On a weekend when just about everybody else around them dropped points, why should Liverpool's title hopes be dismissed? David Moyes is a loser, of course...
Arsenal are top again but Everton are probably the week's biggest winners, with Luis Suarez and Nicklas Bendtner also with big ticks against their names. Losers? You know...
A display of sheer domination that slashed City's odds for the title and shook off the cobwebs of a slow start in the Premier League. It was a match in which the focus was on Aleksandar Kolarov's attacking strengths rather than his defensive weaknesses, which pretty much says all you need to know about the teams' respective performances.
As Nick Miller said in 16 Conclusions, City were as good as United were bad in the first hour, seizing the initiative in the early stages and pressing their opponents into a series of mistakes. If you didn't know who was playing, you might have assumed City were hosting Fulham, so certain was their control and confidence.
I mentioned Sergio Aguero's return to form in Champions League Winners and Losers after City's 3-0 win over Plzen, and he was again the focal point of the team's attack, grabbing the opening goal of each half. When Aguero struggled for form and fitness last season, City also struggled, and despite Manuel Pellegrini's eagerness to experiment with his forwards, we can expect the Argentine to remain the one constant on occasions such as Sunday.
The only change Pellegrini made from the convincing win over Plzen was to bring in Alvaro Negredo for Edin Dzeko, and boy did the Spaniard impress. His work-rate was phenomenal throughout - embarrassing the limp efforts of Manchester United's derby debutant, Marouane Fellaini - and he provided two assists in a selfless contribution. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of Negredo's efforts for City fans was when he 'merked' Rio Ferdinand in the second half, impudently holding the defender off as he looked to play in a teammate.
The midfield combination of Yaya Toure and Fernandinho finally had a fixture that demanded the most of their talents and the duo excelled as United's centre looked as soft and gooey as it did in the first half of the 1-0 defeat to Liverpool - a display that David Moyes praised as the best of the season at that point. One wonders if Sunday surpassed that measure.
But the platform for City's commanding display was of course the return of Vincent Kompany. In the captain's three appearances so far this year, City have won by an aggregate score of 11-1, compared to a defeat to Cardiff, a dull draw with Stoke and a uninspiring win over Hull in his absence. Kompany was superb against United, asserting his authority in Robin van Persie's absence, and his recovery should aid a period of consistency for City now they have seemingly found their rhythm.
Hull City Tigers
It may be incredibly patronising to say this, but Hull have been much better than anyone expected so far. After 25 calamitous minutes against Chelsea on the opening day, Steve Bruce has led the Tigers to two wins, a draw and a defeat to Man City that could have been much more had Danny Graham not been the best option in attack.
Indeed, Graham's presence up front is the only thing holding Hull back at the moment as they look to increase their chances of survival. Bruce said he wanted his team to be 'more clinical' after the victory over Newcastle, but he is unlikely to get that from a striker with zero goals in his last 1,320 minutes of Premier League football. When the number is so long that you have to use a comma, you know it's bad.
Southampton and Mauricio Pochettino
Southampton's binary sequence continued in their favour against Liverpool as Mauricio Pochettino - about whom this column has repeatedly stated its doubts - helped his team execute a perfect game plan. The Saints' last eight matches in the Premier League (dating back to the start of May) now read 1-0, 0-0, 0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-1, 1-1, 1-0, with Pochettino's side scoring just six times and winning two of their last 11 league fixtures.
Those concerns were allayed at Anfield on Saturday, however, as the manager set up his team to take advantage of Brendan Rodgers' curious fancy for centre-backs. Saints pressed Liverpool's defence high up the pitch - with a striker always on Simon Mignolet when the keeper had possession - and this prevented the Reds from building from the back as they are wont to do.
The plan worked incredibly well, with Adam Lallana particularly impressive in his dedication to the task and Morgan Schneiderlin and Victor Wanyama providing a solid foundation in the middle. The only downside to an excellent result was the lacklustre performance of Dani Osvaldo, who repeatedly conceded possession and failed to offer any support to the midfield in the final stages of the match as Liverpool desperately sought an equaliser.
The club's record currently signing seems incapable of forming an effective partnership with Rickie Lambert and, unfortunately for the England man, it seems he'll eventually be the one to lose out. Considering the sudden reality of his World Cup dream, a January move for Lambert, who has scored only once from open play in his last 12 appearances for the Saints, would not be a surprise.
A crucial win following three successive defeats and a clean sheet for the first time in 27 matches. The only thing to dampen Villa's day at Norwich was the injury to Christian Benteke.
Leighton Baines and Everton
Two fantastic free-kicks in a match that should finally have convinced Roberto Martinez there is no place for former Rangers duo Nikica Jelavic and Steven Naismith in his first XI. Or any Premier League first XI.
(Yes, Naismith scored the winner against Chelsea last week, but aside from that he was terrible. And we all know that goals are overrated.)
As well as grabbing a late winner against West Ham, Romelu Lukaku's all-round contribution was superb in the second half, with the striker frequently picking out intelligent passes to improve the tempo of the Toffees' attacks. The Belgian has many strings to his bow, while Jelavic's bow has been snapped, set on fire, then had its ashes scattered over Ibrox. The Croatian has had his chance and it's now time for Martinez to trust the better players he signed in the summer.
A relentless display that eventually carved a 29th and final opportunity for Paulinho to grab the winner and celebrate with a playground pile-on. This was unlike Spurs' lacklustre 1-0 victories last season as they created chance after chance only to be denied by some resolute Cardiff defending and fine goalkeeping from David Marshall.
Paulinho demonstrated his box-to-box talents that he showed so readily for Brazil in the Confederations Cup, and the 25-year-old's selection alongside Mousa Dembele - with Sandro left on the bench - outlined Andre Villas-Boas' intention to win the match. This was a game for creating, not destroying, although Sandro's form of destruction is as perfect as the wings on a butterfly, the smile on your children's faces, the fart that you just had to set free.
You won't be at all surprised to learn that Andros Townsend had the most shots for Spurs (along with Paulinho) with only two of the winger's efforts hitting the target. As I said last week, he must be careful to avoid promise becoming predictability, and Erik Lamela's late contribution should see a change to the starting line-up for Chelsea's visit on Saturday.
Three goals and a thoroughly convincing performance to see off Sunderland and Paolo Di Canio. Steve Clarke will be delighted with the efforts of new signings Stephane Sessegnon and Morgan Amalfitano, but the sooner Victor Anichebe gets up and running, the better. Who am I kidding? That's never going to happen.
At least he's got the big one against Swindon to look forward to.
Back to earth with a bang for Brendan Rodgers, who again allowed himself to get carried away by Liverpool's impressive form. I detailed the reasons for the Reds' defeat here, and I stand by every one of them. Except the ones you disagree with.
Alan Pardew, Martin Jol and Chris Hughton
Tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock...
How much longer can these three managers hold on to their jobs after Paolo Di Canio was given the boot on Sunday? If the Italian's replacement at Sunderland brings an immediate upturn in fortunes (yup, that's a big 'if') then surely the boardrooms of Newcastle, Fulham and Norwich will begin muttering about how long they can continue with the status quo.
This column has already said plenty about Pardew's struggles at Newcaslte, and just as it seemed the manager might be getting it right with a switch back to his favoured 4-3-3 formation in the win over Villa, Hull came along and pinched three points at St James'. To go ahead twice and still lose at home to Hull is a sackable offence in itself, and Pardew must generate some consistency if he is to avoid the fate that befell Di Canio.
On to Fulham, possibly the most joyless club in the Premier League at the moment, where Martin Jol speaks of expectations and ambition as though they are dirty words and fans should be satisfied with two wins in 13 matches. Of course, no-one thought that the Cottagers would beat Chelsea on Saturday evening, but equally no-one should have any faith in Jol's bizarre plan to build the oldest team in the league. When your squad decides to kick around after training and watch Quincy and Murder She Wrote together over a few games of bridge, you should realise there's a problem.
And finally, Norwich. Poor Norwich. Woeful Norwich. Soul-crushingly miserable Norwich. Unspeakable Norwich. Norwich of the damned. Hopeless Norwich. No luck Norwich. Norwich. Norwich. Norwich.
And Chris Hughton, who has overseen a period of what appears to be inescapable relegation form since December. Norwich have won only five of their last 26 Premier League matches and picked up 23 points in that time, as the manager increasingly looks to be out of his depth. That Ricky van Wolfswinkel has only managed one shot on target in the last four matches highlights the Canaries' problem with providing effective service to the striker and that solving that particular puzzle remains Hughton's priority as doubts begin to grow.
David Moyes and Manchester United
There has to come a point where David Moyes no longer looks like a nervous child who, on his first day at a new school, has what we'll politely refer to as an 'accident' and is forced to wear a pair of pants from the spare box. At the moment, he's in Sir Alex Ferguson's 27-years-worn underwear and it feels a little uncomfortable. He knows it, the players know it, and John Nicholson certainly knows it. The only person who perhaps isn't aware of this awkward truth is Phil Neville, who's still scribbling ideas on his clipboard as to how United can overcome City's 4-0 lead. Let it go, Phil. David didn't want to hear about Operation Phantom Dragonfly. Cool name though.
Whether Moyes can rip off the musty spare-box Y-fronts and assume the power and authority of a man who wears his own underwear greatly depends on how the team respond to City's victory. Moyes said that he expected a "reaction" after the match. "And I've made them aware of that as well."
The players deserved the hairdryer treatment after such a meek and shambolic performance against their rivals, but it won't have been easy for Moyes to throw the cups against the dressing-room wall. Partly because health and safety now only permits the use of plastic cups, which hardly have the same effect, but are less likely to cause injury and much easier to clean up, and partly because United's group of winners would presumably sit there with blank looks on their faces, wondering why this man from Everton is screaming at them as if they don't know more than him about being the best and losing like that.
Propagating wild conspiracy theories about the fixture list is also unlikely to help Moyes' cause. There is a three-title minimum before a manager can get away with that sort of tedious nonsense, and winning the Second Division with Preston 13 years ago doesn't count. Imagine we all blamed computers for disappointments well within our control? "Oh, sorry you didn't like Winners and Losers today. It was the computer that added the bits about stained pants."
That wasn't the only tommyrot that spilled out of Moyes' mouth after the final whistle, either, as the manager tried to explain why United lost in such embarrassing fashion. So embarrassing, in fact, that everyone in the pub broke out the awkward turtle when Samir Nasri thumped in the fourth. "We never got to grips with their midfield players in the early part of the game," said Moyes. "Because of that, they started to get domination."
The manager's comments raise two questions. Firstly, why did Moyes not anticipate the potential dominance of City's midfield before kick-off and set up his team accordingly? The pressure of playing to win may have influenced his thinking, but a central pairing of Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini clearly isn't strong enough to withstand an in-form Yaya Toure and Fernandinho, and even less so when the wretched Ashley Young and Antonio Valencia are on the flanks, and even less less so when Sergio Aguero is buzzing around like an eager bee in the space in front of the back four.
But not to worry, managers are guilty of selection mistakes all the time. That's what half time is for - to reassess and make the necessary changes -
and Moyes' swift actions helped United peg back City's advantage after the break but Moyes twiddled his thumbs at 2-0 even though he had recognised City's ascendancy in midfield. Indeed, his only change of note was to introduce Tom Cleverley at 4-0 - which, although it brought groans from United fans, gradually helped gain some control - as Fellaini pushed into the attacking midfield role he occupied at Everton last season.
Oh, Fellaini. He was truly abject in both positions, and while City's derby debutants played with a fierce desire to make an impression - Negredo in particular - the champions' £27million man ambled through 90 minutes as though defeat didn't matter. It was a timid an uninspiring performance from a player who was signed for his combative presence in the middle of the pitch.
This paragraph is dedicated to Ashley Young and his contribution.
Another ongoing problem for United is Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand's partnership, with the pair starting a sixth successive game together for the first time in four-and-a-half years on Sunday. Ferdinand shoulders a portion of the blame for the first two goals and, unsurprisingly, it seems he is struggling to adapt to playing such a regular role this season. Has Moyes not realised that Ferguson used Vidic and Ferdinand increasingly sparingly as injuries and age began to take their toll? To not trust Jonny Evans against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek is a decision that sums up his tenure thus far - he is, quite simply, browning it. And understandably so.
It would be remiss to not to give a final mention to the Glazers, Manchester United's owners, who weren't present on Sunday, who are never present, and who believed David Moyes and Ed Woodward were the men to replace Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill in the summer. Granted, Moyes was Ferguson's recommendation, but anyone in their right mind should have laughed at that point and said, "Good one. But who do you really think we should get?"
It is clear that United have been run as an incredibly lucrative business to the detriment of the team in recent years and a side that was among the best two in Europe between 2007 to 2009 has been allowed, through greed and negligence, to become a team that starts with Ashley Young on the left wing. And in that lies the size of the job that Moyes is facing.
Paolo Di Canio and Ellis Short
'Lolcore' was the only word I could think of to describe Sunderland's problems on Sunday evening.
Matthew Stanger - follow him on Twitter
Itsabigworld. Define 'hugely speculative' I'm listening to what those who are making the decisions have said. whilst you are ignoring that and making your own guesses. I don't think players should be picked purely on past reputation but each player should get the opportunity when they work harder and conform better to the team. It makes perfect sense, Mata's a nice guy but maybe he was resting on his laurels rather than trying to improve the way he plays. Mourinho may just be helping Mata get to the next level.- dryice