- De Bruyne opened scoring
- Iheanacho doubled the lead
- Zlatan pulled one back after a Bravo blunder
- City have won 4 of last 6 derbies at United
- Guardiola has 8 wins in 17 games v Mourinho
MANCHESTER — Manchester is blue.
Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Saturday in the Manchester derby as Pep Guardiola got the better of Jose Mourinho in a heavyweight encounter between two expensively assembled sides who are favorites for the Premier League title.
United improved but couldn’t find an equalizer despite late pressure and City held on for the victory to make it four wins from four to open up the Premier League season.
They also have the small matter of bragging rights in Manchester…
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Early on the game began at a frantic pace as De Bruyne got in down the left and his cross just missed Sterling and Iheanacho in the center. At the other end Pogba curled a speculative effort from distance just over as the match ebbed and flowed.
City began to dominate the game and were duly rewarded in the 15th minute as a long ball forward was flicked on by Iheanacho ahead of Eric Bailly and Daley Blind was slow to respond to the loose ball. De Bruyne wasn’t and the Belgian attacker grabbed the ball, raced in on goal and gave De Gea the eyes to slot home. 1-0 to City.
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The first major flash point of the derby arrived just before the half hour mark as a loose ball bounced into the technical area and as Guardiola caught the ball Rooney tired to wrestle it back off him. There was some brief grappling and then things calmed down but it showed the passion and tension on show.
City continued to pour forward with Henrikh Mkhitaryan struggling in possession and City swarming around Marouane Fellaini, forcing United to give up possession time and time again. That pressure led to a second goal as De Bruyne was played in on the right side of the box and his shot across goal hit the post and rebounded straight to Iheanacho and he slotted home. 2-0 to Man City.
The scoring wasn’t over in the first half as United were handed a lifeline courtesy of a monumental error from City’s new goalkeeper Bravo on his debut. The Chilean goalkeeper completely misjudged a long ball into the box and Ibrahimovic picked up the loose ball and brilliantly volleyed home. 2-1. Game on.
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At half time Mourinho made two subs with Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera coming on for the disappointing duo of Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard. That meant Pogba was pushed through the middle and Rooney put to the right. Rashford made an immediate impact with the English youngster cutting in from the left and teeing up Zlatan who couldn’t quite get his shot on target.
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Guardiola brought on Fernando for Iheanacho to add an extra body in midfield and to try regain some control but his goalkeeper had another moment to forget in the 55th minute. Bravo tried to turn Herrera in his own box but a heavy touch saw him closed down by Rooney and City’s goalkeeper clattered into a 50-50 tackle. Lucky boy.
United continued to do all the pressing with City content to sit on their 2-1 lead, with Ibrahimovic firing a volley over the bar. Local lad Rashford then though he’d equalized but his shot deflected off Ibrahimovic in an offside position and in.
City had a rare chance at the other end with Fernandinho‘s volley from a corner saved initially, then Nicolas Otamendi’s effort with the follow up well blocked.
Late on United simply ran out of ideas as they pushed forward but couldn’t break through as Ibrhaimovic’s late effort was deflected wide. City held on for a 2-1 win and Guardiola, once again, prevailed over Mourinho.