Manchester City triumphed over rivals Manchester United on Monday evening in one of the most spectacular Manchester derbies in Premier League history.
Roberto Mancini stuck with the same side that played relegated Wolves last week, with Carlos Tevez and Sergio Aguero up front, and David Silva and Samir Nasri supporting them.
Antonio Valencia was left out of the United line-up, with Park Ji-Sung and Ryan Giggs making appearances in midfield and Wayne Rooney acting as the side’s sole striker. Chris Smalling replaced Jonny Evans, who is out with a minor foot injury, and Phil Jones made a start over Rafael at right-back.
Manchester United did well to control the game’s pace in the opening minutes, with City finding it hard to find a foothold.
A brief one-two between Giggs and Nani resulted in a terrific cross being narrowly punched away by Joe Hart on the City goal-line. The ball eventually landed at the feet of Michael Carrick, who struck the ball into Vincent Kompany.
City mustered their first attack of the game in the 15th minute, Tevez’s low cross was intercepted by Jones despite Nasri’s efforts of running through the United defence.
The home side began to push forward midway through the first half, an Aguero volley was narrowly hacked away from close range and a Pablo Zabaleta attack failed not too soon afterwards.
Manchester City walked into the second half with a one goal lead after Joleon Lescott’s clever defending prevented Smalling from tracking an attacking Vincent Kompany, who took advantage of a well-taken Silva corner kick to thump a crashing header past David de Gea and into the United net.
United failed to gain any momentum in the opening moments of the second half, this eventually led to the introduction of Danny Welbeck on the hour mark.
Mancini replaced Tevez with Nigel de Jong soon after, the Dutchman took to a position between Yaya Toure and Gareth Barry up front.
Despite being far less dominant with possession, the home side failed to gain any momentum in their quest to find a second, and United looked close to equalizing late-on when a Rooney strike strayed narrowly wide.
This win for City has seen Mancini’s side leapfrog into 1st place in the league rankings, equal on points with United and only two points greater than their city rivals on goal difference.