Manchester City prevailed in the 167th edition of the Manchester derby, as they beat Manchester United 3-0 away at Old Trafford on Tuesday.
Edin Dzeko stole the headlines with two clinical finishes in each half, to keep City’s title charge on course and leave fierce rivals United languishing way down the standings. Yaya Toure’s late drive sealed the impressive victory for City, who have now won three-straight PL games away at the Theater of Dreams.
From the get-go Manuel Pellegrini’s City were the better side, as they started brightly in each half as Dzeko scored in the first minute of the match with a close range finish after a flowing City move and then finished the Red Devils off with a calm finish from a set piece just after the break.
With their fifth derby win in the last six derbies, City now move into second place in the PL standings and are just three points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand. As for United, they’re steady in seventh and have now lost 10 PL games for the first-time in history as David Moyes’ side were second-best throughout.
Man City made a lighting quick start as Dzeko opened the scoring within 43 seconds of the kick off. David Silva burst into the box and Rafael stopped him with a last-ditch tackle but the ball then broke to Samir Nasri, who shifted the ball onto his right foot and struck the post but the rebound came straight to Dzeko who tapped home from two-yards out to give City the perfect start.
In the 9th minute Silva intercepted the ball after a poor giveaway 30-yards out which saw the Spaniard surge towards the edge of the box and take it past two United defenders but his tame effort was blocked, as the Citizens missed a golden chance to go 2-0 ahead.
Silva was popping everywhere as City were dominating the early stages and United just couldn’t get a grip on proceedings. In the 17th minute great link up play between Yaya Toure and Silva link up saw the latter play a great ball to Dzeko, and although the Bosnian directed his shot towards the bottom corner David De Gea got across to save well to his left to make up for his initial giveaway.
Then the game began to open up, as a clearance in his own six-yard box from Vincent Kompany halted United’s advances after Wayne Rooney had found Juan Mata unmarked on the left side of the box. The game ebbed and flowed, as both sets of supporters urged their teams to attack in a breathless opening 45 minutes at Old Trafford. That passion spilled over in the 30th minute, as Marouane Fellaini barged into Pablo Zabaleta and shoved his forearm and elbow straight into the face of City’s right back. Referee Michael Oliver saw the whole thing, but only booked Fellaini as United were lucky to still have eleven men on the pitch.
Manchester United got better as the first half wore on, as they were lucky to be just 1-0 down following City’s early onslaught. Fellaini had a shot which Joe Hart saved easily before the half hour mark, then Mata fired way over when well placed before the interval, as City comfortably protected their one goal lead as the teams went in at the break.
City started the second half just as they’d begun the first, as they took the game to United. A vicious out-swinging corner from the right found Fernandinho in the six-yard box but the Brazilian saw the ball late and couldn’t direct his header under the crossbar as it flew over.
Soon after City did double their lead as Dzeko’s controlled volley from another inch-perfect Nasri corner made it 2-0 to the Citizens and sent the away fans wild. Nasri’s out-swinging set piece saw Dzeko steal a march on his marker to coolly volley home his 20th goal of the season and give City a commanding lead against their fierce rivals.
United tried to fight back, but for large spells of the second half ‘Ole’s’ rang out from the away end as City’s players kept the ball with ease. Welbeck went close to halving the deficit in the 71st minute, as Rafael’s cross from the right was behind United’s striker but he cleverly sent a flick towards goal with his backheel but Hart reacted superbly to claw the effort away.
City defended well and kept their clean sheet intact with a resolute defensive display as United tried to throw everything they had at their neighbors. But the game ended the way it started, City dominating proceedings, as Toure reacted first to James Milner’s deflected shot and the Ivorian smashed home a low shot in stoppage time to hammer the final nail in United’s derby day coffin.
Manchester United: De Gea; Rafael, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra; Carrick, Cleverley (Kagawa, 45′), Fellaini (Valencia, 66′); Mata, Welbeck (Hernandez, 77′), Rooney
Manchester City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy, Yaya Toure, Fernandinho, Nasri (Milner, 74′), Silva, Navas (Javi Garcia, 68′), Dzeko (Negredo, 79′)
Goals: Dzeko (1′ & 55′), Toure (90′)