Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Saturday, 9 September 2016
Kick-off: 12:30 BST
Manchester United lost 2-1 at home to Manchester City in the first local derby of the season.
A rampant City display early on, combined with United’s lacklustre approach saw Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho gift the away side the initiative.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic did pull one back before the interval but it wasn’t enough to prevent a disappointing loss.
Playing on the break, United had the first chance of the game as Wayne Rooney’s spread found Henrikh Mkhitaryan who teed up Paul Pogba, whose first time effort curled just over the bar.
In a first half dominated by City, left-back Aleksandar Kolarov’s free-kick was too high to trouble, but he did play a part in the opening goal.
It was his long ball that was flicked on by Iheanacho, and as Daley Blind stood waiting, De Bruyne nipped in and ran clean through on clean, slotting the ball into the bottom left-hand corner.
Kolarov’s fellow full-back Bacary Sagna volleyed over before the visitors doubled their lead not long later.
Allowed to get his shot away, De Bruyne’s strike crashed against the post, but Iheanacho reacted quickest to tap home, with Blind playing him onside.
With half-time looming, United halved the deficit, after Rooney’s deep free-kick was spilled by debutant keeper Claudio Bravo into the path of Ibrahimovic, who fired home first time despite two bodies on the line.
The Swede could have drawn United level before the break, first heading straight at Bravo from Rooney’s cross, before scuffing an attempt from Jesse Lingard’s set up as John Stones cleared off the line after Bravo had allowed Lingard to nip in.
Looking for more goals, Ibrahimovic fired over from Marcus Rashford’s dinked cross and Rooney’s flat cross.
Bravo then went in studs first on Rooney, but referee Mark Clattenburg failed to award a spot-kick or red card, as Rooney dragged a shot wide.
Ibrahimovic was off target again this time from Marouane Fellaini’s flick on, before Rashford’s shot deflected in off Ibrahimovic but he was offside so the goal was chalked off.
David De Gea then made a brilliant double save to deny Fernandinho and Nicolas Otamendi from a corner, before holding Fernandinho’s header from the resulting set piece.
De Bruyne could have wrapped things up after being played in by Leroy Sane, but his shot struck the inside of the post and somehow went behind for a goal kick.
Silva curled over from De Bruyne’s set, before the latter fired a free-kick over the bar.
United pushed for an equaliser but the game ended in defeat.
It was a reasonable response from Jose Mourinho’s side but the appalling opening 35 minutes cost them the game, as they look to bounce back next Sunday away at Watford in a midday kick-off.
Before then is a trip to the Netherlands to take on Feyenoord, in the opening game of this season’s Europa League.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Shaw (Martial 81); Fellaini, Pogba; Mkhitaryan (Herrera 46), Rooney, Lingard (Rashford 46); Ibrahimovic.
Subs not used: Romero, Smalling, Schneiderlin, Mata.
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Manchester City: Bravo; Sagna, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Nolito (Zabaleta 90), De Bruyne, Silva, Sterling (Sane 60); Iheanacho (Fernando 53).
Subs not used: Caballero, Navas, Clichy, Garcia.
Manager: Pep Guardiola