Man United 1-2 Man City: Manchester is blue

Date published: Saturday 10th September 2016 2:25

Pep Guardiola claimed the derby spoils over Jose Mourinho as Manchester City beat Manchester United 2-1 at Old Trafford.

City took a two-goal lead against their bitter rivals through Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho, before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored pulled one back on the stroke of half-time.

United pushed for an equaliser early in the second half, but City soon re-assumed dominance and looked more likely to extend their lead than see it cut.

The hosts had a goal ruled out for offside when Marcus Rashford’s strike deflected in off Ibrahimovic, who was in an offside position.

But City held on for the victory to make it four victories from four in the Premier League under Guardiola, while United suffered their first loss under Mourinho.

The two managers embraced before kick-off, highlighting the utter ridiculousness of a build-up which examined the supposed ‘hatred’ they shared after their rivalry as managers in Spain.

United started somewhat the brighter, but the visitors quickly earned control of the game and De Bruyne handed them the lead after a quarter of an hour.

The Belgian was the beneficiary of some lacklustre United defending, catching Daley Blind off guard after Kelechi Iheanacho beat Eric Bailly for a header.

De Bruyne fired confidently past David de Gea, and was at the heart of City’s second goal 20 minutes later.

An excellent turn eliminated both Blind and Jesse Lingard from the game, with De Bruyne’s shot rebounding off the post into the path of Iheanacho, who finished from six yards out.

City were by far the better side in the first half, but were somewhat fortunate to head into half-time with their lead intact.

An innocuous free-kick from the halfway line caused havoc in the City area, with debutant Claudio Bravo dropping Wayne Rooney’s deep cross.

Bravo seemed to collide with City defender John Stones as he attempted to catch the high ball, and Ibrahimovic was on hand with a wonderful half-volley to half the deficit.

The Swede almost equalised in first-half stoppage time after Bravo and Stones suffered a communication mix-up again, but his tame effort was cleared off the line.

Rashford and Ander Herrera were introduced for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard at half-time, who were both poor in their first league starts of the season.

Nineteen-year-old Rashford impressed from the start, attacking the City defence directly, and almost forcing an equaliser within minutes of his introduction, but Ibrahimovic could not convert his cross.

Ibrahimovic and Marouane Fellaini were booked in quick succession as United upped the ante, with Fernando replacing Iheanacho in a bid to stem the tide.

It worked largely but Bravo was still looking rattled and was guilty of overplaying at the back. Turning away from Herrera but into danger, the 33-year-old had to lunge to prevent gifting possession to Rooney – but referee Mark Clattenburg ignored calls for punishment.

The home fans were further frustrated when Antonio Valencia’s cross struck Nicolas Otamendi but no spot-kick was forthcoming.

City dominated possession once more in the second half, and the best chance of the period fell to them when De Bruyne struck the post from Leroy Sane’s clever pass.

Rashford thought he had equalised on 70 minutes after his effort deflected in off John Stones, but replays showed that Ibrahimovic, standing in an offside position, got the final touch.

The hosts tried in vain to force a second goal, but City held firm, and were worthy winners come full-time.

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