Man City 4 – 1 Man Utd

Manchester City restored their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League as doubles from Kevin De Bruyne and Riyad Mahrez inspired the champions to a commanding 4-1 derby victory over Manchester United.

De Bruyne got City off to the perfect start five minutes into the 187th Manchester derby, slotting home his 50th Premier League goal.

Jadon Sancho, on his first Etihad Stadium appearance, provided temporary respite for United in the absence of the injured Cristiano Ronaldo with a well-taken equaliser midway through the first half, but De Bruyne’s second ensured City led – deservedly – at the break.

Mahrez brilliantly volleyed in City’s third from a corner to wrap up the statement victory 22 minutes from time, and amid fever-pitch celebrations, the Algerian underscored the dominance of Pep Guardiola’s side with a late, VAR-awarded fourth.

City’s victory sees them respond to Liverpool’s title challenge and reinstate their six-point lead at the top of the Premier League, while a first defeat since January 3 – and second league defeat of Ralf Rangnick’s reign – leaves United fifth, a point behind fourth-placed Arsenal having played three games more.

After the game, Sky Sports’ Gary Neville described United’s second-half display as “embarrassing” while former United captain Roy Keane called it “shameful”.

Player ratings

Man City: Ederson (6), Walker (6), Stones (6), Laporte (6), Cancelo (6), Rodri (7), De Bruyne (9), Mahrez (8), Bernardo Silva (7), Foden (7), Grealish (7).

Subs: Gundogan (6).

Man Utd: De Gea (7), Wan-Bissaka (4), Lindelof (5), Maguire (5), Telles (5), Fred (5), McTominay (5), Sancho (7), Fernandes (5), Pogba (5), Elanga (6).

Subs: Rashford (n/a), Lingard (n/a).

Man of the Match: Kevin de Bruyne

Clinical City widen chasm to United

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Kevin de Bruyne’s 50th goal in the Premier League gives Manchester City the lead just five minutes into the derby against Manchester United.

City’s start was fast and emphatic, and United’s plan was thrown out of the window inside five minutes, De Bruyne losing his marker Alex Telles and slotting past David de Gea after clinical link-up play between Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva down the left flank.

To their credit United kept their cool, and their faith in Ralf Rangnick’s instructions, to prevent a City pile-on, and almost produced an immediate response, with only Ederson’s smothering save preventing Fred from drawing the visitors level.

Team news

  • Cristiano Ronaldo missed the Manchester derby with a hip injury, while Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw were absent after testing positive for Covid. Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay and Jadon Sancho returned as Ralf Rangnick made three changes to the team held to a goalless draw by Watford.
  • Jack Grealish, Riyad Mahrez and Kyle Walker returned as Man City made three changes following Saturday’s late 1-0 win at Everton.

And United hit back on 22 minutes, with Sancho silencing the City fans on his return to the Etihad with a clinical finish into the bottom corner after he collected Paul Pogba’s intelligent cross-field switch and cutting inside Kyle Walker.

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Jadon Sancho finished off a flowing counter attack to draw Manchester United level against the club he spent his youth career with.

That goal only seemed to poke the hornet’s nest, and parity lasted a mere five minutes. Phil Foden’s wonderous flick over Victor Lindelof and low shot forced a save from De Gea, and from the ensuing melee where Silva tried to convert, the ball fell to De Bruyne to ram home his second.

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Manchester City went back in front after Kevin de Bruyne finally forced the ball home following a David de Gea save and some desperate Manchester United defending.

City could have been further ahead at the break or level, with Foden dragging a shot wide on the counter before Sancho blazed over from an identical position from which he had earlier scored.

City’s dominance was aided by a lethargic start to the second half from United, whose insistence in playing out from the back saw them contribute to their own problems. And, after Foden, Mahrez and De Bruyne all had sights of the United goal, the pressure finally told.

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Riyad Mahrez fires in from a corner to put Manchester City 3-1 up in the derby against rivals Manchester United.

De Bruyne’s beautifully-flighted corner found Mahrez on the edge of the box and, afforded time by an intelligent block from Rodri, he lashed in City’s third in stunning fashion.

Not content with their two-goal lead, City looked to add further salt into United wounds. Joao Cancelo nearly did so in spectacular fashion, with De Gea thwarted his late bicycle kick, before a final blow was administered when Mahrez raced in behind, found the United net, and survived a marginal VAR check for offside to underlined the chasm between these Manchester rivals.

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Riyad Mahrez scores Manchester City’s fourth in injury-time.

Neville: United threw in the towel

Sky Sports’ Gary Neville:

“Manchester United’s response to going 3-1 down has been embarrassing. Ninety-two per cent possession for City? They have given up.

“They were walking around the pitch. It’s nowhere near good enough. There can be no complaints. City have been absolutely outstanding. But as a Manchester United fan, it’s embarrassing.

“City played brilliantly in the second half. But the effort and intensity from United in the last 20 minutes was non-existent. The scoreline isn’t the problem. It’s the response to going 3-1 down that’s the problem. They have thrown the towel in.”

Keane slams ‘shameful’ Man Utd

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Roy Keane says the Manchester United players will apologise for their performance after defeat to rivals Manchester City but there is too much style in the squad over substance.

Sky Sports’ Roy Keane:

“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.

“There is no hiding place in top-level sport. We’ve all lost football matches but it’s the way they’ve lost it. You expect them surely 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.”

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Roy Keane was disgusted by Fred’s positioning for the second goal United conceded in the Manchester derby.

Rangnick: Long way to close gap to City

Man Utd interim manager Ralf Rangnick: “We played a good, if not decent first half. We were competitive. Difficult to concede an early goal. We came back, scored a brilliant goal ourselves then conceded another on the counter. It was a very difficult game against one of the best teams in the world. We conceded a fourth in the last minute of the game. It is a difficult game that shows we have a long way to go to close that gap.

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Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick admits that it was a difficult day for him and his side after they were dismantled during the 4-1 Manchester derby defeat.

“In the second half it [showed the gap between the two sides] but the first half was a competitive game. Everyone knows how good they are. They are one of the top teams in the world and there is a gap between the two teams.

“We are fully aware we need to win games. This is one of the most difficult. It is accepting they were the better team today. But we look ahead to the next games, and we need to win the next two home games – they are essential to us.”

Pep hails one of City’s best performances

Man City manager Pep Guardiola: “It was a good one, especially the second half. It was one of the highest levels we have played in years. In the first half they had more energy than the second half. In the second half they struggled to press us as a consequence of the first half.

“They played a 4-2-4 and were very aggressive for Ralf and without Cristiano Ronaldo they can do that. They were incredibly impressive. We struggled without build up.

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Pep Guardiola shares his thoughts on Manchester City’s emphatic win over rivals Manchester United, praising their second half display as one of the best performances he’s seen for years under his tenure.

“In the first half we had more chances on the counter-attack rather than possession. When we were in their half, we played really well but the problem we had was to arrive there, to get there and to drop the opponent in their half.

“But in the second half we had more personality to play more in the lines and the movement from everyone was excellent. Every decision we made in the game was good, that’s why we won the game.”

City the dominant force in Manchester – Opta stats

  • Man City have won 512 points in the Premier League (W162 D26 L30) since Pep Guardiola took charge, the most of any side, and 109 more than their arch-rivals Man Utd (403 – W114 D61 L43).
  • Man City have completed the league double over Manchester United for the fifth time, and first since 2018-19. City have now managed this feat more than any other club during the Premier League era (also doing so in 2007-08, 2011-12, 2013-14).
  • Man Utd have suffered just their second Premier League defeat in 14 games under Ralf Rangnick (W7 D5), with this their first defeat on the road in the top-flight since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s final game in charge of the club at Watford in November.
  • During his managerial career, Pep Guardiola has only overseen more victories against Arsenal (17) and Burnley (13) than his 11 versus Manchester United, eight of which have come whilst at Man City (2x Barcelona, 1x Bayern Munich).

Man of the Match – Kevin de Bruyne

Kevin De Bruyne’s opener for Manchester City (04:26) was his side’s earliest Premier League goal in the Manchester derby since Edin Dzeko netted after 43 seconds at Old Trafford in March 2014.

De Bruyne has had a direct hand in 89 goals in 100 home Premier League appearances (37 goals, 52 assists).

The Belgian international the fourth City player to net a brace against United on home soil in the competition after Niall Quinn (1993), Shaun Goater (2002) and Sergio Agüero (2013).

What’s next?

Saturday 12th March 5:00pm

Kick off 5:30pm

Man City host Sporting Lisbon in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday at 8pm, while Man Utd host Tottenham on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.

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