By William Wood | In Match Reports - Home Games
Manchester City stole a march on arch-rivals Manchester United in the Premier League title chase, supplanting Sir Alex Ferguson’s men at the top of the table thanks to a 1-0 win at the Etihad Stadium.
City had been five points clear at the head of the table only to find themselves eight points behind United in recent weeks, and thus this was one of the most anticipated clashes in Premier League history.
And whilst clear-cut chances were few and far between, it was every bit the engaging encounter hoped for, with Vincent Kompany’s header at the end of the first-half enough to earn City three points.
Micah was named among the substitutes whilst Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez lined up alongside each other. The hosts were notably the most nervous of the time sides in the opening five minutes, and Nani tried to test their resolve as he blazed over from 30-yards out.
Tevez was looking lively against his former employers and his dangerous cut-back was well intercepted by Phil Jones, whilst Pablo Zabaleta scuffed a shot from eight yards after a fine forward scamper.
With time seemingly running out in the first-half, It was City that grabbed the initiative and delivered a sucker punch to the Red Devils just before the interval. David Silva swung in a cross and Kompany rose above Chris Smalling to power his header beyond David de Gea to make it 1-0.
City looked secure in their lead as the second-half got underway, and Ferguson was eventually forced into ringing the changes as he brought on Danny Welbeck to try to find a break through, whilst Nigel De Jong was introduced in place of Tevez as Mancini looked to shore up the midfield.
Whilst the game was still relatively stifled in terms of chances, tensions were certainly boiling, with the two managers going head to head on the touchline, whilst Aguero found the side-netting after another mazy run.
Nasri could have sealed the win with a minute of normal time remaining, jinking his way past two defenders only to try to take on one too many and seeing his shot blocked.
Five minutes of injury time were added but City saw the game out without too much drama, securing a momentous win that puts them back in the driving seat for the Premier League crown.
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Silva, Y Toure, Barry, Nasri, Tevez, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Dzeko, Kolarov, De Jong, Balotelli.
Man Utd: De Gea, Jones, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Giggs, Park, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Hernandez, Young, Welbeck, Rafael, Valencia.