Kevin De Bruyne scored twice and picked up an assist one of Riyad Mahrez’s two terrific goals as Manchester City smacked Manchester United 4-1 in an entertaining Manchester derby Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
Paul Pogba assisted Jadon Sancho’s terrific first-half goal to briefly make the game 1-1, but United was left grasping at wind for most of this one.
[ MORE: JPW’s player ratings from the Etihad ]
De Bruyne was absolutely marvelous in a Ballon d’Or caliber performance, hitting five key passes and putting four shots on target while winning 6-of-10 duels and drawing three fouls.
The derby sweep gives Man City a six-point lead over Liverpool with the second-place Reds boasting a match-in-hand.
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Man United is now a point behind fourth-place Arsenal, who has three matches-in-hand on the Red Devils. Tottenham is five points back of Man United but has three matches-in-hand as well.
Manchester City vs Manchester United final score, stats
Manchester City 4, Manchester United 1
Goals scored: De Bruyne 2 (5′, 28′), Sancho (22′), Mahrez 2 (68′, 90’+2)
Shots: Manchester City 21, Manchester United 5
Shots on target: Manchester City 9, Manchester United 2
Possession: Manchester City 69, Manchester United 31
Three things we learned from Manchester City vs Manchester United
1. City humbles derby rivals with fluid second half: Up 2-1 at the break with 60 percent of the ball and a 10-5 edge in shot attempts, CIty basically played keep-away in the second 45. City had 80 percent of the ball and took all 11 of the match’s shot attempts. United’s total pass attempts for the second half was 94 when the game hit the 90th minute. 94.
2. Ungiven Pen: And it could’ve been worse! Phil Foden was chopped down by Harry Maguire while chasing a loose ball but referee Michael Oliver gave a foul against Man City. This was just before United leveled the score at 1-1, and replays showed that Maguire put his arm around Foden just inside the 18 and kept it there for most of what Oliver saw as a 50-50 between the two.
3. Message sent: While many have been salivating at the idea of Man City allowing Liverpool back into the Premier League title race by — checks notes — dropping four points in 2022, City just keeps operating their clinic. Yes, Liverpool has a match-In-hand and plays Man City, but do you suspect that Liverpool will go unbeaten and City will lose twice? There’s a race, yes, but the Reds still have an incredible amount of work to do.
Man of the Match: Kevin De Bruyne – There is simply no question. Let’s repeat his stats in case you missed them above.
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Man United were reminded of the task in front of them within a few minutes of kickoff, as Bernardo Silva and Jack Grealish turned the back line every which way before the former sent an invitation to the middle of the box for a too-open De Bruyne to lash home.
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There aren’t too many places Riyad Mahrez could’ve put this ball, and to do it first time is the sort of technique that drove one club to a Premier League title and helped another to multiple others.
— NBC Sports Soccer (@NBCSportsSoccer) March 6, 2022