Manchester City 1 – 0 Manchester United: Have United Lost It?

Manchester City go to top of the Premiership after defeating United.

Paul Tamburroby Paul Tamburro

Manchester is still left shaking after last night's derby game, which saw City deconstruct their rivals in order to reclaim their place atop the Premier League. 

In a game that was watched by a staggering 1 in 10 people around the world, City once again bested their Mancunian rivals in a match which saw United never hit a shot on target. Although their meeting at Etihad Stadium was a far cry from the 6-1 humiliation at Old Trafford earlier in the season, it still saw Roberto Mancini's team completely outplay the Red Devils, who failed to mount anything resembling a formidable offence.

After Kompany met David Silva's corner with a wonderful header in the 45th minute to make it 1 – 0 United were unable to pull themselves back into the game, with Sir Alex Ferguson's baffling decision to leave Welbeck on the bench leaving Rooney alone in attack to deal with the likes of Kompany and Lescott.

It was this unusual tactical error on Ferguson's behalf that led to City pushing United into second place in the Premier League table, with City now ahead on goal difference. Ferguson's frustrations got the better of him in the 76th minute after Welbeck, who had been brought on in the place of Park Ji-sung in a case of 'too little too late', was taken down by Nigel De Jong with a bad tackle. Ferguson rose to his feet, angrily confronting Mancini before officials separated them.

Speaking after the match of his and the City boss' argument, Ferguson said: “He was badgering the referee the whole game, the fourth official and linesman. The minute I get up there, he’s at it again. He was complaining about referees the other week. He can’t be complaining now, that’s for sure.”

But regardless of how much misguided passion Ferguson showed from the sidelines, his boys on the pitch seemed to all but resign themselves to defeat in a loss that will make all but the most biased of United fans agree that City now deserve to take the Premiership trophy home.

Even Ferguson, a man whose very high opinion of his club has raised the ire of a football fan many a time, acknowledged their defeat, saying:  I think they [City] are in the driving seat now. They only need to win two games of football. I can’t complain about the result – they were more threatening and it’s damaging to us.

"They have an eight-goal advantage and that is a big advantage at this stage of the season."

However, Mancini once again insisted that United maintain the advantage in both teams' pursuit for the Premier title, saying: “We have two strong games left, against Newcastle and QPR, one is fighting for the Champions League and one for relegation. It is important that we are top now, but it is more important to be top on May 13.

“This changes nothing. We are top, but we need to win the next two games. Anything can happen and we still have big respect for United because we know they have a strong team.”

Photo: Mirror/Telegraph