Nicolas Otamendi was the surprise hero as Manchester City secured a 2-1 derby win over Manchester United to move 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
The Argentina defender struck in the second half after Marcus Rashford cancelled out David Silva’s opener, ensuring a record-equalling 14th win in a row in the top flight for Pep Guardiola’s side.
Much had been made before the game of City’s vulnerability from set-pieces and it was a curious quirk of fate to see them triumph at Old Trafford for the second year in a row by virtue of two dead-ball situations.
United took a 40-game unbeaten home run, including a 100 per cent record this season, into the match, but City were the dominant force from the outset and deserved the lead Silva secured in the 43rd minute.
Romelu Lukaku was signed for £75million in the summer to pose a threat in front of goal. Manchester United never reckoned it would be their own.
The Belgium striker had a first Old Trafford to forget, inadvertently contributing towards both Manchester City goals, one a corner, the other a freekick. And we thought Pep Guardiola’s might be vulnerable at set-pieces.
Lukaku’s misery was complete when he failed to score what looked an almost certain equaliser in the dying minutes as Ederson produced a stunning double save from him and Juan Mata.
MATCH FACTS AND STATS
Manchester United (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo (Lindelof 46), Young; Herrera (Mata 82), Matic; Martial, Lingard (Ibrahimovic 76), Rashford; Lukaku.
Subs not used: Romero, Jones, Shaw, McTominay.
Goals: Rashford 45+2
Bookings: Rojo, Rashford, Herrera, Young
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Manchester City (4-3-3): Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany (Gundogan 46), Delph; Fernandinho, Silva (Bernardo 88), De Bruyne; Sterling, Sane, Jesus (Mangala 59).
Sub not used: Bravo, Danilo, Zinchenko, Aguero.
Goals: Silva 43, Otamendi 54
Manager: Pep Guardiola
Referee: Michael Oliver.