Manchester City got the spolis in the derby with Manchester United after Sergio Aguero got the winner in a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
After a tight first half, City took the lead when James Milner slammed into the bottom corner in the 51st minute, but an unlucky own goal from Vincent Kompany pegged them back just eight minutes later.
City brought Aguero off the bench and the man who scored City’s title clinching goalagainst QPR showed brilliance with a stunning individual goal in the 79th minute.
United started strongly with two decent chances in the opening 10 minutes. Ashley Young’s cross was flicked at goal by the head of Danny Welbeck but Joe Hart made a comfortable save to claim the ball.
Just after, Wayne Rooney’s clever pass allowed Robin van Persie to fire a shot at goal from 25 yards, but it was pulled across the goal and wide.
Up the other end, City looked sharp. After David Silva’s cross was blocked by Ryan Giggs, Samir Nasri slashed a shot wide from 18 yards. Silva was running United ragged and did well when he laid off for Milner, but the former Aston Villa midfielder’s strike was weak and easily gathered by David De Gea.
It was a tight game, without many clear chances in the first half. With the interval looming, Rafael raced onto van Persie’s flick-on, but Hart made a good save to push it around the post.
After half-time, the game soon opened up as Manchester City grabbed the lead in the 51st minute. Giggs was easily dispossessed by Gareth Barry on the left, who did well to slide the ball across to the dangerous Nasri. The Frenchman knocked it back for the incoming Milner, and the England international powered past De Gea from 20 yards with a sweet left-footed strike.
Unfortunately for the visitors, their lead would last only eight minutes. A free-kick swung in from the right by van Persie looked destined to be headed in from four yards by Phil Jones, but the centre-back headed across the goal instead of turning it in. Luckily for him, the ball rebounded off the shoulder of the unaware Kompany and nestled into the net for an own goal.
City were putting in an impressive performance though, masterminded by the Spanish wizard, Silva. A superb chipped through ball by the attacking midfielder found Nasri, but he was off-balance and volleyed well over. It would have been a magical goal has Nasri been able to finish.
United were dangerous on the counter-attack, and Hart had to make a good save to keep out Young’s rasping long-range drive that was headed towards the bottom corner. However, it was City who needed the win more and showed it when Aguero came off the bench to add to the attacking options.
It worked for Roberto Mancini as the Argentine striker showed a piece of class to fire City back in front. He picked the ball up from Yaya Toure’s pass, and went on a mazy run past Jones, Welbeck and Rio Ferdinand before he rifled into the top corner from 15 yards. It was a stunning individual goal that showed the world-class quality that Aguero possesses.
United tried to fight back, but City defended well to hold on and inflict United’s second home defeat in the Premier League this season.It may be a result that won’t change the title race at this point, but City go into Sunday’s huge FA Cup Semi-Final with Chelsea with confidence.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)