Pep puts on his best gameface and congratulates Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, then the United players. But he’ll be churning inside. This is a huge blow to Manchester City’s title hopes, which are now hanging by a thread. They’re 14 points behind the leaders Liverpool. Leicester City have got three points on them as well, with a game in hand. But this isn’t just about the title race, because that was a statement of intent by Manchester United. They could easily have won by a couple more. They were devastating in attack in the first half; resolute in defence in the second. They’re not back yet … but this performance is a sign that their under-fire manager may have what it takes to turn their situation around after all. They’re fifth, now just five points off fourth-placed Chelsea.
FULL TIME: Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United
United hang on! They win the derby and possibly put an end to City’s hopes of a third title in a row!
90 min +4: Walker is booked for a wild scythe on Young. A free kick, which United take their sweet time over.
90 min +3: United launch it back up the other end. The tension in the Etihad is palpable.
90 min +2: Pereira shields the ball by the corner flag awhile. He’s eventually bundled off it, and City can launch it upfield.
90 min +1: James rips upfield and, with City light at the back, slips Pereira clear down the left. Pereira shoots. It’s deflected. Corner.
90 min: United have clearly decided to dig in. It’s going to be a long additional five minutes for them.
89 min: Ashley Young comes on for Luke Shaw, who is completely spent. And then another change in short order, as Axel Tuanzebe replaces Jesse Lingard.
87 min: It was a strong hand by De Gea, as Mahrez curled towards the bottom left. Additionally, Silva was an inch away from diverting the ball past the keeper with his toenail. United’s lead is suddenly hanging by a thread!
86 min: Mahrez drives into the United box from the right. His low shot is parried wonderfully by De Gea. Suddenly United are rocking, and City sense blood!
GOAL! Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United (Otamendi 85)
De Bruyne hooks on from the left. Shaw, under no pressure, panics and hacks out for a corner. The ball’s swung into a crowded box. Otamendi rises highest, powering through to blast a header home from close range. City’s comeback is on!
83 min: Pereira makes off down the left, cuts back, then loops a clever ball into the City box. Lingard, rushing in, tries a first-time poke towards the bottom corner, but can’t quite get enough steer on the ball and it’s an easy gather for Ederson.
81 min: Mahrez diddles Shaw down the right, but his stand-up for Sterling, in the middle, floats over his team-mate’s head. A lower ball, and that’d have been an easy tap-in. On the touchline, a dejected, frustrated Pep holds his head in his hands.
80 min: Now Jesus clips McTominay, who is in the wars. He’ll be fine to continue, but takes the opportunity to roll around for a bit before the restart, eating up precious seconds.
79 min: Walker lunges into the back of Fred, then De Bruyne is booked for a lunge on McTominay. City are still well in this game, with plenty of time still on the clock; they can’t afford to lose their composure.
78 min: Rodri dribbles his way into the United box down the left … then under pressure from Wan-Bissaka dances straight out of play.
77 min: … Maguire nearly tees up Jesus for a simple goal. His poor header falls to the striker, ten yards out, just to the left of goal. But Jesus, perhaps confused by the nearby Mahrez, dithers and can’t get a shot away.
76 min: Angelino comes in from the left and has a whack. It’s wild, but blocked out for a corner by Wan-Bissaka. That corner leads to another corner, from which …
74 min: United make their first change, replacing Anthony Martial with Andreas Pereira. The midfielder is immediately in the action, first nearly releasing Lingard down the left, then cynically kicking Sterling’s heels as the City winger made off up the other end. Sterling springs up, looking for a rumble, but the ref gets in between the players and books Pereira.
73 min: From the resulting corner, Silva tries to bundle home at the near post, but can only send the ball harmlessly wide right.
72 min: City pin United back. They probe this way and that. Suddenly Mahrez bursts down the right and crosses. The ball clanks off Shaw’s arm and out for a corner, but again it’s no penalty, Shaw turning his back at close range, his arm right by his side.
70 min: Sterling chases a De Bruyne pass down the right and topples over, with Maguire in hot pursuit. He wants a penalty, but there’s no contact and he’s not getting it. And to be fair, while VAR double-checks, Sterling trots back upfield, having perhaps thought twice about the claim.
68 min: The corner can’t be taken, because a minority of City-supporting eejits launch a few cigarette lighters towards the United players preparing to take. One hits Fred on the back of the head. Ugly scenes. Fred looks like he’ll be fine, but really, what’s wrong with people?
66 min: On the other hand, a successful United break would put this game to bed. James skitters towards the City box, straight down the middle, and slips the ball wide for Lingard, who hesitates before shooting. His eventual effort is parried round the post for a corner.
65 min: Before the corner, Riyad Mahrez comes on for Bernardo Silva. The set piece ends up at the feet of Sterling, out on the left. He loops long for Mahrez at the far post. Mahrez can only guide the ball wide with a telescopic leg. City are getting closer to a goal that would change the mood utterly.
64 min: A little time and space for Rodri on the edge of the United D. He takes a touch and launches one towards the top right. It’s a fine effort, matched for quality by De Gea’s save. The keeper fingertips the ball over the bar.
63 min: James rips the ball off a snoozing Angelino, and tears towards the City box. He looks for Rashford and Martial with a square pass. The ball pinballs around and into Ederson’s arms, just as it looked as though Martial might toe-poke home.
61 min: Sterling cuts in from the left, past a dithering Lindelof, and works himself some space to shoot. But he hesitates a little, allowing Wan-Bissaka to hassle him from behind. As Sterling sashays left to right without shooting, Wan-Bissaka toe-pokes the ball away from Sterling’s toe and out for a corner. Nothing comes of the set piece.
59 min: Stones gets up and hobbles off. He’s replaced by Nicolas Otamendi. This really hasn’t been City’s night so far.
58 min: Fred hoists the free kick into the mixer. City clear for a throw. Before United can take it, attention must be paid to Stones, who is sat on the turf looking glum. This is the last thing City need.
57 min: One corner leads to another, and suddenly Lingard is romping upfield on the counter. He’s making good down the left, and is upended by Walker. A free kick, and a chance for United to load the box.
55 min: Wan-Bissaka and Fred faff about on the edge of their own box and gift De Bruyne possession. He bursts into the box down the inside-right channel, and looks odds on to score. But Lindelof slides in to deflect his shot over the bar. Corner.
54 min: De Gea is booked for taking an absurd amount of time over a goal kick.
53 min: Martial sprints upfield on the counter. It’s four on two! He’s got James in acres to his right, but opts to play in Rashford on the left instead. Rashford is up against Walker, who gets to the ball first then draws a foul. What a chance to extend United’s lead, and it’s been spurned.
52 min: Here’s a stat and a half, courtesy of Sky. In the Premier League era, Manchester United have never lost after leading by two or more goals at half-time. Out of 170 games, they’ve gone on to win 167 of them and draw the other three. They’ll not want to lose this record to City.
50 min: Rashford tries to get United going again, but it’s a one-man sortie down the left and he eventually runs out of road.
48 min: This is much better from Angelino, who cuts back marvellously from a tight spot on the left, taking the three United players he’d drawn towards him out of the game. In the pocket of space that’s left, David Silva takes a touch and aims for the top right, but doesn’t get the required bend. Already this is much better from the champions.
47 min: City pick up where they left off, pushing United deep. De Bruyne wastes little time in winning a corner down the right. All good and well, but when the ball finds its way to Angelino, 30 yards out, his overly ambitious larrup, sailing high into the stand, betrays City’s anxiety.
City get the ball rolling for the second half. There have been no half-time changes. There doesn’t appear to be any change in Guardiola’s mood, either, as he’s still bending the fourth official’s ear. A very animated discussion. Let’s hope they can iron out their differences.
Half-time reading. Just to put City’s current plight into proper context.
HALF TIME: Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United
For the first half hour, that was the best display of counter-attacking by Manchester United since the days of Andrei Kanchelskis. The last 15 minutes or so were all City’s, though, and that’ll give United pause. This is far from over.
45 min +2: Walker cuts one back from the touchline, to the right of goal. Fred slides in and blocks out for a corner. City want a penalty, but Fred’s arm wasn’t in an unnatural position, and neither referee nor VAR is interested. Pep is once again livid.
45 min: De Bruyne crosses from the right. David Silva nearly bundles in at the far post, but can’t hook the ball goalwards, and De Gea was on point anyway.
44 min: City are completely on top. United can’t get out, and after 30 minutes of freewheeling around like they own the place, will now be desperate to hear the half-time whistle. Strange old game.
43 min: David Silva wafts a dismal effort towards the top right. It’s weak, and easy pickings for De Gea.
42 min: City are beginning to ask some questions. They’ve spent 50 percent of the last ten minutes in United’s final third. Lingard knocks Rodri to the ground, and it’s another free kick in a dangerous position.
40 min: Sterling glides in from the left and is clumsily brought down by Wan-Bissaka, just outside the box. De Bruyne takes the free kick, and lofts it uncharacteristically over the bar, never troubling De Gea.
38 min: City carve out their first gilt-edged chance of the match. De Bruyne, just to the right of the D, pitching wedges a delightful cross towards Jesus, who dives to meet it with his head on the penalty spot. He should at least get his header on target, but it sails harmlessly wide left. What a ball by De Bruyne, though, and a reminder that, for all their early sass, United haven’t got the win locked down yet.
36 min: James rolls a cross along the corridor of uncertainty from the right. Had Martial really stretched for that, he’d have poked home. But as it is, the ball sails off out of play on the left. Another huge chance for United, who are ripping City’s back line apart with ease. Will they live to rue all these missed opportunities?
35 min: De Bruyne finds Walker with a lovely sliderule pass down the right wing. Walker fizzes a low cross into the box but there’s nobody in blue taking a chance, and it’s an easy claim for De Gea.
34 min: A bit of space for David Silva, 30 yards from goal. He’s inexplicably allowed to make it to the edge of the box, where he lashes a shot goalwards. Fortunately for United, it’s straight at De Gea.
33 min: Bernardo Silva cuts in from the right and has a dig from the edge of the box. His effort slaps McTominay in the chest. United clear. Sterling comes back at the visitors down the left, but he can’t get past Wan-Bissaka. Frowns on City faces right now.
31 min: On the touchline, Pep Guardiola looks utterly stunned. And no wonder, his team are being ripped to shreds here. United could easily be five or six up! Higher up in the stand, a certain knight of the realm allows a warm smile of satisfaction to play across his face. And the United fans are extremely vocal in their support of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
GOAL! Manchester City 0-2 Manchester United (Martial 29)
James and Martial combine at speed down the right. Martial spins on the edge of the area, just to the right of the D, and threads a shot into the bottom right, past the outstretched fingers of Ederson. To repeat: this is no more than United deserve. City need to wake up and quick.