Manchester United were humiliated in their own back yard as rivals City ran riot at Old Trafford to claim a memorable derby day victory and extend their lead at the top of the Premier League to five points.
Roberto Mancini’s men were simply gorgeous as they inflicted the Red Devils’ heaviest home defeat since 1955 smashing six past the hapless David de Gea to confirm their validity as genuine title contenders. Mario Balotelli continued his recent hot streak with a double whilst Edin Dzeko came off the bench to score twice late on with Sergio Aguero and David Silva getting on the scoresheet as City romped to an unforgettable win. Darren Fletcher did manage a consolation but it was in vain with Sir Alex Ferguson’s side facing an uphill struggle following Jonny Evans’ red card in the second half with the score poised at 2-0. City capitalised though with their slick passing and movement proving too much for the home side to handle with Silva the hub of everything positive about their play. It was surprising to see United take such a battering on their own turf considering they hadn’t lost a game at home since last year.
With both teams unbeaten and scoring goals for fun the game had draw written all over it but the visitors were having absolutely none of that. Their intentions were clear from the kick off and after a tense opening 20 minutes Balotelli showed just why Mancini rates him so highly. The Italian made the headlines for all the wrong reasons again this morning but Monday’s newspapers will tell a different story after he opened the scoring at Old Trafford. Neat build up on the left saw Silva slip the ball into Milner who in turn cut the ball back to Balotelli on the edge of the area. Opening his body out the 20-year-old cooly angled the ball away from De Gea and into the bottom corner and celebrating by revealing a t-shirt bearing the phrase ‘why always me?’ which forced referee Mark Clattenburg to brandish a yellow card.
City took that lead into the break as United continued their patient, probing approach as Vincent Kompany and Joleon Lescott stood defiant in defence thwarting the efforts of Wayne Rooney and co as the hosts desperately searched for an equaliser. Their cause wasn’t helped after Evans was dismissed for hauling Balotelli to the ground as the striker made his way to goal just a minute after the restart. City made their superiority count doubling their lead on the hour mark with Balotelli again benefiting from a superb Milner delivery to tap home is second. They didn’t stop their though and Aguero, who had been uncharaceristically quiet, pounced to turn Micah Richards low cross past De Gea after the superb Milner had played in the full back down the right. Balotelli was then withdrawn with Edin Dzeko his replacement with the Bosnian almost scoring seconds after his arrival on the field.
United continued to look for a way back into the game and Fletcher handed them a lifeline with nine minutes left giving Joe Hart no chance of saving his rasping drive from 20-yards. It was in vain though as City continued to press and a frantic scoring frenzy in injury time put the gloss on a victory that will go down in Manchester Derby history. Substitue Dzeko was the first to get in on the act taking advantage of some good work from Lescott to fire home before Silva’s composed finish gave him the goal he deserved for his world class display. The duo then combined brilliantly to complete the route with the Spaniard setting up Dzeko for his second and City’s sixth of the afternoon.
If ever there was a signal that power is shifting between red and blue this result confirmed it as United’ conceded six goals at home for the first time in 81 years. This is arguably the biggest test Ferguson has faced in his 25 years as manager and how he picks his players up from this is yet to be seen. As for City the sky is the limit at the moment!