Manchester City ran out 2-1 winners over cross-town rivals and fellow title contenders Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Goals from Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho proved to be enough for Manchester City as they got the job done over their opponents in the first Manchester derby of the season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal in the dying stages of the first half gave United some hope, but the Citizens held on to win 2-1.
Here are the player ratings from the Manchester derby:
David de Gea in the Manchester United goal had far from a bad game. Despite conceding two goals, there was very little he could have done to stop them from going on. Made a number of crucial saves in the second half as well.
Right-back Luis Antonio Valencia did not look up to the task and was often caught out of position. He made a number of surging runs up front, but to no avail. On the opposite side of defence, Luke Shaw may not have been a hundred percent fit and his performances were duly affected. He struggled to get a hold of the game and did not completely nullify Sterling on the left.
Centre-backs Eric Bailly and Daley Blind both had games to forget. The Ivorian defender let City forward Kelechi Iheanacho beat him in the air, which led to United conceding a cheap first goal. He did get better as the game progressed, but did not look the part on Saturday. Blind made cynical errors which resulted in both of City’s goals. He was bullied by De Bruyne & co all evening and put in a torrid performance for the Red Devils.
Marouane Fellaini was probably one of United’s better players on the day. He executed the defensive midfield duties to the best of his abilities but made a few needless errors. Paul Pogba, on the other hand, was completely outplayed and failed to stamp his authority on proceedings. A game to forget for the world-record signing.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard both made their first starts of the season, and the decision to field them cost Mourinho the game. The two wide men rarely got their heads into the game, and due to the lack of understanding with their peers, they made United seem like a disjointed unit. Wayne Rooney too was dispiriting to say the least.
Playing in his first Manchester derby, Zlatan Ibrahimovic put up an inspiring showing in front of a capacity Old Trafford crowd. The Swede kept pestering the City back line, had a number of shots on goal, and regardless of his accuracy, he absolutely looked the part for the Red Devils.
Claudio Bravo had a gave to forget in the City goal. Making his debut in a fixture as big as the Manchester derby saw the former Barcelona keeper get cold feet as he made a number of rookie mistakes. He also handed the ball to Ibrahimovic for United’s goal.
Bacary Sagna was given the nod ahead of Pablo Zabaleta and had a decent outing against United. He looked impressive in the first half, but got tired in the second half. Left-back Aleksander Kolarov was resolute at the back and aided Nolito in the final third for City. A fine game from the Serb.
John Stones, too, played his first Manchester derby on Saturday. The English defender looked comfortable on the ball and forced Ibrahimovic to have a go from long range on a number of occasions. His centre-back partner Nicholas Otamendi was equally impressive at the back. He read the game and stopped the United attackers from having a go at goal.
Fernandinho looked seamless at the heart of the Man City midfield and offered substantial cover to the centre-backs. David Silva and Kevin De Bruyne ahead of him ran circles around the United defenders and created a number of chances for Iheanacho. In fact, De Bruyne played a key role in both his side’s goals as he scored one and assisted the other.
De Bruyne: 9/10
Wingers Nolito and Raheem Sterling were tireless on the day for the Citizens and gave the United full-backs a run for their money. Nolito played in a number of accurate crosses from the left while Sterling proved to be equally threatening down the other flank.
Kelechi Iheanacho played a key role in both of City’s goals. For the first, he easily beat Bailly in the air to play the ball into the stride of De Bruyne. Minutes later, the Nigerian lashed onto a rebound to slot the ball into an open net to double the lead for his side.