Marcus Rashford scored his fifth goal in eight games as Manchester United moved within a point of Manchester City in the race for Champions League qualification with a 1-0 win against their derby rivals at the Etihad Stadium.
18-year-old forward Rashford - still fresh from the Old Trafford youth ranks - bounded clear of City centre-half Martin Demichelis on 16 minutes before slipping the ball under Joe Hart, who was later carried off injured after a short Demichelis back pass forced the England goalkeeper to collide with Anthony Martial in making a clearance.
Unsurprisingly, Demichelis made way for Wilfried Bony early in the second half after somehow escaping the concession of a penalty when he clearly fouled Rashford before half-time that could have handed United a 2-0 lead.
Louis van Gaal’s side move onto 50 points alongside West Ham United after the London side's 2-2 draw at Chelsea on Saturday, and are only one point adrift of their neighbours in the bid to secure a top-four finish after only their second win in their past nine league matches away from home.
Manchester City's Martin Demichelis clashes with Manchester United's Marcus Rashford.
Image credit: Reuters
Both Manchester sides have eight fixtures remaining.
Van Gaal’s position may depend upon United securing Champions League football, and they were good value for the three points against a home side who huffed and puffed but lacked the quality to rescue a point with Demichelis missing a header and Sergio Aguero unusually blowing two obvious chances that fell to him in the second period.
City are 15 points behind leaders Leicester having played a game less, but their dream of lifting the Premier League title is surely over after this loss.
City’s injury woes mount: Already missing key players due to injury, notably Vincent Kompany, Manuel Pellegrini may have to cope without Raheem Sterling and Joe Hart for "three to four weeks". City's miserable day was compounded by losing Hart to a suspected calf strain early in the second half and Raheem Sterling to injury in the first period. At least he still has Martin Demichelis.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Chris Smalling (Man Utd): Cleared his head after an early booking against Sergio Aguero to keep the feared striker quiet for the majority of the game.
15’ – GOAL! Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United: Marcus Rashford adds to his growing reputation, nutmegging Demichelis before sliding a cool finish past Hart.
21’ – CHANCE CITY: And it’s Demichelis with a chance to make amends but he heads wide from only a few yards out direct from the corner.
45+1’ – PENALTY SHOUT: Demichelis mistimes his challenge as Rashford skates past him but amazingly, Michael Oliver waves away his claims.
55’ – UNITED CHANCE: Caballero palms clear Martial’s shot before Lingard’s cross is almost flicked home by Rashford but for a Mangala block.
66’ – POST! Aguero rattles a header against the outside of the post from Yaya Toure’s cross.
90+1' – CHANCE: It’s great control in the box from Aguero from Silva’s ball, but he drags his shot wide after doing all the hard work.
Manchester City's Joe Hart is stretchered off after sustaining an injury.
Image credit: Eurosport
Marcus Rashford (18 years and 141 days) is the youngest player to score a goal in the Manchester derby in the Premier League. Wayne Rooney held the previous record as he was 19 years and 112 days when he scored for Man United in the 2-0 win at City on 13 February 2005.
Manchester United end a two-match losing streak at Manchester City in the Premier League and claim their first win at City since 9 December 2012 when Alex Ferguson was still at the club's helm.
Manuel Pellegrini fails to become the first Manchester City manager to win four Premier League Manchester derbies. The last City manager to win four Manchester derbies in the league was Joe Mercer in 1970 (won five in total).
Manchester United haven’t lost three successive league games away at Manchester City since 1955 (lost four in a row then).