City go top of Premier League again

Manchester City have won the derby to go top of the table on goal difference for an 11th change at the top-of-the-table this season.

City won the game thanks to a bullet header from Kompany in the first minute of injury time at the end of the first half from Nasri’s corner.

Quite amazingly, it was the first time in three years that United didn’t have a single shot on target, as City held the champions at bay, while not with ease, but certainly not with great difficulty.

The opening stages of the game were open with end to end football the order of the day, though neither side created anything particularly noteworthy early doors.

Midway through the first half, City are controlling possession, though United have a penalty turned down following an apparent handball from Kompany.  Would have been a harsh award.

Tensions are boiling over as neither side is penetrating the other and referee Andre Mariner has a word with Gareth Barry and Vincent Kompany with both sides on edge just after the half hour mark.

Shortly afterwards, the referee gives a tight decision to United to bring an abrupt end to a promising City attack, and players on both sides are beginning to look a little disgruntled with Andre Marriner.

Wayne Rooney takes exception to a strong challenge by Carlos Tevez on Phil Jones, and the referee is going to have to work hard to keep emotions in check.

City dominated coming up to half time with Zabaletta forcing a weak shot at De Gea while Sergio Aguero scuffed wide from inside the box.

City finally took the lead on the stroke of half time as David Silva delivers the corner and Vincent Kompany arrives like a man possessed to climb highest and beat Chris Smalling in the air to power a header past David de Gea.

The crowd erupts and that goal is well deserved for City.  Fergie will no doubt have the hairdryer out at half time.

The second half starts with no changes on either side and United certainly up the tempo at the beginning of the second 45 minutes.

Park Ji-sung links up well with Nani before the Portuguese winger’s cross is blocked behind for a corner by Joleon Lescott.

Joe Hart comes out to try and claim the corner but only succeeds in getting his fingertips to the ball and it races away for another corner.

Joe Hart has not been at his most convincing tonight, as he spills a quick-fire Nani shot from distance to concede yet another corner.  United appear to be turning the screw, but City are holding firm defensively with Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany and Clichy all putting in serious shifts.

City stem the tide however and Ferguson makes a change just before the hours with Danny Welbeck replacing Park Ji-sung to give Rooney more support up top.

Though United force some pressure, they aren’t creating any clear cut chances and City bring in midfield enforcer Nigel De Jong for Tevez midway through the half as the home side look to shut up shop.

With United still creating nothing they bring on dynamic winger Valencia for Scholes as they chase the goal they need to keep the destination of the Premier League title in their own hands.

With United throwing caution to the wind, Yaya Toure very nearly doubles the home side’s lead as he curls a 20 yard effort inches wide of De Gea’s post, though Aguero was better placed.

Micah Richards comes in at center half for David Silva as City are now happy to sit on their lead with five minutes to go while United bring on Ashley Young in place of Nani for one last throw of the dice.

Man City line-up: Hart, Zabaleta, Lescott, Kompany, Clichy, Barry, Toure Yaya, Silva, Tevez, Nasri, Aguero. Subs: Pantilimon, Richards, Milner, Dzeko, Kolarov, De Jong, Balotelli.

Man Utd line-up: De Gea, Jones, Ferdinand, Smalling, Evra, Nani, Carrick, Scholes, Park, Giggs, Rooney. Subs: Amos, Berbatov, Hernandez, Young, Welbeck, Rafael Da Silva, Valencia.


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