By Rhonda Richards | In Match Reports - Away Games
Manchester City cemented their title-winning credentials with a sensational 6-1 victory over arch-rivals Manchester United in the derby – the side’s biggest win at Old Trafford for 80 years.
Much debate has been held on whether Robert Mancini’s men could maintain their impressive early season form and secure the league title, and the questions were answered emphatically as the side stormed to a win.
Mancini’s men were sent on their way by Mario Balotelli, in the headlines over the weekend but demonstrating his talent with a brace, whilst further goals were added by Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva.
There were fine performances across the pitch, with Micah named man of the match following a gallivanting performance down the right flank.
The hosts looked dominant in the early spells, with Wayne Rooney and co looking for an early opening, but Vincent Kompany was in solid form to make some vital interceptions.
It was during City’s first real spell of possession that they grabbed the lead, James Milner – superb throughout – picking out Balotelli on the edge of United’s box and the Italian firing first time into the back of the net with a cushioned shot.
The goal gave City added impetus going forward as United’s own attempts to find an equaliser created space in their own half, whilst Joe Hart was alert to all the danger at the other end.
Whatever Sir Alex Ferguson said at half-time was immediately obliterated minutes into the second half as Jonny Evans was given a straight red for a foul on Balotelli as he burst clean through, the young forward continuing to cause no end of problems for the home side.
The resulting free-kick was blasted straight into the wall, but the City fans didn’t have long to wait for further cheers as their side eased clear.
Micah had a strong shout for a penalty turned down by Mark Clattenburg, whilst his burst and resulting left-footed shot ended up in row z moments after.
However, City’s advantage was doubled a minute later. Milner’s perfectly timed run saw him collect Silva’s pass and in turn lay the ball into the path of Balotelli to make it 2-0.
Ferguson introduced the cavalry as Phil Jones and Javier Hernandez came on, but it was just in time to see City make it 3-0 as a powerful run down the right and cross saw Aguero fire home.
United did pull one back as Darren Fletcher curled a fine goal beyond Hart from 25-yards out, with it giving the home faithful momentary hope of a late comeback.
However, Dzeko flicked the ball over the line from two yards out to make it 5-1, whilst Silva himself got on the score sheet as he burst through and slotted home.
And, having just missed a similar chance, Dzeko fired in left-footed to make it 6-1 and wrap up a historic win for Mancini’s men as they extended their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points temporarily.
Man Utd: De Gea, Smalling, Ferdinand, Evans, Evra, Fletcher, Anderson, Nani, Young, Rooney, Welbeck
Man City: Hart, Richards, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Barry, Yaya, Milner, Silva, Aguero, Balotelli