Premier League, Old Trafford - Manchester United 1 (Ibrahimovic 42) Manchester City 2 (De Bruyne 15, Iheanacho 36)
Pep Guardiola got the better of his arch-rival Jose Mourinho as Kevin De Bruyne-inspired Manchester City won the first Manchester derby of the Premier League season.
Guardiola and Mourinho shared brief hug before kick-off, with City going on to dominate the first 40 minutes of the game, during which time they raced into a deserved 2-0 lead. City opened the scoring 15 minutes in, with the sensational De Bruyne latching onto a Kelechi Iheanacho flick-on and keeping his head to slot beyond the advancing David De Gea.
With Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellaini struggling to contain Fernandinho and David Silva in midfield, City capitalised on their superiority with the second – a goal that seemed to kill of United’s hopes of clawing their way into the contest.
It came courtesy of Iheanacho, the man brought in to replace the suspended Sergio Aguero, who stabbed in from close range after De Bruyne saw his shot crash back off the post.
With City seemingly coasting towards a 2-0 half-time lead, United were thrown a lifeline three minutes before the break after a howler by Guardiola’s new goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. The Chilean dropped a deep cross, allowing Ibrahimovic to lash in the loose ball on the volley.
That’s as good as it good for United, who improved after the break following the introduction of Marcus Rashford and Ander Herrera, but City wrestled back control of the game and hit the post through the uncontrollable De Bruyne, and held on by the skin of their teeth to maintain their 100% start under Guardiola.
Did Pep out-tactic Mourinho? United's midfield duo of Paul Pogba and Marouane Fellani were a complete mismatch for Fernandinho and Silva, whose fluid movement in the middle left the United pair chasing shadows. The more intelligent Herrera, or Schneiderlin, would have been a better choice alongside Pogba, to allow the Frenchman’s best qualities to shine. Guardiola system allowed Silva to run the game, and his understanding with De Bruyne decided this match. Tactically, it’s Guardiola 1-0 Mourinho.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) – A fantastic performance by a player who is rapidly becoming City’s most important attacking player. Took the opening goal superbly well and played a key role in the second. Linked brilliantly with David Silva throughout and could have had his second in the second half when he hit the inside of the post. A deserved match winner.
Pep Guardiola keeps the ball away from Wayne Rooney
Image credit: Reuters
Pre-match: Jose and Pep hug it out: A friendly embrace before kick-off between two managers with plenty of history between them. You might have heard about it.
15’ GOAL! Manchester United 0-1 Manchester City (De Bruyne): That’s the most route one Pep Guardiola goal you’re likely to see. Kolarov’s hoof upfield is flicked on and Kevin De Bruyne races through with Blind out of position. He gives David De Gea the eyes and finishes low into the left corner.
23' Mini-spat between Guardiola and Rooney: The Manchester United wants to take a quick throw in, but Pep won't let him. It is, however, a neat metaphor for the game so far.
36’ GOAL! Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City (Iheanacho): It’s two, and City thoroughly deserve to extend their lead. City pass through a static United back line, De Bruyne’s shot comes back off the post and straight to Iheanacho who taps in.
42’ GOAL! Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City (Ibrahimovic): Error by Claudio Bravo on debut! He fumbles a high ball and Ibrahimovic capitalises with a brilliantly controlled volley from the edge of the box.
56' Bravo plays himself in trouble, United denied penalty: Bravo is all over the place, taking a heavy touch and lunging in to get to the ball nanoseconds before Rooney. It's a fair challenge, but only just!
71' Rashford goal disallowed: Half-time substitute Marcus Rashford cuts inside from the left and sees his shot beat Claudio Bravo - but it took a touch off Ibrahimovic who had strayed offside.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores for Manchester United against Manchester City