By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City crushed arch rivals Manchester United 4-1 in a thrilling encounter at the Etihad Stadium, with Micah making a welcome return to the squad as he lined up among the substitutes.
Much had been made of the first derby of the season with both clubs sporting new-look faces on and off the pitch, whilst Micah was back in contention for the first time since pre-season following his injury lay-off.
It was City who found their tempo quickest, enjoying much of the early possession and having success down the flanks, and they were to turn their early advantage into a lead within 15 minutes. Slack defending from the visitors allowed Samir Nasri to break free, who in turn found the charging Aleksander Kolarov, and the left-backs cross was volleyed home superbly by Sergio Aguero to make it 1-0.
Manuel Pellegrini’s men didn’t take their foot off the accelerator, however, but it wasn’t until a minute before half-time that they were able to extend their advantage. Nasri floated in the corner and Alvaro Negredo, making his first Premier League start for City, aimed the ball back across goal and Yaya Toure was on hand to turn the ball in.
United manager David Moyes clearly had much thinking to do at half-time, but whatever was said in the dressing room clearly didn’t sink in to the players on the pitch as City added a third goal within a minute of the restart. The United defence once again switched off, allowing Negredo to pick out an unmarked Aguero to add his second and City’s third.
The reigning Premier League champions were rocking, and the hosts could sense yet more blood. Just four minutes later they’d grabbed a fourth, Vincent Kompany instigating the attack from just outside City’s penalty area and Jesus Navas picking out Nasri to grab a goal of his own, a crisp volley once again beating David de Gea to make it 4-0.
It was a case of whether City could beat the 6-1 scoreline of two seasons ago, though the fourth goal did seem to kick-start some activity from the Red Devils. Patrica Evra saw his header rebound off the woodwork before Wayne Rooney grabbed a consolation goal, curling an exquisite free-kick over the wall and beyond Joe Hart to make it 4-1.
Whilst Pellegrini may have been unhappy to see his side concede after such a dominant display, he will have been delighted with the performance and result as City signaled their intentions for the season with a comprehensive victory over their rivals from across Manchester.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany ( C ), Nastasic, Kolarov, Nasri, Fernandinho, Toure, Navas, Aguero, Negredo
Man Utd starting line-up v Man City: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Valencia, Carrick, Fellaini, Young, Welbeck, Rooney