Man United 1 Man City 2
Silva 52 Rashford 45+2, Otamendi 54
City had much more rhythm than United in the first half, and far more goal attempts.
In 42, a Leroy Sane rocket was saved by David De Gea at the expense of a corner on that side.
De Bruyne’s corner hit Lukaku and David Silva hooked in the rebound from three yards and I shouted “Yes!”
FOUR MINUTES of stoppage time was signalled and the Red Devils switched their engine to angry and fought back ferociously, as they always do after conceding at home.
In 47 minutes David De Gea kicked a ball wide and it went straight to Sane. United got away with that and in the same minute Rojo fired a big diagonal from just inside the City half and Otamendi jumped under it and Fabian Delph didn’t trust his right foot to volley away and Rashford appeared behind him to execute the coolest shot to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Man City had enjoyed 75% possession in the first half.
The second half started with Fernandinho switched to centreback, skipper Kompany having been replaced by midfielder Gundogan, and United’s Lindelof was on for Rojo.
Quite soon a Lukaku clearance was driven low like a shot and blocked by Smalling’s back and the ball rebounded neatly for Otamendi to volley home.
So the score was 1-2 after 54 minutes
I thought: Hold this lead till 65 minutes and you”ll be OK.
Man City had now scored 65 goals in all comps… by December 10th!!
Then Gabriel Jesus went off and big centreback Mangala came on, with Fernandinho switched back to midfield.
Gundogan made a very long run down the left to carry the ball close to De Gea’s near post, and after that City’s keep-ball triangles on that flank began to trigger loud grumbles from the home crowd.
Kevin De Bruyne was sprinting prodigious distances, closing down red shirts and making tackles. Tremendous commitment by my favourite footballer
When Kevin hit a wicked left foot shot, De Gea made a phenomenal diving save, pushing the ball out for a corner on the left.
When Matic elbowed KDB in front of the ref Michael Oliver, play continued.
Zlatan, a giant talent, came on for Jesse Lingard in 76 but City still had the ball most of the time. Even so, I did wonder whether 15 minutes would feel like a long time.
Herrera made an inept and embarrassing tumble in the box and got the yellow card he deserved and after that it was red foul after red foul after red foul until City keeper Ederson made a brilliant double save from Lukaku and sub Mata in 84, and then Bernardo Silva came on for Sane and helped De Bruyne and the others to pin United back near their corner flag and win a series of throws in that front zone.
In 90, when a furious Young whacked Raheem, the offended Mrs Palmer said, “Ashley Young, you’re better than that! Come on!”
City have won 8 out of 8 away games to go 11 points clear.
Manchester United have been knocked off their perch again.
They’d won every Premier League game since City won 2-1 at Old Trafford in September 2016.
Elsewhere Liverpool were held to a 1-1 draw by Everton at Anfield, and the unprofessional Arsenal conceded sloppily after only 2 minutes when Mertesacker wobbled and Tadic played in Austin for 1-0 at Southampton. Austin could have notched a hat-trick in the first 10 minutes.
Arsenal were losing the game for 80+ minutes until substitute Giroud, who had replaced Lacazette, headed in a Sanchez cross in 88 to secure a point.
Having drawn six of their 16 games, Liverpool are 4th with 30 points.
Arsenal, having lost five of 16, are fifth with 29 points.