City too hot to handle as they race to a 4-0 lead at half time
United fans spotted leaving stadium in first half.
United restore some sort of pride by 'winning second half'
This was men against boys and Manchester United were completely schooled. By half-time large numbers of United fans streamed out of the stadium, not to return. Long before the end only a few remained in the Etihad.
It reflected United’s emptiness as they were utterly humiliated by Manchester City with Erling Haaland collecting another hat-trick to become the first player to do so in three successive Premier League home games.
There was also a hat-trick for Phil Foden. With no City player having scored one against United since Francis Lee in 1970, here were two hat-tricks in just one game, completed nine minutes apart, with Haaland taking his goals tally to a phenomenal 17 in only 10 appearances.
The home fans chanted “we want 10” – which seemed entirely possible - and mocked their opponent’s lumbering efforts to try and get back into the game with “oohs” as they strung passes together or had a shot. When Anthony Martial scored the first of his two late consolation goals some City fans even mockingly cheered. Imagine that. What an indictment. What a demolition derby.
Somehow United eventually scored three which, on the balance of play, was an astonishing anomaly. The final score absolutely did not reflect the game which, in its 188th edition, was the highest scoring Manchester derby of all-time. But, at 6-1, Pep Guardiola made no fewer than four substitutions at the same time as he rested players ahead of the Champions League tie against Copenhagen in midweek. That is how far United have fallen with the City manager stating there is room for improvement for his team. Gulp.
For United all the optimism of four league wins was banished as their rivals took them apart. Rivals? Even to use the word is a joke given the clear gulf.
Sir Alex Ferguson sat in the stands and his face betrayed his feelings. A mix of anger and discomfort which was felt, surely, by Erik ten Hag in the dug-out as he sat forlornly watching on and wondering what had happened to the cussedness United have shown of late.
Their lack of fight was shown with Raphael Varane suffering a first-half injury, turning his ankle, staying down and then looking like he could not get off the pitch quickly enough as he was substituted. From a corner Christian Eriksen, instead of Varane, was left marking Haaland – five inches and two stone heavier than him. It summed up the mis-match and, of course, Haaland scored.
Everything that City do is in combination. Everything that United do is in isolation.
It was 4-0 at the break – for the second time for United this season after the Brentford debacle - and it should have been 7-0. And that is no exaggeration. City were stunningly dominant. United were abject; indisputably abject. They were disorganised and missing in action as Haaland, with a broad smile, nonchalantly raised an arm in celebration as the players walked off. The cigars were already out.
Each of the goals summed up City’s superiority. Kevin De Bruyne, Jack Grealish, Bernardo Silva, Foden, Haaland were all outstanding. All ran riot; all run unchallenged. All were just too good. United were out-classed and their formation – 4-2-3-1 – was exposed as City attacked remorselessly down both flanks. It was obvious but Ten Hag did little to combat it.
Both United full-backs were booked early on for desperate lunges and Eriksen and Scott McTominay simply could not cope in midfield. McTominay’s woes were summed up when he collected possession deep in his own half, turned and passed the ball straight to Grealish. Just how he is in the United team ahead of £70million signing Casemiro - who eventually did replace him – is a mystery. On the bench Cristiano Ronaldo sat with his head in his hands. Tellingly, despite Ten Hag using all five substitutions, that is where he stayed.
And so the goals came. City had already been denied by David De Gea and some desperate blocks before Joao Cancelo was allowed to dribble towards the penalty area – under no pressure - and slip the ball wide to Silva who crossed low. Foden held his run to create space and unerringly swept a first-time shot high into the net.
It set the template. Rinse and repeat. City came forward again and again with Grealish running infield before being brought down in desperation by Lisandro Martinez. Ilkay Gundogan’s free kick struck the outside of the post.
It continued. Varane stopped Foden but hurt himself and went to the sideline after receiving treatment. But before he came back on City had taken a corner and although Tyrell Malacia cleared Haaland’s header the ball was already over the goal-line.
United were falling apart. And so, again, Grealish ran forward, with no United player near him, and found De Bruyne who arced a wonderful cross in behind the struggling Varane for Haaland to stretch and poke it past De Gea. Yet again they had combined and the fourth goal was similar. This time De Bruyne ran through, picking out Haaland who crossed low with Foden too quick and strong for Malacia.
It was carnage. United had not played a league game for almost a month but there was no excuse with Ten Hag lamenting their lack of belief as he tried to re-organise them, accusing them of not “acting as a team”. Which was accurate.
They were better in the second-half but better than awful is not saying much. Still Antony scored a fine goal as he cut inside to curl a shot powerfully around Ederson from 25 yards.
Understandably there was no celebration from Ten Hag and it was out of keeping with everything United had done to this point.
It also served to poke the tiger as City scored two more goals to complete the hat-tricks. Firstly Haaland was picked out by substitute Sergio Gomez with a precise cut-back which he slammed powerfully past De Gea before dropping to the turf with his ‘zen’ celebration. Even more United fans left.
Haaland then turned provider as he was picked out by Grealish and swivelled to thread a pass through to Foden who took it and hammered the ball beyond a forlorn De Gea.
Martial headed home, after Ederson parried Fred’s shot, and in injury-time he despatched a penalty after being fouled by Cancelo. But never has a brace of goals meant so little. United had been shamed.
Manchester City 6 Manchester United 3: as it happened
Thanks for following with us
Commiserations, United fans. That Erling boy has taken City into a different league. Thanks for following with us. Cheers
"Very heavy. We feel it as a very bad day at the office. We didn't start well. We missed a bit of courage to play it from the back and that let them play. We only have ourselves to blame. Far from acceptable."
Some post-match stats
Manchester City 6-3 Manchester United was the highest ever scoring Manchester derby in any competition, with today the two sides' 187th competitive meeting.
· This was the first time that Manchester City scored six goals in a home game against Manchester United in all competitions, while the previous two instances of City scoring six versus United came away from home (6-1 in January 1926 and 6-1 in October 2011).
· Manchester United conceded six goals in a Premier League game for only the fourth time, with two of these coming against Manchester City (also October 2011). It was also the fifth time they had lost a Premier League game when scoring as many as three goals (all defeats came away from home).
· Since the start of 2020-21, Man Utd have conceded 4+ first-half goals in four Premier League games (v Spurs in Oct 2020, Liverpool in Oct 2021, Brentford in Aug 2022, Man City today); this is twice as often as any other side in this time.
· Phil Foden scored his 49th ,50th and 51st goals for Manchester City in all competitions – his first ever senior hat-trick. Aged 22 years and 127 days, he became the youngest player to reach 50 goals under Pep Guardiola, surpassing Lionel Messi (22y 164d).
· Erling Haaland and Phil Foden became the third and fourth Manchester City players respectively to score a hat-trick versus Manchester United after Francis Lee in December 1970 and Horace Barnes in October 1921.
· Man City’s Erling Haaland became the first player in Premier League history to score a hat-trick in three consecutive home games in the competition.
· In Erling Haaland and Phil Foden, Manchester City were only the third side to have two hat-trick scorers in a single Premier League game, after Arsenal v Southampton in May 2003 (Jermaine Pennant, Robert Pires) and Leicester v Southampton in October 2019 (Ayoze Pérez, Jamie Vardy).
· Kevin De Bruyne has provided eight assists in eight Premier League games this season, equalling his tally from last term (30 apps). Indeed, De Bruyne has provided the joint-most assists for Man City in Premier League history (level with David Silva, 93).
· Antony became the sixth player to score in their first two Premier League appearances for Manchester United, and first since Romelu Lukaku in August 2017.
· Manchester United forward Anthony Martial became only the second substitute to score a brace in the Manchester derby in the Premier League, after Edin Dzeko in October 2011.
Andy Mitten: "Manchester United score three goals in away league game for the first time since last October."
Lawrence Booth: "Permission to feel very slightly deflated after a 6-3 win in the Manchester derby."
Roy Keane: "The players should be embarrassed. Yes City have quality but you have to make it hard for them.
"Not bad. To win at home, score six goals. It's nice. The passes we give each other, we want to go forward, that is what I love about this team."
"Dream come true. Me and Erling have got the connection now. We will cut the match ball in half."
Sam identifies a problem
At some point #MUFC have to address the future as well as dealing with present emergencies. Every other major club has an influential, experienced sporting director. An ideal candidate is available. The clock is ticking https://t.co/8J9Ur181GB
— Sam Wallace (@SamWallaceTel) October 2, 2022
Reaction to City 6 United 3
continues on this blog, which will then become Jason Burt's match report in the fullness of time.
clutching the match ball. He and Haaland will have to fight for that.
Full time: Man City 6 Man Utd 3
What a remarkable game of football! City - Haaland - unplayable before the half. 4-0 up after 45 minutes. United then 'won' the second half 3-2, although obviously City were at half concentration for some of that.
90 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 3
I suspect we won't have much added time - and indeed I have barely typed that when the two added minutes are up, and City can celebrate.
GOAL! Man City 6 Man Utd 3 (Martial 90+ pen)
Brilliant penalty from Martial, who smashes that into the top corner. United, to be fair, winning the second half 3-2.
89 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 2
Manchester United have a penalty. Martial was fouled by Cancelo just inside the box. Nobody seemed too bothered either way about the pen.
87 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 2
Haaland is an absurd player. He's got the touch and awareness, finishing and passing of a Harry Kane but like built like Ivan Drago. Just unplayable.
84 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 2
Alvarez nearly through for City but his touch lets him down. City have a corner. Defended okay.
Bruno Lage has gone at Wolves.
GOAL! Man City 6 Man Utd 2 (Martial 83)
Fred gets down the left flank and cross-shots. Ederson palms the ball straight into the path of Martial, who steers it home.
82 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 1
Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands looking, well, how do you think he's looking? Cross.
How the West was won
81 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 1
Here's James Ducker: "So many outstanding performances from City's attackers and midfielders but Akanji and Ake excellent at the back. Lost count of the number of times they carried the ball unchecked into midfield to start attacks. Basically became additional attackers."
78 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 1
Bruno Fernandes has had a little tantrum, run his yap at the ref and got himself booked.
74 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 1
The rarely seen quadruple substitution.
Grealish, Gundogan, Foden, De Bruyne off.
Chances for Mahrez, Cole Palmer, Laporte and Julian Alvarez
73 mins: Man City 6 Man Utd 1
Brilliant strength from Haaland to muscle his way through, slips a ball through to Foden. Shaw is brainlessly standind doing nothing, playing Foden onside. Foden smashes it past the keeper, and he too has a hat-trick!
Take a heart of stone not to laugh
69 mins: Man City 5 Man Utd 1
James Ducker: "Haaland with his third successive home Premier League hat-trick. 17 goals in 10 games. 5-1. Same scoreline from 1989 but don't think City are finished here. It was 6-1 at Old Trafford back in 2011."
66 mins: Man City 5 Man Utd 1
United could have pulled another one back though, Sancho sent through and he might have made more of that if he'd controlled it better.
GOAL! Man City 5 Man Utd 1 (Haaland 64)
That is brilliant from City. Grealish, KDB, Silva and Gomez are playing some nice stuff. The last named drills a hard low cross and Haaland arrives with perfect timing and smashes the ball past the keeper. He got away from marker Martinez like the United guy wasn't there. Too good.
A hat-trick for Haaland, the first player to do so in this fixture since Andrei Kanchelskis. Congratulations to him, and to the state of Abu Dhabi.
63 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 1
Quality from City. Bernardo is in acres of space in between the lines. Slides the pass through. Haaland with frightening acceleration, moves onto it, and hits a hard low shot into the side netting.
61 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 1
Cannot say it has exactly sparked a United rally. But it has given the remaining United fans something to cheer
59 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 1
Casemiro and Martial come on. McTominay and Rashford, both of whom have been outclassed, are given the hook.
57 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 1
That came totally out of the blue. City were pottering, United looked like they would happily settle for no further punishment. But then a thunderous strike. Can that inspire United?
GOAL! Man City 4 Man Utd 1 (Antony 55)
City have switched off a bit, the game is drifting. A long crossfield ball to Antony. He controls it nicely, he cuts inside, and he lets rip with a fearsome shot that beats Ederson from long range. Well, well!
54 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
Something of a cottage industry, isn't it, the "Keane and Neville react to United performance" story. Here's a good example of the genre.
"The Manchester United players have bottled it, there's no doubt," he said. "On the ball, they have given it away all the time. They have been really nervous. They have just not handled this derby at all. United have been so poor on the ball. "
52 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
Shaw, incidentally, had been brought on to replace Malacia. Gomez had come on for Walker just before the half for City.
49 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
City, inevitably, not playing with quite the same intensity.
Enjoy a good gloat here
if that's your cup of tea.
46 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
Shaw hesitates, Foden pounces, he's through into the area and hits a shot at goal. Blocked. Dearie me.
Bad news for United fans
The second half is about to start.
Only way we stop this guy is if Roy Keane has a kid....
— Adam McKola (@AdamMcKola) October 2, 2022
"It's like the game is too big for United. Like some of the players have been overwhelmed by the occasion. Pride, personality, they are not showing it."
Some reactions online
Paul Hayward: "'De Bruyne to Haaland' is turning into a line of poetry and we're going to hear it a hell of a lot."
Daniel Zeqiri: "Prediction: Arsenal are not going to win the league on goal difference." Not sure you need the least three words.
Half time: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
Well the good news for United is that they get to have a break for 15 minutes. The bad news is that they then have to come out and play another three-quarters of an hour. Oh dear.
44 mins: Man City 4 Man Utd 0
Some of the United faithful are already streaming out of the stadium. Funny. Can't say I blame them.
GOAL! Man City 4 Man Utd 0 (Foden 43)
Oh that is a beaut. Best of the lot probably. De Bruyne with a lovely pass out to Haaland, who slides the ball across the goal perfectly. He's got everything, this kid, yes? And another very talented young man, Foden, has timed the run perfectly to slide it in at the back post. Goal.
42 mins: Man City 3 Man Utd 0
Probably should be four. City rip United open yet again. Grealish, in the inside left channel, is given the ball by Haaland and should probably have shot. Instead, he gives it back to Haaland, who is a bit cramped for room and cannot do the business with his right foot.
39 mins: Man City 3 Man Utd 0
Proper pasting already.
Varane has to come off. Lindelof the man who replaces him.
GOAL! Man City 3 Man Utd 0 (Haaland 37)
Gary Neville: "Let's be really clear, this is an absolute doing."
A wonderful pass from De Bruyne, stabbed, curled, measured perfectly to the inch as it opens the United defence up like a tin of beans. There's the big man sliding it at the far post for a nicely controlled finish and City have their third.
35 mins: Man City 2 Man Utd 0
Any way back for United?
GOAL! Man City 2 Man Utd 0 (Haaland 34)
That's it! For reasons I cannot explain to you, wee Eriksen is the man charged with marking the 6 foot 5 Norwegian. Guess what happens next? Haaland rises miles above him, and heads the ball into the net. Malacia tried to hook it off the line but the ball had crossed.
What a shower United look.
32 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
There is a delay while they patch up R Varane and the United player moan at the ref for not stopping the game. Corner coming up.
31 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
A snaking run from Grealish. Foden shoots, it strikes Varane who hits the deck. Ah, that's because he turned his ankle when he made the block. United want play stopped. City crack on. De Bruyne with a fierce, dipping shot. Tipped over.
30 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
City are playing the ball around between themselves and United are nowhere.
Now the hosts begin an attack...
28 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Relative calm for United, in that they now just look outplayed rather than like they might actually start crying. City have a corner but it comes to nothing.
25 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Sancho has been quiet, but dos Santos Antony.... I mean they could have saved a bus fare. Not been anywhere near getting involved.
23 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Rashford is the latest United man to give it away, Foden is off and running, and Malacia has little choice but to bring Phil down unfairly. A booking for him.
22 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
McTominay gives it away and Grealish starts on a mazy dribble that just - only just - gets stopped before he shoots.
20 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Again it is that left side, but this time it's not Grealish but Bernardo Silva. Goes through the United defence like a knife through butter, cuts it back for Phil Foden, whose shot is wide. Pep has his head in his hands on the bench, he is raging that PF didn't hit the target there.
18 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Gundogan has hit the post with the freekick! A lovely delicate thing, that freekick, curled and whipped. De Gea was not even in the same postcode, just watched it kiss the upright and, lucky for him, goes behind.
17 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Grealish looks bright as a button today, nice little darting run and a one-two with Haaland. Grealish is fouled on the edge of the box by Martinez. That's an excellent spot for a freekick.
16 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Bit of a mix-up with Ederson and Akanji. The back pass played the keeper into some difficulty and Rashford was on the premises. Good strength from Akanji saves the day.
14 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
An individual error from Kyle Walker, he loses the flight of the ball, Sancho and Eriksen have a good opportunity here. Luckily for City, Gundogan is back and patrolling and he does enough to put Eriksen off and the shot is pretty easily saved.
13 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
United are going to get a pumping here. They can't a) get the ball or b) keep it when they have it.
11 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Dalot has attracted the attention of the ref again. City have a freekick. It's Eriksen who gets the ball clear.
Here is James Ducker: "City have toyed with United in this first 10 minutes. It's been bruising viewing for United supporters and a thrilling watch for City fans. United are being dragged all over the place. They're overloading successfully down United's right time and again, a man routinely spare. Dalot was booked after 100 seconds or so for a late challenge on Jack Grealish and City appear to have marked his card"
10 mins: Man City 1 Man Utd 0
Hell of a long way back from that, you'd imagine. United are getting a roasting down their right side. City's passing looks so crisp and accurate.
GOAL! Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 (Foden 7)
An excellent, crisp passing move, and Eriksen has lost Foden. The young Englishman pounces, and sweeps the ball into the net.
5 mins: Man City 0 Man Utd 0
United are in for a long afternoon at this rate. Eriksen and Fernandes have also given the ball away. It's hard enough as it is without your best ball players getting sloppy.
3 mins: Man City 0 Man Utd 0
Shaky start for Dalot, who has now given the ball away. City with a dangerous thrust down the left, the ball is crossed. Haaland gets up for the header! Back across goal. City get the shot in from KDB. Blocked by De Gea. Now Silva witht the follow up. A desperate block. Hacked clear for United in a panic.
2 mins: Man City 0 Man Utd 0
City have got the ball and they are playing it around at the back. Jack Grealish down the left, a turn of pace from Jack, and Dalot chops him down for the first yellow card of the game.
1 mins: Man City 0 Man Utd 0
An inauspicious start for the visitors; the ball hoofed forward and out of play.
It will be Man United to kick
us off. Nice day in Manchester ie not currently raining.
The players are wearing black armbands
In recognition of the appalling tragedy in Indonesia.
Two teams who were in good form
Before the national mourning and international break. Makes it hard to predict.
But they will have to stop this guy
Who do you fancy? I reckon this is a decent chance for United, City not quite as imposing through the centre as they have been.
Jason Burt with the inside track from MCR
"Told that Erik tem Hag's eyes lit up when he heard that Rodri was absent from the Manchester City team with a calf injury. The midfielder is undoubtedly a big miss for City. Ilkay Gundogan expected to play in the holding role.
James Ducker at the Etihad
"No Rodri and no Ruben Dias, John Stones or Aymeric Laporte. The challenge facing Manchester United is still considerable but there's a lot of disruption there to be spine of Manchester City's team. Rodri has become one of the game's outstanding pivots and his absence is a blow.
"Ilkay Gundogan has played there to good effect in the past - notably in the final months of the 18/19 winning campaign - but Erik ten Hag will be pleased to see Rodri missing.
"Similarly, Dias' place on the bench is a surprise/blow with Stones out with a hamstring injury and Laporte, who has yet to play this season following knee surgery in the summer, only fit enough for a place on the bench.
"Akanji has started well at City and Ake has done well when called upon but City are still weakened there on paper."
ETH speaks to Sky
"We need a result, but we can bring confidence. We want to play our game, they want to dictate it. We want to take City out of their comfort zone. Rashford trained well. Not having Rodri is a huge impact on their game, they will miss him. But they have 11 really good players on the pitch."
— James Ducker (@TelegraphDucker) October 2, 2022
Erling Haaland on watching this fixture as a kid
Erling Haaland has revealed how Manchester City’s 6-1 demolition of Manchester United has always stuck in his memory – and that he is now hoping to make his own derby moments to rival it (writes James Ducker)
City thrashed United at Old Trafford in October 2011 en route to their first league title for 44 years. Mario Balotelli, who scored twice, celebrated by revealing a T-shirt bearing the message “Why Always Me?” after the controversial Italy striker had set his house on fire after letting off fireworks the night before the game.
Haaland, who grew up as a City fan and whose father, Alfie, played for the club, was 11 at the time and the Norway striker now wants to write his own history in the fixture as he bids to add to his 14 goals in nine games following his move from Borussia Dortmund.
“I do remember Balotelli at Old Trafford with the ‘Why always me?’ celebration,” said Haaland. “I have a lot of memories. I look forward to making some new memories. “I haven’t really given it [the duels with Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez] much thought. I hope we can play at our best. If so, I think it is going to be a good night.”
Despite his extraordinary start at City, which has included hat-tricks against Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest, and the avalanche of goals he has scored already in his short career, Haaland admitted he seldom watches his performances back and pays little attention to breaking records.
“I really don’t think much about records and that stuff,” Haaland told streaming channel Viaplay Football. “That is usually something that comes after I have beaten them, but it is not something that comes to mind. About analysing, I don’t watch my own games back that much. I just play them and keep going since it is so many games.
“You can’t do much with games that have already been played. Of course you can do things differently, and we are quite different. But for me, Erling Haaland, it doesn’t help to watch a game in replay and see what I could have done different. The thing for me is to attack the next game.”
Haaland’s meteoric rise has brought inevitable scrutiny. He was recently filmed walking down a street by a United fan who told him he had moved to the city’s wrong club and had a shop to Sainsburys documented by a national newspaper. Despite those intrusions he is happy out of the spotlight.
“I don’t really feel that much about it,” Haaland said. “I don’t pick up much of that. Someone sent me that video … maybe it was Kevin [De Bruyne] that sent it to me. I believe I walked 50 metres from my car to the restaurant, and then someone wanted to record me. That is just the way the world is, and there is nothing I can do about that.
“I went to a store as well, and it became a lot of fuss. That is just how it is in my world now, and I can’t complain about anything.”
A no-nonsense individual, Haaland also admitted he was intolerant of daft questions. “If you come up with an idiotic question now, I feel like you should expect an idiotic answer as well. It is as simple as that. You give and you take,” he said.
“I am from Bryne, and there it is like if someone asks ‘How are you doing?’, I answer ‘Everything’s good’ and the conversation is preferably done. That is how it works.”
joins Sky. "The players know we are playing a big game. Sorry for Gary and Roy, when they played they dominated the Premier League now.
"Rodri injured in training, a bit more than a niggle in the leg and we could not risk him."
The sprinklers have attacked Guardiola!
— Ryan Currie (@RyanCurrie89) October 2, 2022
I'm delighted to report
that the pitch sprinklers have drenched the desk where Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Micah Richards are standing for Sky.
Haven't played a Premier League fixture since their splendid 3-1 win over Arsenal; they are unchanged from that.
have won seven in a row. And they make three changes from their last match, in which they beat Wolves 3-0. Gundogan, Ake and Walker are the men who come in.
Man City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Joao Cancelo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Bernardo Silva, Foden, Haaland, Grealish. Subs: Dias, Laporte, Ortega, Alvarez, Gomez, Mahrez, Carson, Palmer, Lewis.
Man Utd: de Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia, McTominay, Eriksen, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford. Subs: Lindelof, Ronaldo, Martial, Fred, Casemiro, Heaton, Shaw, Pellistri, Elanga.
Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)
Pep sets the Manchester derby scene
Pep Guardiola says Manchester City will not crumble after he leaves, in the way Manchester United did after Sir Alex Ferguson's retirement.
The two clubs meet in the Manchester derby with the Blues in the hunt for a fifth Premier League title in six seasons under Guardiola, while the Reds have had five unsuccessful managers in the same period.
City fans are loving their period of dominance but fear the departure of Guardiola, whose current contract expires at the end of this season, will have a similar effect on their club as Sir Alex’s retirement in 2013 had on United.
Guardiola dismissed that notion, and predicted that City’s careful forward planning will ensure the Blue dynasty does not die once he goes.
“The club knows exactly what is the target and the next step,” said Guardiola. “There will be zero problems (when I leave). I am 100 percent convinced about that.
“They know the strategy. They know what they have to do right now, after the World Cup, next season and then the following seasons.”
Guardiola indirectly cut to the heart of a major reason that City have thrived since their 2008 takeover - their refusal to bow to Roberto Mancini’s demands to be given Fergie-style hegemony over all football aspects of the club.
Mancini felt that, if he was given the same degree of control as his rival at Old Trafford, he would lead the Blues to glory, but the club resisted and the resulting conflict with successive football directors Brian Marwood and Txiki Begiristain was a big factor in his sacking in 2013.
The club’s decision was vindicated when Sir Alex’s departure led to United flip-flopping from manager to manager, changing playing style and personnel on a regular basis, while City moved seamlessly, and on an upward trajectory, from Mancini, to Manuel Pellegrini and on to Guardiola.
The Reds did not act to appoint a football director until last year, when John Murtough was given the role.
Said Guardiola: “When a club depends on one person they have problems because the club is not solid. It is unstable. The foundation of the club is why the team is solid.
“If the club just depends on Pep then the club is not doing really well in this period. If the club depends just one one player - like the striker who scores the goals - then that will not be a good team.
“I never buy the players. I never sell the players. It is not my money. It is the club. Every decision we make is because we are thinking about the club.”
Guardiola implied that United’s flaws have been at the top, and not down to poor managerial appointments, saying of opposite number Erik Ten Hag: “The club must trust what he is doing and give time. Football, like many things in life, needs time to be solid.
“If you change managers and players a lot it is more difficult. Look at all the managers who have been at United, since David Moyes tried to replace Sir Alex.
“Come on, are you going to say they are not all good managers? No way.”
Guardiola will cross swords for the first time with Ten Hag, who he said might be given some breathing space by the Reds’ recent lack of success: “If United trust and let him build a team by giving him years and years, that will be welcome.
“Erik knows it - and all the managers who were there before Erik and are no longer there know it - if you cannot win with the big clubs, you don’t get time. If you don’t win then you’re in trouble.
“Imagine taking over at United after they had won three Champions Leagues in a row or three Premier Leagues. That would be tougher because, you know….
“The bridge is probably lower now because they haven’t qualified for the Champions League last season.”