The first real test of the season for Manchester City saw deadly local rivals Manchester United pay a visit to the Etihad Stadium. This was an eagerly anticipated match-up that pitted the two title favourites against each other in a fixture that helped decide the title last year and the year before.
It was a nervous start with both sides desperately not wanting to concede early on. Man City settled the quicker though and had their counterparts under pressure within 15 minutes. They made their dominance pay after good work on the left from Nasri played Kolarov in down the wing, his cross perfectly picked out Sergio Aguero who finished with a stunning volley to put the Citizens in the lead.
David Moyes would have wanted an immediate response from his side but it didn’t come. City continued to press forward and kept the current champions quiet for the majority of the first half. Just before the break Manchester City doubled their lead. Nasri swung in a corner and Alvaro Negredo’s header was flicked over the line by Yaya Toure.
In the second half Man City picked up where they left off. Negredo picked out his strike partner Sergio Aguero who calmly tucked away his second of the game. United’s only chances were coming on the break but were rarely a threat to Man City’s strong defence.
Any chances the visitors may have had of a comeback were killed off just a few minutes later when Samir Nasri superbly volleyed home from Jesus Navas’ cross. The goal summed up City’s dominance and was well deserved.
United scored a late goal thanks to a Wayne Rooney free kick, however it was nothing more than a consolation. It was a case of too little too late for the Red Devils as the home side cruised to the finish for a comfortable three points and Manuel Pellegrini’s first derby win as City manager.
It’s obviously too early to say that this result will determine the destination of this year’s Premier League trophy but it could have a massive impact on the next couple of games and may well prove pivotal come crunch time.