Manchester City thrashed neighbours Manchester United 4-1 in the Premier League at the Etihad on Sunday, with Kevin De Bruyne stealing the show.
Manchester City took the lead at the Etihad with their first attack of the game just five minutes in as Kevin De Bruyne turned home from within the box after some fine work by Bernardo Silva on the left flank. Manchester United looked up for the challenge, though and were back on level terms in the 22nd minute when Jadon Sancho curled home a composed finish against his former club.
However, the parity lasted just six minutes as De Bruyne was at hand to double his and City’s tally, capitalising on some slack defending from the visitors after Phil Foden had forced David de Gea into a fine save. From that point on, it was all City as the game bore a look of a training session as Pep Guardiola’s side dominated proceedings with their neighbours hardly showing any fight, especially after the half-time break.
The Premier League leaders carved out numerous opportunities and were denied by de Gea on quite a few occasions. However, the Spaniard could not stop Riyad Mahrez’s half-volley in the 68th minute, which made its way into the net via a deflection from Harry Maguire. The Algerian added a fourth in stoppage time, with a powerful strike that hit the Manchester United goalkeeper’s face before going into the net.
The result sees Manchester City extend their lead at the top to six points after Liverpool’s win over West Ham United had reduced it to three. As for Manchester United, they slipped down to fifth place, as Arsenal moved up to fourth after their win over Watford on Sunday. The Red Devils are a point behind the Gunners, who also have three games in hand.
Here are our player ratings from Manchester City’s derby demolition that puts Ralf Rangnick and Manchester United under intense pressure.
Ederson Moraes: 6/10
The Brazilian made a good stop to deny Fred in the early exchanges but could not save Sancho’s effort. He had little to do after that, though, and was a spectator for most of the game. Ederson’s distribution was on point as always.
Kyle Walker: 6/10
The right-back had a tricky battle at hand against Sancho and was not good enough with his defending for the equaliser as he first allowed the winger to cut in on his preferred right side and then was sold by Bruno Fernandes’s decoy run. Walker recovered from that, though and put in a solid display after that while also offering an outlet going forward.
John Stones: 7/10
Starting at centre-back in the absence of Ruben Dias, Stones held things together at the back and dealt with whatever threat that Manchester United conjured up with ease. The former Everton man also made a good block to deny Alex Telles in the first half.
Aymeric Laporte: 7/10
He was assured and composed when called into action, which did not happen that much on the night. His passing was also on point and helped Manchester City build their attacks from the left-side channel.
Joao Cancelo: 7/10
— Manchester City News (@ManCityMEN) March 7, 2022
The Portuguese international helped Manchester City bully United on his flank as he constantly pushed forward in support of Jack Grealish and Bernardo Silva to create overloads. There were one or two moments defensively when he was sloppy, but they did not hurt the hosts. Cancelo almost scored a stunning goal late on with an acrobatic volley.
Kevin De Bruyne: 9/10
Manchester City’s captain on the day, Kevin De Bruyne, ran the show on the pitch as Manchester United just could not deal with the Belgian international. He finished with two goals and an assist, reaching the 50-goal landmark in the Premier League in the process. Both his strikes gave David de Gea no chance, while his assist to Mahrez was a thing of beauty.
Two goals and an assist.
The De Bruyne Derby 👑 pic.twitter.com/8OKvFD0wFU
— GOAL (@goal) March 6, 2022
The Spaniard was culpable for United’s equaliser as he allowed Sancho the space to take aim and shoot. But apart from that, it was a rock-solid display from Rodri who helped the Cityzens dominate the proceedings. Helped kickstart attacks with his passing and was at hand to deal with any potential threat.
Bernardo Silva: 8/10
Another Manchester City player who Manchester United had no answers for. Silva was all over the Red Devils like a rash, pressing them to force turnovers, carrying the ball into dangerous areas, linking up with his fellow forwards and creating chances. The Portuguese combined well with Grealish before setting De Bruyne up for the opening goal and was a nuisance for Rangnick’s men.
Riyad Mahrez: 8.5/10
⚽️ Riyad Mahrez has scored his 75th PL goal
Man Utd become the 28th different team he has scored against in PL – before today he had only played as many times v Liverpool without scoring (both 11 apps) pic.twitter.com/X2S1hOD4oO
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) March 6, 2022
The Player to Watch in our match preview, Riyad Mahrez made a quiet start to the game as Manchester City largely concentrated their efforts on attacking from the left wing. But the Algerian made sure to leave his mark on the contest after the break as he scored two brilliant goals to heap further misery on the Red Devils.
Phil Foden: 8/10
The Manchester City academy graduate caused all sorts of problems to the Manchester United backline with his movement and vision. His quality was on full display when he exhibited a wonderful piece of skill to beat Victor Lindelof and force a save from de Gea leading to De Bruyne’s second. He also clipped the crossbar with a headed effort.
Foden’s just made Lindelof look a right mug
— Jamie Weir (@jamiecweir) March 6, 2022
Jack Grealish: 7.5/10
Picked over Raheem Sterling, Grealish vindicated Guardiola’s decision with a fine display, showing that he is getting used to the demands of the Catalan mastermind. He was a handful for Manchester United to deal with and his combination play with the likes of Silva and Cancelo on occasions was a treat. A step in the right direction.
Ilkay Gundogan: N/A
He replaced De Bruyne in the 80th minute and missed a great chance to score from close range. But he got the assist for the fourth goal.
David de Gea: 7/10
The only saving grace for Manchester United at the Etihad. If not for David de Gea between the sticks, the scoreline would have looked so much worse for the Red Devils. The Spaniard produced several top stops throughout the contest denying Foden in the lead-up to De Bruyne’s second and then keeping Mahrez out twice on either side of half-time while also stopping Cancelo.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 3/10
Preferred over Diogo Dalot for his defensive abilities, Wan-Bissaka was targeted and picked apart by Manchester City all game with ease. He should have done better to stop the cross leading up to the opener and was beaten by Foden in a couple of key moments on either side of half-time. If reports are true, this may well prove to be his last season for United.
Victor Lindelof: 4/10
Getting the nod due to Raphael Varane’s absence, the Swede was dragged out of position time and again by the Manchester City attackers. He drifted out wide in the lead-up to the opener but could not cut out Silva’s cross and was beaten in the buildup for the second goal as well. Things hardly improved for him after the break.
Harry Maguire: 3/10
If I’m De Gea I’m swinging for Maguire’s jaw.
Why’s he dummied it there??? 😭😭😭
— Footy Limbs (@FootyLimbs) March 6, 2022
Another atrocious display from the Manchester United captain who left his post to allow Kevin De Bruyne all the space in the world for the opening goal. He then failed to clear the ball after de Gea’s save from Foden and watched as De Bruyne made it 2-1 and then saw the third goal go in via a deflection off him. In the second half, Maguire was booked for a rash challenge on the Belgian international. Poor.
Alex Telles: 3/10
Getting the nod over the absent Luke Shaw, Telles had a tough outing as well. Saw the danger from De Bruyne but was a little too late to act on it for the opening goal. His poor clearance then led to the second goal, while Mahrez got the better of him on a few occasions after the break.
Scott McTominay: 4/10
Back into the lineup after recovering from an illness, the Scotsman could not cope with the quality and the intensity of the City midfielders. He was guilty of not sticking with Bernardo Silva in the buildup to the first goal and was generally overwhelmed by the superior quality of his City counterparts.
"Whatever goes on behind the scenes is completely irrelevant to me."
Scott McTominay reacts to Manchester United's 4-1 defeat to Manchester City 🔊 pic.twitter.com/1RID7m3oJI
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) March 6, 2022
After his revival in recent weeks in Rangnick’s new system, this was a step back for the Brazilian. He started well and had a part in Manchester United’s brief positive period in the first half when they pressed City and looked dangerous. Fred even forced Ederson into a save, but that was as good as it got. He was completely dominated and outplayed, especially in the second half, and his passing kept getting sloppy with time.
Anthony Elanga: 5/10
Starting on the right flank, the Manchester United youngster showed some spark early on and was involved in the build-up for the equaliser. However, he spent most of his time tracking back to help Wan-Bissaka against Cancelo. His sloppy pass led to Manchester City’s second while his decision-making at times was quite poor.
Paul Pogba: 5/10
Playing in a much advanced role than he is used to, Pogba played a brilliant pass to Sancho for the equaliser in the first period. He showed a few good touches here and there but could not make much of an impact. In the later stages, a few poor passes put his team under pressure before he was taken off.
Jadon Sancho: 6/10
Returning to his former club, Sancho looked lively going forward and did brilliantly to equalise with a fine finish from the edge of the box. He should have made it 2-2 close to half-time but failed to show the required composure, blazing his effort into the stands. The Englishman was hardly involved after the break as Manchester City dominated throughout.
Jadon Sancho after scoring against Manchester City 🤷♂️ pic.twitter.com/TCFDIojB9G
— B/R Football (@brfootball) March 6, 2022
Bruno Fernandes: 5/10
Playing as a ‘false-nine’ in Ronaldo’s absence, Bruno Fernandes often tried to drop deep to get on the ball and created a good chance for Fred soon after City had opened the scoring. His decoy run created the space for Sancho to score the equaliser. The Portuguese then set up the winger for another chance, who could not make it count. Influence waned as City took charge in the second half.
Jesse Lingard: 4/10
On for Elanga in the 64th minute. Hardly did anything of note.
Marcus Rashford: 4/10
Replaced Pogba in the 64th minute. Apart from one good run, he did not show any desire or intensity.