Manchester City v Manchester United – as it happened

Sergio Aguero scored twice as Manuel Pellegrini's side took Manchester United apart in a one-sided derby at the Etihad
Click here for a gallery of the best images from the game

Anyway, that's about us. Thanks for reading, and for your emails - sorry I couldn't use them all. Sleep tight.

What a performance that was from City. From the very first minute, they set about United with vicious intensity, backed up with requisite quality, that was just far too much for United to handle. Their passing was purposeful, movement elusive, and they took the goals with composure.

In particular, Kompany and Toure were excellent, out-muscling and out-thinking their direct opponents - though they were helped by the running of Navas and the control of Negredo.

As for United, well, as for United. David Moyes suggested in midweek that he was close to knowing his best team, but the side he sent out today announced otherwise. After United lost 6-1 two seasons ago, Fergie somehow forced and coaxed them through the next two difficult games with narrow victories - and if United are to challenge for the title this season, he'll need to do similar. Were I not a betting man, I'd not bet on it.


FULL-TIME: Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United


90+3 min Fernandinho flies into a tackle - but upright - with fury and speed, arriving well ahead of Valencia and finding Dzeko. He shoots from distance again, the ball scooshing only just past the post.

90 min There shall be three added goals minutes.

90 min United have improved since Cleverley came on, despite the smart-arsery dispensed from these parts - the extra man in midfield has prevented City from sashaying through, around and between them with quite such easy alacrity. It hasn't seemed like City simply declared - there's that hatred and sadism, after all - but you could understand a drop in intensity.

Like Mark Hughes before him, Wayne Rooney scores a brilliant consolation goal in a Manchester derby beasting. He takes four steps and curls a perfect kick over the wall, which dips and roasts past Joe Hart high to his left.


GOAL! Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United (Rooney, 87)


86 min United win a free-kick, just right of centre, after Nastasic pulls Rooney down. He stares at the ball...

85 min "Lack of imagination by Moyes," blasts Steve Macey. "What is really annoying me and probably lots of other fans is the incredible lack of imagination by Moyes. Although I could understand his starting line-up, the lack of imagination behind his substitutions is so frustrating. Given the 2-0 deficit at half-time, it was obvious that something radical was required. Kagawa in the No. 10 role would have provided something completely different. Not guaranteed to work but nothing. Nani is another wild card who, though frustrating, could have made something happen."

I'd agree with that - Nani is by some distance United's best winger, and Kagawa their most imaginative passer. Doing without both, especially in the absence of Van Persie, seems explicable only by lack of courage.

83 min Cleverley feels Fernandinho's fingers in his eye, and there's a brief pause, before City attack again. But Vidic - who's tried his best, in trying circumstances - pursues Aguero to the right by-line and falls into him, earning a goalkick.

80 min United work Valencia some space and his shot is deflected behind for a corner, clipped directly onto the head of Patrice Evra - squirming around his man to meet it. He connects well, thumping furrows against leather, only to see the ball canon back at him from against the face of the near post.


78 min Cleverley and Welbeck combine to invent a yard outside the City box, which Cleverley duly ruins with an indecisive touch. City then break, finding Dzeko with plenty of space in front of him, and he flings his body into a low shot that's near enough straight at De Gea - only for him to fumble, moving quickly enough to scoop it away just before it trickled in, pausing to spit testes and heart from his mouth before play restarts.

76 min What ought to be the punishment for derby beatings of this ilk? At my primary school, if you kicked someone, you had to spend lunch break stood on the stage on a piece of green paper, the reasoning that you had behaved as might a donkey. I'm sure there's room in Albert Square tomorrow.


75 min Negredo departs, and Dzeko arrives.

74 min "I think you're right about the squad bequeathed to Moyes," thinks about the squad bequeathed to Moyes Matt Dony. "Yes, he has some players of real class, but he also has a good number of players who are barely an improvement on the individuals he had at Everton. The difference is, Fergie could instil a winning mentality in such players, and turn them into more than the sum of their parts. Moyes doesn't seem able to do that yet. Incredibly early days, though."

There's a bit of that, for sure - but it's also hard to fathom an explanation for the summer's transfer behaviour, and his selections so far.

71 min Milner replaces Navas. Then, Nasri barges through Ferdinand - yes, he did - and the ball arrives at the feet of the excellent Negredo, who power-carves across its face, slicing high and wide.

70 min Valencia collects a crossfield ball and bashes around Kolarov, who probably fouls him - but Valencia waits until he arrives inside the box before falling and claiming a penalty. He's booked, and makes an indignant face.

68 min "Big players for Man U simply not taking responsibility on the ball. Valencia, Carrick, Evra all looking seriously tentative", reckons David Fallon.

It's a bit of that, but they're all too far away from one another - both in possession, and when trying to retrieve it. Or put another way, City's players are better.


66 min More United possession, but to the avail of nothing. Welbeck panels a shot over the bar, and once more, everyone laughs.

65 min The game in microcosm, Zabaleta rattling through Fellaini the second he thought about contributing. Even if you took away the goals, this has been embarrassingly one-sided.


63 min United win a free-kick just outside the box, and fairly central. Rooney steps up purposefully, and shoves it directly into the wall, as if on purpose.


62 min I'm not saying United have been listless, but the very model of a modern major-general has excommunicated them for eternity.

60 min United have even attacked a couple of times recently, and Carrick slides a clever ball from centrefield that finds Welbeck on the left. He then cuts inside Zabaleta and drills a shot that's deflected - for a moment, it worries Hart - but it's dribbling slowly enough for him to collect without fearing the fear.

59 min "Looking at Moyes's teams and tactics in the Liverpool match and now the derby with City," wonders Jihwan Kim, "I'm tempted to think that when going into the big Premier League games Moyes is instinctively approaching them in an Everton manager mindset. Too much caution, every United player playing in front of the City defence, wingers playing like second fullbacks. And as I write this they concede another goal."

There's a little bit of that - but I also get the impression that Moyes was none too impressed with the squad that he found. No doubt it was unfathomably impressed with him.

57 min Evra sneaks away down the left, around the outside and turning back a decent cross - but Kompany takes a break from bullying Rooney, and dives to head clear.

55 min United make a chance! Really! Smalling drags over an apologetic cross that somehow evades the defenders between in at Welbeck, who steps over. Rooney is there, but leaning back, lamps it miles from anywhere.

53 min Tom Cleverley replaces everyone Ashley Young. And City almost score again, Navas away again and this time taking his time - he had more of it that you might ever conceive - crossing again into the space between De Gea and the back four, Vidic somehow inserting some element of corporeal between Negredo and ball - otherwise, that was 5-0.

This is so simple, more simple even than Manchester United. Kompany wins the ball and finds Navas, both zooming forward - the former down the middle and the latter down the right, and without the slightest molestation, chipping towards the back post and directly into the path of the arriving Nasri, who, all alone, neatly controls a volley past De Gea. There now exists mess.


GOAL! Manchester City 4-0 Manchester United (Nasri, 50)


50 min It's fairly weird that Davide Moyes felt United's first half showing couldn't be improved by a half-time change. And...

49 min This could get very messy. Accordingly, United are warming up Tom Cleverley, precisely what they've been missing until this point.

Again, City attack down their left - but it's all facilitated by a Kompany tackle, and the ball speeds around Fellaini, Aguero and Navas dashing under his feet, before it finds its way wide, This time, Nasri picks a ball infield, to Negredo, showing well on the left of the box, towards the by-line. He then turns and clips into the middle, where Aguero, chuckling, cackling and wheezing with intense, manical laughter, stabs past De Gea.


GOAL! Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United (Aguero, 47)


46 min Of course, United took a 2-0 lead in this fixture last season. Similarly, 18 is a number and so is 8,934,768.


46 min United equal their afternoon's record, managing one consecutive pass from the kick-off.

Out come City again. Out come eleven skeletons, and David Moyes licking his lips, belching.

Half-time email with Tim Hibberd: "Surely now it's time for David Moyes to show some cojones. Given Van Persie is injured and United are getting hammered. Bring Kawaga on! Take Young off, move Welbeck out left, Rooney further forward with Kawaga in the hole. Doubt very much that he will make a single change until it's too late, if it's not too late all ready. Moyes's conservatism is going to kill United."

I'd not get too excitable - he needs time to evaluate the players, and work out the best combinations. City have been brilliant today, but haven't started the season all that well otherwise. But I agree that though Kagawa might not make United all that much better, he'd be unlikely to make them worse.

Should any United fans fancy a pick-me-up, here's my new book on the 1998-99 season. It won't work.


Nonsense though United have been, City have been excellent. They look organised, confident and composed, their passing imaginative and incisive. In particular, Yaya Toure has been exceptional, his nose for space more than United have been able to handle.

Well, that half-time scoreline is no more than City deserved - their superiority has been almost absolute, theirs the only threat. United did improve in the final 20 minutes, but a gazillion times zero is still zero. But, United fans, fear not: my dressing room mole tells me that Steve Round and Jimmy Lumsden are on the case.


HALF-TIME: Manchester City 2-0 Manchester United


If the first goal was brilliantly crafted, this was brilliantl donated. Navas' right-wing corner found Negredo, nearer the near post than the far and pulling away, perhaps 12 yards from goal. He beat Smalling to deliver a strong header and the United defence stepped up, Ferdinand somehow determining that it was fine to leave Toure alone in the box, in front of goal, at the back post - perhaps it was some sort of #5 marketing. He extended a leg and kneed past De Gea.


GOAL! Manchester City 2-0 Manchester United 0 (Toure, 45+1)


43 min "What fascinates is how we desire the present story to mimic a past story," says Hubert O'Hearn. "Will Moyes be Bob Paisley who carries on from Shankly and maybe even surpasses the legend OR will he be the heir to the dismal series who followed Matt Busby and trod on to relegation. All we pundits have our leads written...we just wait for the slimmest of short-term results to justify our bluster."

Do we desire it, or are there only a few stories that exist? Perhaps that's what United were pondering pre-match, because there's certainly something on their minds, and it's certainly not football.

42 min United rustle up a shot. Well done them. Fellaini bundles through Zabaleta and the ball goes square, Welbeck finding Valencia on the right of the box. With Kolarov retreating, and with the temptation to take his man on and commit him, he shows admirable strength of character to resist, instead lumping a hopeful shot wide. Everyone laughs.

41 min United work the ball wide to Ashley Young. He charges down the outswide with trickery and pace wafts an aimless cross into the grateful, smooth, moisturised hands of Joe Hart.

38 min More vacant possession from United, Fellaini making a matter of principle charge to reach Evra's ball, getting nowhere near and City breaking. With Smalling off the pitch injured and Negredo zoning forwards, Ferdinand can't engage in the tackle, only able to deflect his shot wide. The corner comes to nothing, but still offers greater menace than United have contrived so far.

36 min United muster some passing, threatening some threat without quite threatening. Carrick is beginning to influence the game, and eventually, the ball goes wide to Evra, his cross deflected towards the near post where Welbeck bustles towards it. But Hart collects easily, and City set off again.

33 min "I've never understood Ashley Young's running style," emails Kyan Zarbalian. "It surely can't make him faster by crouching down and waddling forward with his arms wide by his sides and it doesn't look particularly stylish if his intentions are to be a trendsetter. My only suggestion is that it's easier to hit the ground if you're already off balance by having terrible posture. I just can't understand how he gets into the team ahead of either Nani or Kagawa."

Gives him a lower centre of gravity too, stability you'd think he'd want to avoid. And I've no idea why he or Valencia are ever preferred to Nani - even though Fergie didn't seem to like him very much, maybe even tried to force him out, he found room for him in the biggest games of the last two seasons, City away in 2012 and Madrid away in 2013.

32 min A major difference between the teams, and not a new one: when City players have the ball, their team-mates run towards them, and when United players have their ball, their team-mates run away from them.

29 min Another Rooney-Kompany scuffle, for which Rooney is booked - but United then manage some ineffective passing.

28 min City are unravelling and unpicking United like a cheap jumper made of metaphor here, their passing and movement sharper and faster than the longer, straight lines that are all United can muster.

"Surely when RVP is injured then the obvious like for like replacement would be Hernandez rather than Welbeck," says David Flynn." Think about it, he scores with relative consistency and unlike Welbeck he doesn't spend 90% of every game running around like a headless chicken in the space that Rooney is trying to work in and leaving nobody up front."

Hernandez has hardly played this season, and doesn't do much outside of the box. He's also a great sub, so I can see why Welbeck has been preferred, but the truth is that I'm not sure we'd be watching a very different game had Hernandez been picked.

26 min City almost carve space through United's back four with a free-kick taken short by Kolarov into feet - from right of centre, 20 yards out. The return is sent back out wide, to meet the runner, who came from behind the ball - but Evra does well to insinuate his body into the space, and United are relieved to clear.

23 min Toure is finding a lot of space on the right, but this time, Evra manages to smother him with kisses and United break, Welbeck leading the charge. Espying Rooney making his way along the line, he finds him with an angled ball - but one that catches him failing to bend the run that met it, conceding an unnecessary offside.

21 min Rooney is working up a temper of Rooneyian proportions, finding himself in a scuffle with Kompany and losing his little helmet. Howard Webb intervenes.


19 min More pressure from City, United chasing downfield to intimate a break, but without the precision passing that suggests any real authority.

Sergio Aguero knows his business, for this is another magnificent finish. City, maintaining the pressure that's defined the last period of the game, attack down their left, Nasri finding space and teasing Smalling, Valencia indolently stroking his muscles further upfield. Such that when Kolarov tanked past him, a little flick gave him a crossing opportunity, the ball directed behind Aguero. And, somehow, he implausibly contorted his body to volley past De Gea with his left foot, one of those finishes that you can see over and over again, at all sorts of speeds, and still not entirely understand quite how the ball ended up in the net with such brilliant and definitive ease.


GOAL! Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (Aguero, 16)


14 min Toure again picks the ball up behind United's midfield just right of centre and with none of his friends close by, shoots into Vidic's shins, earning another wasted corner. But almost immediately afterwards, Aguero isolated Rooney wide on the left, who twitches past and is felled - but there's no booking. The free-kick is a goodun, but headed away by Vidic.

12 min More pressure from City, United serried around their penalty area. But they close down the space well, and Nasri is forced into trying a scoop over the top that Vidic heads clear. City keep at it, though, and have had 65% of the possession so far.

10 min It looks as though Rooney may be playing behind Welbeck, but while we're all pondering the ramifications of that to the policy process in the modern capitalist state, Toure locates space behind United's midfield, on the right. He feeds quickly into Negredo, inside the D, who steps over and leaves for Aguero to feed Navas outside him. The attempted cross is the deflected behind for a corner that comes to nowt, but was the sharpest football of the game so far.

9 min The teams exchange misery.

7 min First real bit of football, Evra throwing short down to Fellaini, who then played two astute passes - the first to Rooney, returned to him, and the second to Young, in space on the left of the City box. But he'd set off too early, and was pulled back for offside.

5 min Nastasic and Smalling compete for a high ball, Nastasic pannelling arms, elbows and knees into Smalling's head, neck and back. Nastasic is booked, which seems on the excitable side of excitable.

4 min City win a corner on the right, taken by Nasri, and he swings it out towards the near post, where Fellaini heads clear. But City pick up the loose ball and attack United down the left - to little avail, until some intricate passing inside the box cedes possession to Navas, just outside it. He shoots hard and high.

2 min Rooney nips into space just outside the City box and finds Welbeck, square and away from Nastasic - but he slips. Somewhere in Disneyland, Bambi chuckles.

1 min Kompany dwells on the ball in several diffferent languages, closed down fast by Welbeck, who blocks his attempted clearance and runs around his outside, at inside-left, then heads in towards goal. But Kompany recovers well shepherds the ball behind from behind - though Welbeck fancied a corner.

1 min City commence our gentle afternoon pootle.

And it's LIVE.

Rio Ferdinand starts his sixth game in a row for the time in more than four years, and he'll be wanting to improve on the previous five - his has been a quietly nightmarish start to the season.

The players are in the tunnel, City in pristine tracksuit tops, United in polo shirt humiliation. After a midweek segue into purple, David De Gea is back in commanding buttercup.

Email. "No Shinji?" rhetorically asks Kaymar De La Huerta. "Particularly in a game like this where a cool head and possession will count. Perhaps Moyes prefers him to the Euro nights instead?"

Partly, it'll be a fitness issue - he's only played an hour or so all season - but I doubt Moyes entirely trusts him, and prefers the predictable running around of Young.

It's not that far short of remarkable that these two teams not only won the last two titles, but with such obscene points tallies. In the land of the blind, the glass-eyed man is king.

Correction. This is not Manchester City v Manchester United, rather Manuel Pellegrini v David Moyes. Sincerest apologies.

Enjoy the best photos from the game, with our picture gallery.

"We are always making some rotation" says Manuel Pellegrini, spoken to by Geoff Shreeves as though possessing a brain of decomposing compost. He skillfully avoids asserting that Negredo has been preferred to Dzeko on account of being having some skill.

Of course, the other major change is that United now have Fellaini, "their Toure" - a recruitment policy that has served them so well in the past, such as the signing of "their Henry", David Bellion.

But though a midfield physical presence has been a factor in City's recent direct superiority, it's been as much the dextrous passing and movement that has been responsible. Whether the absence of Silva and inclusion of Navas, a proper winger, affects their balance remains to be seen.

So, what does it all mean?

Well, United are in a spot. No Van Persie - he's groin-strained - means a reconfigured system, and though Wayne Rooney is in form, having to stay in the box will limit the dynamism that characterises his very best performances. It's possible that he'll stay where he is, with Welbeck playing furthest forward, but that would be the type of gamble not generally associated with David Moyes. Otherwise, Ashley Young replaces Shinji Kagawa, the type of non-gamble generally associated with David Moyes, United's line-up not exactly dripping liquid guile.

City make only one change from midweek, Alvaro Negredo starting - and really, it's a little surprising that it's taken this long for him to supplant the similar but less mobile and reliable Edin Dzeko. But United will be confident dealing with either, and more concerned at how the mobility of Ageuro and Navas might trouble Ferdinand and Vidic.

Teams are here!

Man City (4-2-2-2 - yeah, and what?): Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Toure; Nasri, Navas; Aguero, Negredo. Subs: Pantilimon, Lescott, Richards, Garcia, Milner, Jovetic, Dzeko

Man Utd (4-2-3-1 or somesuch): De Gea; Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Fellani; Young, Welbeck, Valencia, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Evans, Hernandez, Nani, Cleverley, Kagawa, Buttner

Muscles from Rotherham: Howard Webb (S Yorkshire)

Preamble. Hatred and sadism. Sadism and hatred. Hadism and satred. There aren't many things that make life worthwhile, but those are two. Or, if you're of different temperament, they describe two unfortunate aspects of human nature legitimised by sport and nothing else. But either way, you're in the right place for both and deliberately, compulsively so.

Because the relationship between the two Manchester clubs defined by little else; whatever Wayne Rooney says, this is their most significant enmity, the one that satisfies every derby-day cliche and axiom. For a start, they share a city, and with that, every single day, in offices, playgrounds, restaurants and pubs - though very rarely families that aren't married into. Blues think they can pick Reds, Reds think they can pick Blues; they don't dress the same, act the same or think in the same way, the rivalry grounded not just in football but in existing.

But, in recent years - thanks, significantly, to the appalling circumstances in which both clubs are "owned" - the football has returned with great vengeance and furious anger. Without City, United would have won six out of the last seven titles, but instead were victimised by the finest finish to league season in a generation that will haunt them beyond the grave. Without United, City would have retained their title, but instead put up the worst defence in a generation and sparked a month-long retirement party for Fergie. Or put another way, they need each other - rather like we need hatred and sadism, really. Funny that.

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