but the referee turned it down.

Lescott then did well to dispossess Welbeck in the box, as United looked for their equaliser on the break. Richards then found himself free in the box and shot well wide with his left foot, after Balotelli had done well to find Aguero on the edge. Young then should have done better in the City box, as he found space to shoot. It hit Milner and then Young again and Hart was rooted, but the deflection was wide of the post.

Aguero was then inches away from doubling City’s lead as Milner fired a ball across goal, but he couldn’t stretch enough to make a connection. Young then won the ball from Milner on the left and drove into the box, but Richards was there to concede the corner. Rooney had a shot from the corner of the box, but Hart swallowed it up.

And, as United were starting to create some chances, City hit them with a second goal. Some brilliant build up from Milner and Silva left the England international through on goal inside the six yard box. He found Balotelli at the back post and the Italian netted his second of the game. Silva could have had a third for City, but his effort was deflected wide.

Richards then won the ball back in the United half and Silva fired in a low ball towards Balotelli, but he wasn’t able to get there before Smalling, who cleared the danger. Evra then picked up a yellow card for a tough challenge on Barry, as City looked to contain the hosts.

And then City got their third. A neat flick from Balotelli then found Milner on the right wing and he nudged the ball on to Richards. The full back drove to the by line and fired a ball across the box, for Aguero to beat De Gea with 20 minutes to play. Dzeko could have had a goal with his first touch, as he shot from the edge of the box, but it was deflected inches past the far post.

City could have had their fourth as Silva found Dzeko in the box and his return pass was deflected into the air. The Spaniard tried to lift it over De Gea into the back post, but he skied it over the bar with the Bosnian unmarked at the back post. Dzeko then hit De Gea with a shot, as he broke into the box on a one-on-one.

With ten minutes to play, United pulled a goal back. A one-two between Hernandez and Fletcher resulted in the Scotsman sidefooting the ball from the edge of the box into the top corner, with Hart helpless. Smalling then headed wide from the penalty spot, after a free kick from the left flank had been cleared by Barry.

City made it four with a minute of normal time to play. A Silva corner was flicked to the back post where Lescott was there to knock the ball back into the middle. Dzeko was in the right place at the right time to knee the ball into the unguarded goal. And it got even better for the visitors. Silva found himself clean through on goal and slotted the ball through De Gea’s legs to make it five for City.

United looked to see the rest of the game out, but Silva then volleyed the ball through for Dzeko on the break as he steamed past the home side’s defence. Clean through on goal, he finished with his left foot to complete the humiliation and condemn United to their heaviest ever Premier League defeat at Old Trafford.