Right, that's it from me. Thanks for your company and emails – they've both been much appreciated. Stick around on site for all the reaction and reports from our team Old Trafford. But from me, cheerio!
Not a classic, by any means, and it's a game that will be noted in years to come only as the fixture in which Aguero scored that goal. Unless my preamble prediction comes true that is. (It won't – in any case we'd need a DeLorean)
PEEP! PEEP! PEEEEEP!!! Evra gets to it … but he can only direct his header straight at Hart. And that's that.
90+5 min: Once last attack. One last corner for United …
90+4 min: Another yellow, this time for Valencia, who chopped down Barry. We've seen more cards waved tonight than at a Paul Daniels gig.
90+3 min: City look to break through Aguero, and Rafael goes into the book for a trip on the Argentinian. Tevez off, Javi Garcia on.
90+2 min: … flicked on by Lescott for a corner … which City scramble out for a throw.
90+1 min: "Thatcher's political career and Giggs' United career didn't quite overlap," writes Paul Dixon. "According to Wikipedia, she resigned on 28th November 1990, and Giggs signed his first professional contract with United the next day. You can do the joke about it being an auspicious 24 hours for the British left wing." Badum-tish. Meanwhile, Zabaleta goes into the book for a tackle on Young, who is replaced by Kagawa. Free-kick …
90 min: Barry goes into the book for something in the melee and we're back on. Four minutes added time to play.
89 min: … then HANDBAGS! City had no right to demand the ball put out of play, but clearly they're not happy. A bit of pushing and shoving and general low-level grappling ensues.
88 min: Silva goes down and City want the ball put out of play. United play on until they win the ball they scruffily hack it out then …
87 min: … a miserable free-kick almost fools everyone! It was shanked low by Young and should've been dealt with by the first boot it came to but instead bobbled all the way across the box with players seeming to fall over themselves to get out of the way.
86 min: Kompany clumsily bundles over Chicharito. Danger …
84 min: Carlos Tevez's name goes into Mike Dean's book for clattering into Jones. And Rooney, who might have been sent from the field rather more forcibly a few moments ago, is pulled out of the fray by Ferguson. Hernandez on.
83 min:"Aguero looked like Benny Hill there, being chased by four blondes in red. Yakkety Sax," writes Simon Frank. Let's have a listen to that goal once more:
82 min: Giggs is given time and space enough in the City area to build a shed, and looks to squeeze his pass through to Van Persie at the near post. He's stretching though and can't divert his shot on target.
80 min: Rooney bashes into Milner, concedes the free-kick then aims some fairly choice words if not at the referee then at least towards the air around him. He's on a yellow so could do with going to his happy place for a moment.
79 min: City's first goal goaded United into action. Can they hold out this time?
GOAL! Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City (Aguero 78)
What a goal this is! What. A. Goal. Aguero picks the ball up on the edge of the box, just to the left of goal. With United defenders surrounding him like hyenas round a carcass, he skitters and twinkle-toes his way across the box, almost walking a tightrope, then, when slightly off balance, roofs his shot past De Gea at the near post. A stunning, minor classic of a strike.
77 min: CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! CRUNCH! From outside Old Trafford it must sound like someone's tucking into a giant bowl of Cornflakes, but it's actually the sound of tackles beginning to fly in once more.
76 min: Young plays a clever reverse ball out to Welbeck and gets the ball back, but his shot is tamer than a hand-reared squirrel.
74 min: Michael Owen is in the stands. And he seems to be sitting behind Attilio Lombardo.
73 min: Van Persie sends in a looping corner which Hart pushes away slightly unconvincingly.
72 min: City look to spark panic in the United backline with a Clichy cross and a Tevez knockdown but the home team tidy up with the fastidiousness of a defensive Mr Fussy.
70 min: Nasri acrobatically turns Silva's dinked pass over the bar – and that's his last action of the game. On comes Sergio Aguero in his place.
69 min: Young swings in a cross with a bit of whip, Welbeck glances on, but it's the sort of header that would only beat the keeper on Amateur Mode on Fifa.
68 min: … taken short and generally made a right pig's ear of by Milner and Kompany.
67 min: City look to dominate the ball and in doing so they've quietened the home frenzy and fury. They're the Stadium Whisperers. City force a corner …
66 min: "Really poor keeping again from Hart for the goal," notes Philip Wainwright. It wasn't great, was it? He was Supermanning off his line in only the very vaguest direction of the ball.
65 min: Silva sends in a City corner … straight into the hands of De Gea.
64 min: Young looks to slip in Van Persie but Nastasic sticks out a leg and just about diverts the ball away.
63 min: Silva waves his wand and conjures space from Tevez on the edge of the United box. The Argentinian, though, isn't having his best night. The shot is dragged horribly across goal.
62 min: From the replays it looks almost like Jones had directed that away from goal from about a yard out. Still, they all count.
61 min: Old Trafford has its battle fever back on.
59 min: Jones might reflect later that he was lucky to have Kompany there. Was in danger of being a bit embarrassing otherwise.
GOAL! Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City (Jones/Kompany 58)
58 min: … Van Persie crashes in a cross from the dead ball – it's a ferocious, snaggle-toothed beast of a free-kick – Hart flaps at it but can't get a touch and from a yard out Jones manages to head the ball into the back of Kompany's noggin and over the line.
57 min: Rafael skitters down the right and crumples under Touré's challenge. Free-kick …
55 min: Young looks to get Giggs away down the United left, but Kompany comes across to cover. City have, by and large, defended very well thus far. Kiss of death alert.
53 min: That has stung United into action after their soporific start to the second period. They're flying forward with renewed vigour.
GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Manchester City (Milner 51)
And, in keeping with the tone of the second half, it's a scrappy goal. Giggs loses out to Barry on the right and he moves forward before cutting back to Nasri. He wriggles furiously, can't find space but just about manages to prod back to Milner on the edge of the box. He strikes his shot cleanly but there's a big deflection off Jones which is enough to send the ball past De Gea,
50 min: It's been a scrappy start to the second half, but at least both sets of players seem to have soothed their frazzled tempers over the break.
49 min: Giggs whips in a corner, Hart just about claws the ball away from the onrushing Jones but the referee decides he was being impeded.
47 min: Van Persie glides past Clichy with ease on the right then pops in a cross to no one. United gather the pieces, though, and Welbeck takes a tumble, claiming obstruction just inside the box. No chance.
46 min: Silva tries to shimmy some space on the edge of the box, but United are organised and resolute. Eventually Clichy swings in a hopeful cross and Tevez concedes a free-kick.
PEEP! Off we go again then. No changes at the break.
Half-time lack of focus dropping things email dept
"It smashed and the Brut all spilled out," writes David French. "What could he do? He got down on his knees and started scooping it up and splashing it on all over."
"I once dropped a five litre tin of white gloss onto a brown carpet," writes Jon Wylde. "It was the same sickening feeling I had when Andy Carroll signed for us for £35m."
"This mess thing is very pertinent," begins short-story writer Jenny Sofia "Last night my husband fell asleep at the dining table, whilst watching his box set of Columbo. I was in the bedroom playing Candy Saga on Facebook, as you do. I walked into the dining room and made a harumph noise to wake up husband. He woke with a start, swept his right hand across the table in front of him, overturning his full glass of red wine and the half full bottle of red wine. Glass everywhere, red wine on all the dining chairs (white canvas covers - I KNEW that was a mistake even when I was admiring them in IKEA) on the floor, on himself, on the table and on the white sheepskin rug (see above note in parentheses). And who got the blame? ME - for waking him up! Cleaned up as well as I could, but managed to miss a shard of glass upon which I stepped today resulting in a fountain of blood."
"Last year I dropped the inner of my thermos flask into the sink while attempting to clean it," writes Phil Sawyer. "There are WMDs that have caused less shrapnel. When you drop one of those effers into a metal sink, it stays dropped. It also costs a fortune in Elastoplasts by the time you've finished clearing it up."
I know that feeling. When I was at school the greatest thing I ever made in home economics was a mushroom soup. On the way home I was so excited that I stood by the doors of the bus ready to jump out and run to show my folks. The bus driver opened the doors while the bus was still moving, I fell out due to the crush of kids behind me. Thermos smashed. Tears before bedtime.
And then there's this (via Dermot Brennan):
PEEP! The City players surround Mike Dean for having the temerity to blow for half-time when the allotted amount of time had elapsed. City were on the attack and had a dangerous position from which to throw in a cross from the left, but the referee blew the whistle.
45 min: RAFAEL HITS THE POST! It's very much the outside of the post, but still. Carrick sand-wedged a smart ball into the box, Van Persie glanced on and the full-back raced through but under pressure could only poke his shot onto the outside of the very top of the post.
43 min: "I just noticed something, John," begins Seamus Devlin. "Do they all go to the same barber? Short back and sides x 22. It's like a librarian's convention." My mental librarian stereotype is a rather more bedraggled fellow, but each to their own.
42 min: It's beginning to get spicy – not phal-spicy, but certainly a decent jalfrezi-level. Kompany slides into Young later than the British spring of 2013 and picks up the third booking of the half.
41 min: An odd little moment – Rafael expects a clattering from Clichy and braces himself on his tiptoes down by the corner flag, but the City man doesn't attempt to make the tackle at all and the ball trundles out for a goal-kick.
39 min: Barry plays a shocking pass on halfway to get United moving forward. But they make a mess of things and Giggs is a little fortunate to avoid a yellow card with a desperate late lunge attempting to win the ball back.
38 min: The United fans howl as Nastasic looks to don his crampons and climb all over Van Persie. No free-kick awarded.
37 min: Silva gets pickpocketed by Welbeck and United break once more. Young skitters past Zabaleta on the outside but his cross-shot is well blocked by Barry.
36 min: "Was Giggs already playing for Man United when Thatcher was still PM?" enquires Pierre Croiset. He was indeed. As everybody knows, Giggs actually made his United debut while Benjamin Disraeli was in No10.
35 min: … which Milner looks to curl in threateningly at the near post, but he gets his angles slightly wrong and it's pretty comfortably dealt with.
34 min: Carrick battles back to keep tabs on Tevez but ends up bundling him over. Dangerous free-kick on the left …
33 min: "Where were you, where were you, WHERE WERE YOU WHEN YOU WERE [FAR LESS SUCCESSFUL THAN YOU ARE NOW]?" sing the United fans at their City counterparts. I'm paraphrasing a touch.
32 min: Rooney's name goes into Dean's book after a really rather nasty little challenge on James Milner.
31 min: City clear the corner with little fuss. "As we all know, any noun in English can also be used as a verb," writes Steven Owen. "Hence my new favourite word: to Chinese lamp stand - meaning to stand very still, and not be very illuminating."
30 min: Van Persie fizzes in a free-kick so vicious it has its own theme music and finishing move. A United head flicks on, and Zabaleta does pretty well to skew the ball out for a corner.
28 min: City have the upper hand now. Zabaleta swings in a cross, which Silva attempts to punch home a la Maradona. Mike Dean spots it and writes "DAVID SILVA" in his neatest handwriting in his book before showing the City man the yellow card.
27 min: Nasri tracks back well to snuff out the threat of Rafael down the United right.
25 min: Perhaps the best chance of the game! And it falls to Nasri. Silva's shot pings off Giggs and drops to the France midfielder who is given inexplicable amounts of time inside the United box. He does some light reading, cooks a roast dinner and learns the guitar then sends his shot high and wide.
24 min: And, as the ball breaks, your man Barry fails to find Zabaleta in the United box. Poor pass really.
23 min: "What an up-and-down career Barry has had in terms of how fans see him," writes Hugh Collins. "He was a wunderkind at Villa, then he was anonymous until O'Neill arrived, became an object of Rafa's naked desire, a member of a title winning midfield and is now openly scorned by his own fans." The sight of Mezut Ozil tearing past him like a Ferrari tearing past a milk float in South Africa in 2010 was probably the killer blow.
22 min: Van Persie's cross deflects off Zabaleta and loops up to the back post where Giggs nods well over. Not even a half chance, or even a quarter.
20 min: Milner double stepovers – can you use stepover as a verb? To stepover? Probably not, but never mind – on the right and lofts in a cross that sparks consternation in the United backline. They just can't get the thing clear and as Silva drives the ball back in, Tevez isn't far away from sliding the ball home. Phil Jones does very well to deny him.
19 min: "I think we do need some sort of distracting theme going here," writes JR (not that one). "How about the biggest mess you've ever made when spilling/dropping something? I once dropped a case of a dozen jars of molasses. It could have been worse, I guess. I think only about eight of them broke." Yes, it's another lull at Old Trafford.
18 min: … which comes to nothing.
17 min: Barry weaves – yes, weaves – his way down the left and sends in a lovely cross which Milner nods down at the back post. Tevez can't quite get his legs sorted in time and United smuggle it away for a corner …
16 min: Rafael finds the ball at his feet in midfield and starts to move forward only to plough straight into the wall of Kompany.
14 min: Carrick clips a low pass into Rooney on the edge of the box, and he turns a pass so cheeky it could've been one of the Bash Street Kids on towards Giggs, who isn't expecting it and can't react in time.
13 min: "Are the fans memorialising Maggie T with any witty chants?" wonders Peter Romaniuk. I certainly haven't heard any thus far, though that's not to say that there haven't been any.
12 min: Silva sends a free-kick into the box from the City right but its a De Gea-seeking missile that the keeper catches comfortably.
11 min: Evra storms forward from left-back and feeds the ball to Young, who sends the sort of pass down the line that the teenage Evra might have zipped onto but the 30-something Evra looks at dubiously and gives up as a bad lot almost immediately.
10 min: Giggs sends United's first corner off the game swirling into the box, where it's firmly met by a City noggin.
8 min: Rooney plays in Van Persie in the left channel, who uses his body well to shrug off Zabaleta then sends a low shot across goal. Hart sprawls but the shot is a yard or two wide anyhoo.
7 min: And, after a headspinningly fast start, we've got a lull in the action. And breathe …
6 min: Young finds Van Persie with a lofted ball to the edge of the box, and the Dutchman looks to chest the ball round Kompany to create space for the shot. Nothing doing.
5 min: "Going to be a great match," writes Rodney Tanner, a Man Utd supporter following from Mexico. "Can you please stay focused on the game and not wander off as you sometimes do?" Me? Wander off? Well I take excep … ooh, look a bee!
4 min: … swung in, nodded clear and all of a sudden United are romping clear through Welbeck. He surges into the City half and should really play Rooney in on the right but instead opts to go it alone and loses possession.
3 min: City stride forward for the first time. Milner gets behind the United back four and down to the byline, but his pull-back is cut out. Corner …
2 min: Young finds a yard or two of space outside the box and clips in a cross. Welbeck glances on, but it's a tame effort straight at Hart.
1 min: Giggs sweeps a high ball out to Evra, but Milner is back doing what he does best and muscles the full-back off the ball.
PEEP! Off we go then.
Old Trafford is a cauldron of noise …
… which is a weird phrase when you think about it, cauldrons being notoriously inanimate.
The teams are in the tunnel …
… United win the mascot count 4-1. First blood to the home side.
If you like pictures …
This isn't the only big derby in Europe tonight
There's also the Rome derby over in Serie A. Pre-match it's not been particularly clever, with fans in running battles with police and reports of three stabbings. CNN's @tancredipalmeri has been tweeting the details.
A pre-match email
"Every time I see Gareth Barry in the City line up it reminds me of the line in Blackadder Goes Forth when Edmund tries to catch out a German spy by listing the three great British universities as Oxford, Cambridge and Hull," writes Paul Fowler. "Perhaps a common question to catch out the City bandwagon jumpers in 10 years time will be to talk about the wonderful, mesmeric, title winning midfield of Toure, Silva, Nasri … and Barry." That's right – Oxford's a complete dump.
Full lineups, with subs, the lot …
Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Jones, Evra, Young, Carrick, Giggs, Welbeck, Rooney, van Persie. Subs: Lindegaard, Valencia, Hernandez, Nani, Cleverley, Kagawa, Buttner.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Nastasic, Kompany, Clichy, Barry, Toure, Milner, Nasri, Silva, Tevez. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Dzeko, Kolarov, Javi Garcia, Aguero, Toure.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)
So pick the bones out of those sides …
Interesting that James Milner comes back into the City side to give the visitors a more robust midfield. Phil Jones makes only his sixth Premier League start of the season and in his occasional centre-half slot.
And here's the United XI
Also courtesy of our man at Old Trafford:
The City team has already been announced:
Evening all. It's April, it's first v second in the Premier League, it's a derby game and it means … not very much at all in the grand scheme of things. Even the bragging rights are more Old Kent Road than Mayfair, with United's lead at the top still very much the trump card (to mix my parlour game metaphors) regardless of the result. Unless … Unless …
Unless City somehow summon the will to repeat their remarkable 6-1 victory at Old Trafford last season, and in doing so shatter United's confidence so utterly that the Premier League timeline skews down into this tangent, creating an alternate April and May 2013 in which City romp to a second successive title, and in which Biff is corrupt, powerful, and married to your mother and in which the only way we can sort things out is by heading back to 1955 to steal back Grey's Sports Almanack.
Hmm. Feels something of a long shot, no? Still, at least Roberto Mancini has done his bit to crank up a spark of interest by doing a sort of inverted Keegan. While the then Newcastle manager was incensed in 1996 by Sir Alex Ferguson's assertion that teams raise their games against United, the current City manager thinks the opposite is true:
"No one plays well against United because they only play with fear. United are strong now because of their importance as a team, their importance as a club. Every team that plays against United plays very soft because they think the game is difficult, that they can't beat them. It is not true.
"If they play strong against United, they can beat them like they can beat us. This is normal, this is football, because United have been a strong team for a long time. For the other teams they play against it is difficult. I'm not saying they don't play 100% but their mentality is poor in that game. They think they can do nothing but ... I don't think that is true. If you play with a good mentality, in football you can beat every team."
And, let's be honest, city derbies are almost invariably worth watching – and in this pair's case of late full of goals – so high stakes or not this one is sure to be as intense as Al Pacino in Heat.