Two goals from Erling Haaland helped Manchester City overpower local rivals Manchester United and move up to third in the Premier League with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Norwegian striker converted a somewhat harsh penalty called against Rasmus Hojlund before heading in his second in the 49th minute.
Haaland was on hand to assist Phil Foden for a tap-in to wrap up the points in another one-sided Manchester derby win.
How the game unfolded
Tributes were paid to the late Sir Bobby Charlton before kick-off, with a scarf draped over his seat in the directors’ box. A banner hoisted aloft by the home crowd also read: ‘Sir Bobby Charlton. The finest English footballer the world has ever seen.’
The mourning of one of the club’s greatest-ever players multiplied the fervent atmosphere inside Old Trafford as United made a fast start upon referee Paul Tierney’s whistle, avoiding falling behind inside 12 seconds like they did in the FA Cup final last season.
The goal threat of Scott McTominay saw the Scotland international pushed into an advanced midfield role and he immediately crafted a chance to plough forward, just getting the ball stuck under his feet as he scuffed an effort into Ederson’s gloves.
City somehow failed to take the lead in the eighth minute when Phil Foden’s header caused Andre Onana to palm the ball into the air. Haaland looked set to turn the rebound home but Onana somehow snatched the ball off the Norwegian’s toes before Harry Maguire cleared to safety.
Marcus Rashford’s low confidence was evident when he picked up Hojlund’s pass in space on the left but the England international paused for too long as City regrouped and snuffed the attack out.
City settled into their rhythm as midfield stars Rodri and Bernardo Silva started picking out players in space with ease, and while the visitors were dominant in open play, it was from a free-kick into the box which earned Pep Guardiola’s side the chance to go ahead.
Referee Tierney was pulled across to the pitchside monitor by VAR official Michael Oliver and adjudged Hojlund to have held Rodri back before the Spaniard hit the deck.
The decision was lamented as soft by those of a United persuasion – namely Gary Neville on Sky Sports commentary – but it meant little to Haaland, who rolled his penalty into one corner as Onana dived in the opposite direction and celebrated with gusto.
It was by no means a faultless performance from City. Phil Foden strangely played Hojlund in on goal with an errant pass, but the Danish striker couldn’t shake off John Stones and other City players scampering back after rounding Ederson before Bruno Fernandes shanked wide.
Ederson was then required to keep out McTominay’s sweet half-volley with an instinctive stop in first-half stoppage time, but the Brazilian was arguably one-upped by counterpart Onana when the Cameroonian acrobatically jumped across his line to keep out a firm Haaland header.
Those goalkeeping heroics kept United’s deficit at one goal at the break, but their chances of Manchester derby victory weakened when Haaland scored another.
City accelerated through the gears with smart interplay between the likes of Rodri, Julian Alvarez and Jack Grealish, the latter of whom laid the ball off for the onrushing Silva to cross towards the back post.
In a similar position to where he was denied before half-time, Haaland rose highest in acres of space and planted his header past the desperate Onana.
City’s attacking football became more and more pleasing to watch as the second half wore on, with only the saves of Onana from the likes of Grealish, Silva and Haaland keeping the scoreline somewhat respectable.
All United hope was lost when the third goal went in. A pile-driver from Rodri was palmed out wide to Haaland, who picked out Foden to convert from close range.
United’s discipline fell off towards full time as players like Fernandes and substitute Antony started acting out petulantly. Both received yellow cards to top off a rather pathetic outing from the hosts, not helped by the clinical and purring nature of City’s performance.
Manchester United player ratings (4-2-3-1)
GK: Andre Onana – 7/10 – Wonderful sprawling save limited City’s advantage before half-time. The only United player who can hold their head high having made seven decent saves.
RB: Diogo Dalot – 4/10 – Broke forward after the interval and his side were punished for it, City’s second coming after slicing through the right side of United’s defence.
CB: Harry Maguire – 5/10 – Often the player clearing United’s lines.
CB: Jonny Evans – 5/10 – Got lured in by Rodri to leave Haaland free at the back post for City’s second.
LB: Victor Lindelof – 4/10 – Couldn’t restrict Foden’s involvement or rush him into any mistakes.
CM: Christian Eriksen – 2/10 – Given very little opportunity to influence the game in the way he is famed for. His passing and distribution, traits considered his strengths, were poor and was physically no match for Rodri.
CM: Sofyan Amrabat – 4/10 – Made a couple of tackles and showed some fight during an altercation with Foden, but that was as good as it got for the Moroccan. Subbed at half-time.
RW: Bruno Fernandes – 2/10 – Tried a few Hail Mary passes forward but couldn’t show his best, being largely frozen out in a wide role. Started behaving like a brat towards full-time, like he has done previously.
AM: Scott McTominay – 5/10 – Gave United a more direct threat in their best attacking moments. Dropped a bit deeper upon Mount’s introduction and had trouble playing out of City’s press.
LW: Marcus Rashford – 2/10 – Had a few opportunities to run on the break but just looked so bereft of confidence. Got on the end of an Eriksen ping but couldn’t squeeze his finish in.
ST: Rasmus Hojlund – 4/10 – Will feel hard done by for being penalised for holding Rodri and was a little too raw when he got his moments to shine.
SUB: Mason Mount (46′ for Amrabat) – 4/10 – Barely involved.
SUB: Alejandro Garnacho (74′ for Hojlund) – 5/10
SUB: Sergio Reguilon (74′ for Lindelof) – 5/10
SUB: Antony (86′ for Eriksen) – N/A
SUB: Anthony Martial (86′ for Rashford) – N/A
Subs not used: Altay Bayindir, Raphael Varane, Hannibal Mejbri, Kobbie Mainoo.