Manchester City grabbed the bragging rights in Manchester after beating local rivals United 1-0 at the Etihad. It keeps the champions in the title race and means United – who were reduced to ten men in the first half – are now seven points behind the Blues.
But how did the players do on the big occasion?
Manchester City (4-4-2)
Joe Hart, 7 – England’s number one didn’t have too many saves to make but was alert when he was required, particularly when he got down low to his right to stop Angel Di Maria from equalizing for United. He was probably lucky to escape punishment after squaring up with the referee Michael Oliver.
Pablo Zabaleta, 7 – Came out on top against his countryman Di Maria and was as reliable as ever. Could have been booked in the first half for a late challenge on Robin Van Persie. He was eventually booked in the second half but that yellow card didn’t blight a good performance.
Vincent Kompany, 8 – The inspirational skipper had one of his better games of the season and was a real presence at the back. When United put the pressure on late in the game he managed to keep things organised in the City defense.
Martin Demichelis, 7 – The Argentina international was solid and there was no sign of a high profile mistake – something that was always on the horizon for him this time last year. He replaced Eliaquim Mangala and slotted in seamlessly.
Gael Clichy, 7 – The Frenchman was a late selection after Aleksandar Kolarov pulled up during the pre-match warm up. He took his chance and provided the assist for Sergio Aguero’s winner.
Jesus Navas, 7 – The Spanish winger was a constant threat and caused Luke Shaw plenty of problems down the flank. His pace allowed City to break dangerously at times.
Fernando, 6 – Kept things simple on the ball and allowed Yaya Toure to roam forward. The Brazilian didn’t set the world alight but was an important factor in the win.
Yaya Toure, 8 – The Ivorian always seems to step up on big occasions. He played the ball perfectly to Clichy for the goal and looked menacing on the ball, generally picking the right pass. He could have had a penalty in the first half and was arguably the man of the match.
James Milner, 7 – What you see is what you get with Milner, and he again put a shift in to allow his more flamboyant teammates to create the openings. Earned the foul that saw Chris Smalling sent off in the first half, allowing City to take control.
Sergio Agüero, 8 – Scored his tenth league goal of the season to give City all three points and probably would have had his goal much earlier but for some outstanding work from David De Gea. Also had two good shouts for a penalty.
Stevan Jovetic, 6 – Had one meaningful effort on goal which was held by De Gea. His link up play was good but he wasn’t much of a threat.
Samir Nasri, 5 – Replaced James Milner as Manuel Pellegrini looked to capitalize on the goal – and man – advantage. However, he wasn’t able to have much impact on the game.
Edin Dzeko, 6 – Came on for Jovetic and could have scored but for a crucial intervention from Antonio Valencia. Was a different outlet for a City side looking to cope under pressure.
Fernandinho, 6 – Came on in place of the goalscorer Agüero to add numbers to the midfield. Done his job well.
Manchester United (4-1-4-1)
David de Gea, 7 – The young Spaniard pulled off a number of fine saves in the first half but his resistance was finally beaten by Agüero after 63 minutes. However the game could have been embarrassing if he wasn’t in good form.
Antonio Valencia, 6 – Filled in for Rafael at full back and coped well, providing a threat at the other end at the same time. Ended up as the furthest player back at times but didn’t do too badly.
Chris Smalling, 3 – Two moments of stupidity from Smalling led to his first career red card, something that angered manager Louis Van Gaal and probably cost United the game. Having been needlessly booked for blocking Joe Hart’s attempt to play the ball forward for a counter attack, he then hacked down Milner after 39 minutes. A poor day at the office for the former Fulham man.
Marcos Rojo, 6 – Rojo’s game was cut short by an injury and that will disappoint his boss as he had a promising game in the heart of defense. However, he was lucky to get away with a challenge on Toure in the penalty area that would – and probably should – have seen a penalty and red card given.
Luke Shaw, 6 – The ex-Southampton man battled all day against the likes of Navas and Zabaleta and ended up being the only defender with any kind of experience on the pitch for United after Rojo’s injury and the introduction of Paddy McNair. Made a couple of key interventions but was made to work hard by City’s players on their right hand side.
Daley Blind, 6 – Another composed display from the Dutchman but he was unable to dictate play against City’s star men. He was booked for a late challenge on Yaya Toure and ran the risk of being sent off when he kicked the ball away following Smalling’s first booking.
Marouane Fellaini, 5 – Fellaini’s presence was important again but he was not able to impose himself on the match. Could have given away a penalty in the first half when he caught the ankle of Sergio Agüero and missed a great chance as United pushed for the equalizer.
Wayne Rooney, 7 – The captain returned and was the man that most of the team looked to for inspiration and a big moment. Went on a great run in the second half and nutmegged Kompany brilliantly but was unable to score. A decent performance nevertheless from the England man after his three match ban came to an end.
Adnan Januzaj, 5 – Was sacrificed after Smalling’s red card and many would agree it was the right call as he had failed to offer much going forward. Perhaps he would have had a big moment if he had been able to stay on.
Robin van Persie, 6 – Tested Joe Hart and was a good focal point for United but must have felt isolated up front on his own. Couldn’t capitalize on his late equalizer against Chelsea last weekend.
Angel Di Maria, 7 – Again, he showed some nice touches and creativity but he was well contained by a talented City defense. He was exploited by Toure for the goal as he was caught out of position. Still, he showed some good moments.
Michael Carrick, 6 – Replaced Januzaj after Smalling’s red card and slotted into defence after a long injury lay off. He played well and judged most situations well but was lucky to not give away a penalty after what looked like a trip on Agüero.
Paddy McNair, 5 – Came on for Rojo following the Argentina international’s injury and asserted himself well enough. He was caught in possession a couple of times but was solid enough – although City took the lead with him on the pitch.
Callum Wilson, 5 – Played the last eight minutes, plus the five minutes of injury time, after replacing Van Persie. There were not many chances for Wilson to become a hero though and City took the spoils in his first Manchester derby.