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Premier League

  • October 23, 2011
  • • 13:30
  • • Old Trafford, Manchester
  • Referee: M. Clattenburg
  • • Attendance: 75487

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City: Balotelli provides the fireworks as Mancini’s side humiliate 10-man hosts to go five points clear

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City: Balotelli provides the fireworks as Mancini’s side humiliate 10-man hosts to go five points clear

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The noisy neighbours go on the rampage at Old Trafford, scoring six to put Roberto Mancini's side five points clear at the top of the Premier League

Manchester City made a statement that they are no longer just the noisy neighbours but serious title contenders, as a Mario Balotelli double sent his side on the way to a stunning 6-1 win over derby rivals Manchester United.

The Italian was joined on the scoresheet by Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko, who also grabbed a brace, and David Silva, while Jonny Evans was sent off for the hosts in a match in which they were comprehensively defeated.

The game, played in a cauldron of noise inside Old Trafford, swung back and forth, with the champions gaining the early advantage, especially in the midfield area.

Despite having the lion’s share of the possession, the home side couldn’t manage a shot at Joe Hart’s goal, and were made to pay. James Milner got the ball on the left hand side of the area and cut it back to Balotelli, who slotted home expertly to put the visitors into the lead.

However, the Italian then found himself on the wrong side of referee Mark Clattenburg’s wrath after pulling his shirt over his head to reveal the ‘Why always me?’ message on his t-shirt underneath.

Within the first minute of the second half, things went from bad to worse for the home side as Aguero put a ball through towards goal, with Balotelli getting on the wrong side of Evans. The Northern Ireland international pulled the forward’s shirt on the edge of the box, leaving the referee with no choice but to send him off.

Then, just before the hour mark, the blue half of Manchester were given further cause for celebration when Silva raced into the box before finding the onrushing Milner, who then crossed for the unmarked Balotelli to tap in at the back post and double the visitors' lead.

The goal forced forced Sir Alex Ferguson into action, and he decided to shake things up by bringing on both Phil Jones and Javier Hernandez for the ineffective pair of Anderson and Nani.

But instead of getting back into the game, they went further behind when Micah Richards received the ball on the right wing and crossed to the back post for Aguero to knock home City’s third of the day.

With 10 minutes left in the game the home side finally found a goal to give their fans something to cheer about. Darren Fletcher played a neat one-two with Hernandez before proceeding to place the ball beyond Hart and into his top left-hand corner to reduce the deficit.

Roberto Mancini's side were far from finished, however, and, with two minutes left, the visitors got their fourth of the game. A corner from the left found Joleon Lescott at the back post, and he passed to Dzeko, who diverted the ball into the net with his knee.

The humiliation was complete a minute later when Dzeko turned from goalscorer to provider by putting Silva through on goal. And the Spaniard made no mistake, slotting the ball through David de Gea's legs to make it five.

Then, deep into injury time, Manchester United's agony was compounded when Silva released Dzeko with a delightful pass, and the Bosnia & Herzegovina forward slotted the ball past De Gea to complete a terrible day for Sir Alex Ferguson's side as they were humbled by their city rivals.

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