Kevin De Bruyne starred as Manchester City reopened a six-point lead on Liverpool at the top of the Premier League by beating Manchester United 4-1 at the Etihad on Super Sunday.
Gary Neville called it a “second-half mauling”, believing United have a long way to go to catch the Premier League’s top three, including Liverpool and Chelsea.
De Bruyne scored twice either side of Jadon Sancho’s well-taken equaliser before Riyad Mahrez took over by scoring twice to cap an emphatic home win as United missed the chance to move back into the top four following Arsenal’s 3-2 win at Watford earlier on Sunday.
When City fans are performing their ‘Poznan’ celebration with their backs to the action in the final five minutes, you know something has gone dreadfully wrong for the opposition.
Sky Sports provides the player ratings from the 50th Premier League Manchester derby.
Ederson – 6
Alert to keep out Fred inside 10 minutes but could do nothing about Sancho’s equaliser. Largely a spectator as so often the case when City play.
Kyle Walker – 6
Too easily sold by Fernandes’ decoy run for Sancho’s leveller but was relatively untroubled. Seems to play with his slippers on, but his pace and reading of the game makes the awkward look easy.
John Stones – 6
Saw his remarkable record of having not conceded in the Premier League when paired at centre-back with Laporte in two years ended.
It hasn’t been that often, of course, given the near ever-presence of Ruben Dias, but made an important block to thwart a Telles’ volley into the ground when this was a contest.
Aymeric Laporte – 6
Distribution wasn’t always on point but showed good reading of the game, picking out Grealish with a fine pass on one occasion. Aggressive in both boxes when required – which wasn’t often. Barely broke sweat in the second half.
Joao Cancelo – 6
Started many of the moves down United’s battered right side and made an important late challenge to prevent Elanga from getting a shot away on the transition.
Less influential than he has been in other games this season, but acrobatic effort from Walker’s cross nearly provided the ultimate party piece in the final 10 minutes.
Jack Grealish – 7
Had either scored or assisted in two of his previous three Premier League appearances against United with Aston Villa, and he was quickly having an influence in his first Manchester derby, having missed out on starting at Old Trafford.
Free to roam more centrally after the restart. Somewhat surprising when he was named in the starting XI, but he took his chance well – vindicating Guardiola’s call to select him in front of Raheem Sterling.
Rodri – 7
Was sluggish as he failed to put pressure on Sancho for United’s equaliser, but this was an otherwise tidy display from Manchester City’s midfield metronome.
Allowed the more offensive players to roam, and the shackles well and truly came off after Mahrez stroked in City’s third, and played a clever role in it as he blocked off Lingard’s ability to close down the space from the set piece.
Kevin De Bruyne – 9
Wearing the captain’s armband and making a captain’s contribution inside five minutes, notching his 50th Premier League goal to ignite this 50th Premier League Manchester derby. The Belgian was in the mood, gloriously switching play and drawing opponents into fouls.
Influenced the game where it really mattered, making it 11 goals in 11 home Premier League appearances this term. Anyone of three players might have scored City’s second as De Gea and then Maguire denied Foden and Silva, but it was De Bruyne who kept his cool.
Assisted Mahrez for good measure in another midfield masterclass. Withdrawn on 80 minutes.
Bernardo Silva – 7
So often City’s route to goal, down the left channel and runners found with a pull-back, Silva combined with Grealish to find the onrushing De Bruyne. Brilliant work rate off the ball to win the ball off Sancho, typifying Guardiola’s emphasis on winning the ball back whenever it is lost.
Riyad Mahrez – 8
Has now been involved in 11 goals in his last nine Premier League appearances, scoring eight and assisting three, but he felt almost left out in the first half on the right wing with City making inroads down the opposite flank. Saw one low shot kept out by De Gea and another rise over. Not so quiet in the second.
Twenty-one goals for the season, and perhaps none more significant than his composed first finish straight off the training ground. His delayed celebration for his second added to United’s pain.
Phil Foden – 7
Improvised well to manufacture a looping header at goal midway through first half to clip De Gea’s crossbar. Brilliant skill and acceleration lost Wan-Bissaka for a stinging shot leading to De Bruyne’s second. Bright throughout, attempting five shots by the 55th minute.
Ilkay Gundogan (on for De Bruyne, 80 minutes) – 6
Neville described United’s second-half contribution as “pathetic” and as if they were “playing with nine men” as Gundogan really ought to have added a late fourth as he dragged his shot wide. Assisted Mahrez’s second.
David De Gea – 7
A typically busy afternoon for the Spaniard. When has it not been? Fine save to deny Foden in the build-up to De Bruyne’s second, which he could do little about. Shovelled out another shot from Mahrez on the stroke of half-time to keep it at a one-goal deficit.
Kept out Mahrez and Cancelo as his save count increased but was unsighted for Mahrez’s clincher. Looked like he pulled up injured in stoppage time after an attempted clearance, which resulted in Mahrez opting for power to compound United’s collective pain as VAR favoured the hosts.
Victor Lindelof – 5
Was pulled out wide for De Bruyne’s opener but didn’t get close enough to Silva’s cross. He wasn’t the only player at fault. Bamboozled brilliantly by Foden as he got too tight leading to City’s second and became a spectator on the edge of the box as De Bruyne sauntered in front of him to score again.
Harry Maguire – 5
Instructed those in front of him to remain compact, be brave and force a high line – and it meant United enjoyed plenty of possession in the opening 20 minutes. Booked for a reckless challenge on De Bruyne when he was never getting there.
Alex Telles – 5
Was caught on his heels and was late to smell the danger as De Bruyne slotted home the opener. Not overly tested by Mahrez until he was easily beaten by the Algerian’s trademark dribble inside to very nearly find the bottom corner. Offered little going forward.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka – 4
Preferred to Diogo Dalot at right-back, but it was down his side where United had a problem. Took ownership to deal with through ball with De Gea haring out of his goal. Could have been a mess and he dithered when brushed over by Foden as part of a poor start to the second half.
Paul Pogba – 6
Played in possibly his most advanced position since returning to United, behind Fernandes. Found himself coming deep to get involved, and was hounded off the ball on one such occasion which nearly proved costly as De Gea kept out De Bruyne. Another sloppy pass seeking McTominay went unpunished. Withdrawn on 64 minutes as his influence faded.
Scott McTominay – 5
Struggled to have an influence in the opening period but grew into the game. Was partially at fault for De Bruyne’s opener as he and Lindelof failed to stop the cross. Sir Alex Ferguson winced as he looked back at the replay of City’s second. Where was the midfield? He may well have wondered.
De Bruyne was given the freedom of the pitch in his department too often, but he was in the right place more frequently after the break.
Fred – 5
Showed good feet to lose Walker from Fernandes’ pass as United sought an immediate response to De Bruyne’s opener, but saw door slammed shut by Ederson.
Didn’t react quickly enough to put out the fire as City ran in a second. Occasionally put pressure on his team-mates with backwards passing.
Bruno Fernandes – 5
Operated in the ‘false nine’ role in Cristiano Ronaldo’s absence but showed his natural playmaking tendencies to drop deep and pick out Fred for his fine chance for a quick response.
An invisible assist for Sancho’s equaliser as it was his run that allowed his team-mate the space to find the bottom corner. Selflessly set up Sancho for another first-half opportunity that went begging but then his whingeing began.
Jadon Sancho – 6
Former City youngster scored a brilliant equaliser on his return to the Etihad. Finished off a sweeping move and it was a goal United deserved. Used Stones as a shield to bend a precise shot beyond Ederson.
An understated celebration, but it must now act as a springboard to his Premier League career. Rushed an easier chance from which to score a second before half-time.
Sancho has been directly involved in four goals in his last five Premier League appearances (two goals, two assists), after only managing one goal in his first 18 games in the competition (0 assists).
Anthony Elanga – 6
Clever touch to start the move for Sancho’s goal into Fernandes’ path. Didn’t looked overawed by the occasion, the teenager featuring down the right in his first Manchester derby. Doubled up as best he could with Wan-Bissaka as City probed constantly down their left.
It meant Elanga had attempted four tackles by the break, more than any other player on either team. Replaced on 64 minutes as part of double change.
Jesse Lingard (on for Elanga, 64 minutes) – n/a
There was a demoralised look about United after City’s third goal and Lingard failed to influence the game.
Marcus Rashford (on for Pogba, 64 minutes) – n/a
Anonymous in a central role as he was overlooked in spite of Edinson Cavani and Ronaldo’s absence. Walked around the pitch like many of his team-mates as City met meek second-half resistance.
A sobering omission for a man bang out of form at a ground where he has had success in the past.
Man City host Sporting Lisbon in the second leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Wednesday at 8pm, while Man Utd host Tottenham on Saturday Night Football at 5.30pm – live on Sky Sports Premier League.