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Key Events

T. Fosu-Mensah
M. Darmian
E. Mangala
Yellow Card
B. Schweinsteiger
Mata
A. Valencia
M. Rojo
W. Bony
M. Demichelis
W. Caballero
J. Hart
Fernando
R. Sterling
M. Rashford
Goal
Mata
Assist
C. Smalling
Yellow Card
3
1
3
1

Stats

Possession
% %
16
0
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 3 4
Total Passes 454 398

Commentary

The referee blows his whistle for the final time and brings an end to a game that has resulted in a relatively comfortable victory for United. City never seemed to turn up, resulting in them finding very little joy whenever they pushed forward. They lacked the intensity and desire needed to break down a well-organised an resolute Red Devils back line, one that stuck their task diligently and left their opponents with very little space to operate in. As a result, from Rashford's goal onwards it was an easy afternoon for Louis van Gaal's men, who know sit just one point behind their local rivals and keep alive their chances of qualifying for the Champions League.
FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 0-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
Aguero twists and turns inside the penalty area as he tries to find a way past Smalling, but the centre-back, who has been excellent this afternoon, sticks to him diligently and is eventually able to dispossess the striker before he can get a shot away.
Ball after ball is being flung into the United penalty area, but each one is being well dealt with by the visitors' defence, who are camped deep inside their own half of the pitch. A dangerous cross from Fernando eventually finds its way to Bony, but the Ivorian barges Smalling to the ground as he tries to get a shot away and, as a result, gives away a free-kick.
What a chance for Aguero! Silva sends an absolutely excellent lofted pass up the pitch and into the United penalty area, where it finds the Argentine. He brings it down beautifully and beats Valencia before firing a low shot, but the Ecuadorian right-back does well to put the striker under enough pressure to force him into sending his effort comfortably wide of the goal.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be six minutes of added time. Can City find a late equaliser?
City try to increase the tempo of their attacking moves as they search for what would surely result in them picking up a much-needed point. They work the ball down the right wing before earning themselves a corner, which is flung into the heart of the penalty area, but the Brazilian's looping header is completely off target and safely bounces out of play for a goal-kick.
Martial breaks down the left again before being clattered into by Fernandinho, resulting in a free-kick for United that they, unsurprisingly, take their time with. They eventually play it short before the Frenchman tries to penetrate the box, but he's closed down well by a group of blue shirts and is unable to do so.
Martial goes down inside the penalty area, but nothins given! The Frenchman flies forward on a determined run before penetrating the box, but just as he does he goes down under a challenge from Fernandinho. He immediately appeals to the referee for a penalty, but there wasn't enough contact between the two and the man in charge rightly lets play go on.
T. Fosu-Mensah
M. Darmian
Manchester United
Darmian has gone down twice over the past few minutes and looks to be struggling with what looks like cramp. Van Gaal finally decides that enough is enough and sends on Fosu-Mensah to operate at left-back for the final seven minutes of the game.
It's all City as they try and find a late equaliser, but they just can't seem to find a way past United's compact and well-organised back line. The hosts are missing the intensity and drive needed to break down the visitors, who have enjoyed a relatively comfortable afternoon due to their opponents' struggles.
The resulting set-piece is whipped into the heart of the penalty area, where Fernandinho does well to jump high and reach the ball, but the Brazilian's header towards goal ends up sailing comfortably wide of its intended target, much to the relief of the under-pressure United defence.
Big decision by the referee! Smalling charges forward and clips Aguero from behind as he tries to dispossess the Argentine, leaving the striker in a heap on the floor. The City fans and players all scream for a second yellow card for the centre-back, but the man in charge shakes his head and only awards the hosts a free-kick.
The resulting set-piece is whipped into a dangerous position inside the penalty area and initially causes the City defence a few problems, but it also takes Martial by surprise and ends up bouncing off the feet of the forward before rolling harmlessly out of play for a throw-in.
E. Mangala
Yellow Card
Manchester City
Lingard picks up the ball deep down the right wing and is immediately clattered into by Mangala, who becomes the latest player to be booked for his hefty challenge on the youngster.
Chance for Navas! City are applying a lot of pressure on the United back line, and the visitors are starting to struggle to deal with it. The Spaniard, who has been one of their brightest sparks today, cuts past Darmian with ease before firing a thumping shot towards goal, but there's far too much power behind it and De Gea is able to watch the effort sail harmlessly over the top of the crossbar.
Two golden opportunities for City! A looping cross from Silva finds Aguero at the far post, but the Argentine is unable to send his curling header towards goal. It does bounce over to Bony, however, but the Ivorian is quickly closed down by Smalling and sees his swiped shot deflected out for a corner.
B. Schweinsteiger
Mata
Manchester United
United have made their second change of the afternoon, with Mata making way for Schweinsteiger.
City work the ball around well on the edge of the United penalty area before it reaches Aguero. The Argentine looks to shoot but is unable to, so he spins and pokes a pass back to Clichy. The left-back immediately tries to test De Gea with a curling strike towards the top right-hand corner of the net, but it's woefully hit and flies several yards over the top of the crossbar.
Aguero hits the post! Toure charges down the right flank and gathers a loose ball before squaring up to Carrick. He then whips a cross past the midfielder and on to the head of the Argentine striker, whose effort on goal beats Hart before ricocheting off the woodwork. He's getting closer to scoring that all-important equaliser!
Martial twists and turns on the left-hand side of the City penalty area before trying to poke a deft pass towards Rashford, but Mangala is there to stick a foot out and intercept the pass before it can find the young striker, who was in a great position in front of goal.
Vital interception by Smalling! Navas cuts inside from the left wing before poking a lovely pass through to Sagna. The Frenchman then immediately sends a great low cross into the path of Bony at the near post, but the Ivorian's sliding shot is cut out by the United centre-back before bouncing off the striker and out for a goal-kick.
A. Valencia
M. Rojo
Manchester United
Rojo, who isn't moving all that well, makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Valencia.
The hosts patiently work the ball around as they try to find a way through the sea of red shirts in front of them, but with each minute that passes they're finding it increasingly difficult to do so. Silva has found little joy so far, as every time he gets near the ball he's quickly closed down by a group of red shirts. If they're going to find a way back into the game, they need to be able to get the Spaniard more involved.
City are starting to find more joy whenever they push forward into the United half of the pitch, but they're still struggling to turn their possession into chances on goal. United are defending resolutely and the hosts' passing has let them down on several occasions, which is resulting in Aguero looking increasing frustrated with the lack of service that he's receiving.
And now Martial goes close! The Frenchman weaves his way down the left wing before cutting inside and sending a thumping strike towards goal, but Cabellero is there to parry it away with an excellent diving save. City are starting to look increasingly open at the back, but they'll be hoping that Demichelis' withdrawal will change that.
Chance for Bony! Clichy does well to find himself in a pocket of space deep down the left wing and sends a looping cross into the heart of the United penalty area, where it finds the Ivorian striker, but his headed effort is tame is easily stopped by Hart before it can find the top right-hand corner of the net.
W. Bony
M. Demichelis
Manchester City
Demichelis, who has had a woeful time this afternoon, quickly makes his way off the pitch to be replaced by Bony in City's final change of the game.
Rojo goes close! The Argentine flies down the left wing on an excellent run before cutting into the City penalty area. He then fires a cross-cum-shot across the face of goal and towards Rashford at the far post, but Caballero does well to throw his body in front of the effort to stop it from finding the young striker.
United move the ball around well inside the City half of the pitch before Darmian tries to break down the right wing. He's quickly closed down and out-muscled by Clichy, however, and the Frenchman does well to barge the Italian off the ball before shepherding the ball out of play for a throw-in.
W. Caballero
J. Hart
Manchester City
Hart receiving a rousing round of applause from the City fans as he's stretchered off the pitch to be replaced by Caballero, who is welcomed with a huge cheer from the supporters.
This doesn't look good for Hart, who really hurt himself stretching to clear the danger and seems to have picked up a nasty-looking injury. He's still on the floor receiving medical treatment, and it looks as if his game is done.
Almost a terrible mistake by Demichelis! Hart sends a goal-kick short to the Argentine, who immediately tries to poke it back to the goalkeeper. It's awfully hit, however, and the Englishman has to stretch to thump the ball away before it can be cut out by Martial, who was charging down on goal.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
It's been a frustrating opening 45 minutes for City, who started the game well but have really struggled since going behind. United have found it relatively easy to soak up the pressure being put on them before flying forward on quick counter-attacks, many of which have been a success due to the hosts' defensive struggles. Both Mangala and Demichelis have looked off the pace, with the Argentine being particularly sloppy in his dealing with Rashford, who has made his life a misery.
HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 0-1 MANCHESTER UNITED
Rashford goes down inside the box and then all hell breaks loose! United work the ball around wonderfully on the left wing before the youngster sprints into the penalty area, where he's clumsily barged to the ground by Demichelis. The referee immediately tells him to get back to his feet, however, resulting in an angry exchange between the striker, the Argentine centre-back and Fernandinho, with shoves flying all over the place.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be two minutes of added time.
Toure pleads for a penalty, but nothing is given! Navas' cross from the free-kick is flicked on by Sagna, who does well to pick out the Ivorian at the back post. It looks to be a simple tap-in for the midfielder but he goes down in a heap on the floor just as he makes contact with the ball, resulting in him screaming for a penalty to be given. However, the replays show that he and Carrick both had an equal hold on each other as they wrestled frantically.
It's hotting up! Blind and Aguero, who have been battling against one another all game, battle for the ball down the right wing before the Dutchman cynically pushes the striker to the ground, leaving the referee with no choice but to award City a free-kick in a very dangerous position near to the corner flag.
Demichelis slides towards Rashford as he tries to dispossess the youngster but ends up handling the ball, resulting in a free-kick for United 30 yards away from the City goal. It's taken quickly and worked over to Martial, who then sends a low cross into the middle of the penalty area, but Mangala is there to easily cut out the danger.
Smalling flies forward on a rare foray into the City half of the pitch before teeing up Rashford, who drifts out to the right wing before sending a dangerous low cross into the middle of the penalty area. There's nobody there to meet it but United do well to keep hold of possession before Darmian tries to tee up a teammate with a curling cross, but it's completely mishit and ends up flying out of play for a goal-kick.
After a frantic few moments the pace of the game has slowed down somewhat, with neither side finding much joy as they battle for the ball in the middle of the pitch. United have dropped off ever so slightly, which is allowing City to largely control the game.
Once again, Navas twists and turns on the right-hand side of the United box before cutting inside and unleashing a thumping strike that's deflected out of play for a corner. However, this time the set-piece fails to result in a chance on goal and is easily dealt with by the visitors' defence.
Navas, who has been one of City's most active players thus far, takes on Rojo before firing a low cross into the middle of the box, where it's blasted out for a corner by Smalling. The resulting set-piece is flung into the penalty area, where it finds Sagna, but the right-back's looping header is easily saved by De Gea.
Pockets of space keep appearing just outside of the City penalty area, and United are doing well to make them count. This time it's Schneiderlin who breaks forward quickly before trying to poke a pass through to Rashford, but it's slightly overhit and misses the striker before being cut out by Hart.
Toure goes close! Navas twists and turns on the right-hand side of the United penalty area before cutting a pass back to the Ivorian, who is waiting patiently just outside of the box. He receives the ball under very little pressure and is comfortably able to take a touch before unleashing a curling shot that beats De Gea before bouncing just wide of the far post.
Rashford bursts towards the City box before teeing up Rojo, who then fires a low cross off Sagna and out for a corner. Blind's curling cross from the set-piece almost finds Schneiderlin but it ends up flying just past the Frenchman and over to the opposite flank. The hosts then try to break away on a swift counter-attack but Aguero slightly mistimes his run and is flagged offside as a result.
Martial charges through the middle of the pitch and flies towards the edge of the City penalty area. He drifts out to the right and tries to hold the ball up slightly as he waits for Darmian, but the Italian's run forward is too slow and the Frenchman is eventually dispossessed before he can tee up the full-back.
City quickly come back at the visitors are work the ball forward quickly, but again a poor cross, this time from Toure, fails to find Aguero in front of goal and instead bounces straight into the hands of De Gea, who has only had one save to make thus far.
Toure twists and turns as he tries to find a way through the sea of red shirts camped in front of him. He's eventually able to pick out Navas on the right flank, but the Spaniard's low cross fails to reach a blue shirt and is instead cut out by Darmian, who immediately thumps the ball up towards the halfway line.
Fernando
R. Sterling
Manchester City
Sterling is still struggling after receiving a clattering from Mata, and he hobbles off the pitch to be replaced by Fernando. It looks as if the Brazilian will play alongside Fernandinho, meaning that Toure will push forward into a more advanced role.
United patiently move the ball around as they slowly but surely make their way down the right wing, but Darmian ends up carelessly straying offside and the linesman's flag is quickly raised as soon as he receives the ball from Mata.
City have been looking slightly more confident over the past few minutes, and they push forward well down the right wing before earning themselves a corner. Navas curls a looping cross into the middle of the United penalty area but it can only find Blind, who does well to head the ball away from danger.
Chance for Demichelis! Sterling breaks down the left wing and cuts inside before being clattered to the floor by Mata, resulting in a free-kick for City in a dangerous position. There's a slight break in play as the youngster receives medical attention, but a lovely cross is finally flung into the box by Demichelis. It finds the Argentine centre-back, but his headed effort ends up bouncing just wide of the far post.
Almost a great chance for Lingard! Martial drops a little deeper and picks up the ball in a pocket of space just outside of the City penalty area. He then sends a lovely through-ball towards the young Englishman, but it's sent just behind him and misses the winger before rolling into the hands of Hart.
Martial almost makes it 2-0! City don't look at all comfortable at the back, where United's pace is causing them plenty of problems every time they visitors push forward. Once again, Demichelis is unable to deal with a quick attack before the French forward unleashes a rocket of a strike that Hart is just about able to parry away from danger.
M. Rashford
Goal
Manchester United
GOAL! United have taken the lead through their new star striker! Mata picks up the ball in the middle of the pitch, and he's left in far too much space by Toure and Fernandinho, both of whom aren't quick enough to close him down. The Spaniard flies forward before teeing up Rashford, who easily beats Demichelis on the edge of the City penalty area before slotting a wonderful shot under Hart and into the back of the net. The wonderful start to his career goes on!
Mata
Assist
Manchester United
Assist Juan Manuel Mata García
Another chance for Navas! Sloppy play by Rojo gifts the ball to Toure, who powers forward before finding Silva on the edge of the United box. The Spaniard then plays a lovely one-two with Sterling before chipping a deep cross over to the right-winger. He quickly fires a thumping low shot after bringing the ball down, but it's parried away by the legs of De Gea.
Rashford battles with Clichy down the right wing before earning his side their first corner of the game. Blind sensd it low towards the near post, but it's poorly hit and is easily cut out by Navas. However, the referee wasn't happy with the pushing and shoving happening in the box and allows the Dutchman to take the set-piece again, but this time Hart is there to cut out the danger with a strong punch.
Lingard breaks through the middle of Mangala and Demichelis as he attempts to latch on to a long-range pass towards the City penalty area, but the latter does well to dart back and cut out the danger with a well-timed sliding interception before the youngster can make contact with the ball.
C. Smalling
Yellow Card
Manchester United
Aguero drops incredibly deep to find the back, and Smalling follows him all of the way back into the City half of the pitch. The Argentine then spins round the centre-back before charging forward, but he's cynically pulled back and, as a result, the defender is shown the first yellow card of the game.
It's all City at the moment, who are bossing possession but are finding it difficult to break out of their own half of the pitch due to the sea of red shirts camped in front of them. However, pockets of space are starting to open up, and that is only set to continue as the game wears on and the players begin to tire.
Chance for City! Silva takes Smalling out of the game on the left wing before poking a lovely through-ball into the path of Sterling, who then flies past Blind and into the left-hand side of the United penalty area. The youngster's chipped cross towards Aguero can only find Darmian but the Italian's attempted clearance flies over to Navas, who chests the ball down before firing a volleyed strike a few yards wide of the far post.
Aguero charges through the middle of the pitch as he easily beats Blind for pace. He heads towards the edge of the United penalty area before teeing up Sterling, but, after doing well to find some space on the left-hand side of the box, the former Liverpool winger sends a poor pass away from the Argentine striker and straight to Smalling.
United patiently pass the ball around before Rashford tries to penetrate the penalty area, but Demichelis does well to dispossess the youngster before conceding a throw-in on the left wing. It's taken quickly but the visitors are quickly closed down by blue shirts, forcing them into playing the ball all the way back into their own half of the pitch.
City immediately push forward down the right wing through Navas, who sprints towards the byline before sending into the penalty area a bouncing cross that Darmian nods behind for a corner. The set-piece is flung into the middle of the box, but United do well to deal with the danger before the ball is fired in to the hosts' half of the pitch.
And we're off! City get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Meanwhile, United boss Louis van Gaal has decided to make just two alterations to the side that featured in Thursday evening’s 1-1 draw at home to Liverpool, with Guillermo Varela and Marouane Fellaini making way for Matteo Darmian and Morgan Schneiderlin.
Manuel Pellegrini has decided to make four changes to the City side that started the 0-0 draw with Dynamo Kiev, with Bacary Sagna, Martin Demichelis, Eliaquim Mangala and Raheem Sterling coming into the starting line-up to replace Pablo Zabaleta, Vincent Kompany, Nicolas Otamendi and Fernando, respectively.
Manchester United substitutes: Romero, Valencia, Fosu-Mensah, Schweinsteiger, Fellaini, Januzaj, Depay.
Manchester United XI (4-2-3-1): De Gea; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Rojo; Carrick, Schneiderlin; Lingard, Mata, Martial; Rashford.
Manchester City substitutes: Caballero, Kolarov, Zabaleta, Fernando, Garcia, Iheanacho, Bony.
Manchester City XI (4-2-3-1): Hart; Sagna, Demichelis, Mangala, Clichy; Toure, Fernandinho; Navas, Silva, Sterling; Aguero.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
Whilst inconsistency is plaguing both clubs, City head into today’s clash with recent history on their side after dominating the Manchester derby over the past three years. Since December 2012, the Citizens have beaten their rivals on four of the last six occasions, with United winning just once during that time. Today’s hosts have also thoroughly enjoyed themselves on this ground in recent years, winning the last two meetings in a row and scoring five goals to their opponents’ one. They now have the opportunity to beat the Red Devils on their home ground for the third time in a row, something that hasn’t happened since 1995.
Just when it looks as if United have turned a corner, poor results bring them crashing back down to earth. Back-to-back league wins - their first since November - against Arsenal and Watford, coupled with comfortable cup victories against Shrewsbury Town and Midtjylland, filled fans with hope and signalled a possible change in fortune for the Red Devils, but since the win against the Hornets they have been hit by the inconsistency and lethargy that characterised their early season performances. As a result, they are now out of the Europa League and without a win in their last four consecutive games, with their last Premier League clash, a disappointing affair against West Bromwich Albion, ending 1-0 to the Baggies. Whilst they have two games in hand over the seventh-place side, Stoke City’s win yesterday means that they now trail Louis van Gaal’s men by just one point, meaning that a victory today is absolutely vital if they are to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for a European competition next season.
Disappointing campaigns for both Manchester clubs means that they are now fighting tooth and nail for a place in the Champions League next season, and with just four points separating the two sides, the victor of this afternoon’s clash will win more than just bragging rights. After having a difficult few weeks in which they have picked up just four points from a possible 15 - including losing three league games in a row for the first time since November 2008 - City’s now sit 15 points behind league leaders Leicester City, rendering their title chances all but over. Now, their sights must be firmly set on European qualification, and with in-form West Ham United just a point behind them, a win today is imperative if they are to keep the Hammers at bay and keep the pressure firmly on third-place Arsenal. A relatively comfortable goalless draw at home to Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday evening saw the Citizens through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, but it came at a cost, as both Nicolas Otamendi and, most importantly, Vincent Kompany will miss out today after picking up injuries against the Ukrainian side. Manuel Pellegrini’s team have looked far better since the Belgian returned from injury little over a month ago, but his absence could cause problems for his side, who have looked defensively poor when he is not on the pitch.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Premier League game between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
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