Premier League
Man UtdManchester United1Man CityManchester City2

Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City

By Phil McNultyChief football writer at Old Trafford
Man Utd 1-2 Man City: Jose Mourinho's rotten luck v Pep Guardiola continues

Pep Guardiola emerged victorious from his first Premier League battle with old adversary Jose Mourinho as Manchester City secured a fully deserved win in a frantic Old Trafford derby.

Kevin de Bruyne's cool finish and Kelechi Iheanacho's tap-in after the Belgian hit the post put City in complete control as they outclassed Mourinho's Manchester United for most of the opening 45 minutes.

United were handed a lifeline just before the break when City's debutant keeper Claudio Bravo summed up his desperately uncertain display by dropping a free-kick to allow Zlatan Ibrahimovic to pull a goal back.

They mounted an aerial siege in front of the Stretford End but City held firm to maintain their position at the top of the table, coming closest to scoring when De Bruyne struck an upright from Leroy Sane's pass.

Guardiola strikes psychological blow

Pep Guardiola praises Claudio Bravo

The long-time rivalry - and acrimony - between former Real Madrid manager Mourinho and ex-Barcelona boss Guardiola meant this fixture was ringed on the calendar from the moment it was announced.

A truce was called in the build-up to the game as Guardiola announced he would accept an invitation for a post-match glass of wine with Mourinho and there was an embrace when they met before kick-off.

And when the game started, Guardiola stalked his technical area, micro-managing every moment of City's approach, while Mourinho crouched and made notes as the game progressed.

The Spaniard will have been delighted to see such early superiority, a magnificent first 40 minutes of clinical passing and movement leaving United's midfield, including £89m world record buy Paul Pogba, as virtual passengers.

It was only that moment of indecision from Bravo that disrupted City - and Guardiola's congratulations for his players at the end were also an expression of delight for their resilience when the going got tough late on.

He showed his willingness to shore things up when he sent on Fernandinho for Iheanacho - but it was not such a good day for Mourinho.

The Portuguese gave summer signing Henrikh Mkhitaryan his first start in an unfamiliar right flank role and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Marcus Rashford after a nightmare first half.

Mourinho also brought on Ander Herrera for Jesse Lingard for the second half but City survived an improved United showing to maintain their flawless start to the season.

Bravo the only blot on City's day

Claudio Bravo
Bravo was signed from Barcelona for £15.4m on 25 August

This was exactly how Pep Guardiola would have wanted it - a crucial victory that keeps Manchester City top of the Premier League table and marks them down already as the team to beat this season.

And in that opening half, City's hierarchy were able to sit back and watch the sort of football they had in mind when their long courting of Guardiola finally came to fruition.

City - without suspended striker Sergio Aguero - were simply in a different class to Mourinho's expensively reassembled Manchester United as they overran them in midfield, created space and chances while remaining cool under pressure.

It was only when Bravo's ill-judged dash to claim a free-kick and subsequent poor handling cost them a goal that they showed any signs of being unsettled.

The 33-year-old keeper was brought to Etihad Stadium in preference to Joe Hart, whose style did not find any favour with Guardiola.

One of Bravo's big selling points was supposedly his ability with the ball at his feet - but here he was shaky and indecisive, twice having to launch himself into desperate challenges on Mkhitaryan and Rooney after dawdling in possession.

Bravo is, however, a vastly experienced keeper whom Guardiola rates highly and so should be given time to settle.

Mourinho gets reality check

Referee made two big mistakes - Jose Mourinho

Jose Mourinho is a perfect fit for Old Trafford but this was never going to be a quick fix after the last three years of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal.

United look more physically imposing with the addition of players like Ibrahimovic, Pogba and defender Eric Bailly - but it is up front where he has the big dilemma.

Ibrahimovic is the main man but how does Mourinho fit in his array of attacking riches around him?

The United boss has Wayne Rooney, Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial, while he must also work out how to utilise Juan Mata and Mkhitaryan.

This selection looked mix and match - but Mourinho is a manager who specialises in finding successful solutions.

What the managers said

Pep Guardiola
Guardiola is the fourth manager to win his first four matches in the Premier League, alongside Mourinho, Guus Hiddink and Carlo Ancelotti

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola: "We are happy. I think the spectators enjoyed it because it was open until the end. First half we were better - in the second half it was difficult. We had counter-attacks and we didn't finish.

"These guys have a heart - in the first half we won a lot of duels against a team physically stronger. In the second half, the long balls, you just pray because it's almost impossible to control that."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho: "The two halves were completely different. In the first half we were below the level to play this match. You have to be completely ready in terms of the speed of your thinking and decision-making.

"The second half was completely different. We were a team that had the courage and honesty and dignity to chase with pride the result which I think we deserved - we deserved a goal in the second half."

Man of the match

Kevin de Bruyne
Kevin de Bruyne scored his first goal of the season, assisted City's second and came closest to breaking the second-half deadlock

The stats you need to know

Average positions Manchester United v Manchester City
City (right) almost played with a front four, while Ibrahimovic (9) was isolated for the hosts
  • Jose Mourinho has won just three of his 17 meetings with Pep Guardiola (D6 L8).
  • Manchester City secured their 50th Manchester derby win in all competitions.
  • Against Man City, Man Utd posted their fourth lowest home possession figure in the Premier League since 2003-04 (39.9%).
  • Kevin de Bruyne has been directly involved in 32 goals in 46 appearances in all competitions for Man City (17 goals, 15 assists).
  • Kelechi Iheanacho has scored nine goals from just 13 shots on target in the Premier League.

Who's up next?

Both teams kick off their European campaigns midweek, with City hosting Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday, before United travel to Feyenoord in the Europa League on Thursday.


Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 25A Valencia
  • 3BaillyBooked at 45mins
  • 17Blind
  • 23ShawSubstituted forMartialat 81'minutes
  • 27FellainiBooked at 52mins
  • 6Pogba
  • 22MkhitaryanSubstituted forHerreraat 45'minutes
  • 10RooneyBooked at 83mins
  • 14LingardSubstituted forRashfordat 45'minutes
  • 9IbrahimovicBooked at 51mins


  • 8Mata
  • 11Martial
  • 12Smalling
  • 19Rashford
  • 20Romero
  • 21Herrera
  • 28Schneiderlin

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Bravo
  • 3Sagna
  • 24Stones
  • 30Otamendi
  • 11Kolarov
  • 17De BruyneSubstituted forZabaletaat 90'minutes
  • 25FernandinhoBooked at 90mins
  • 21SilvaBooked at 41mins
  • 7SterlingSubstituted forSanéat 60'minutes
  • 72IheanachoSubstituted forRegesat 53'minutes
  • 9Nolito


  • 5Zabaleta
  • 6Reges
  • 13Caballero
  • 15Navas
  • 19Sané
  • 22Clichy
  • 75García
Mark Clattenburg

Match Stats

Home TeamMan UtdAway TeamMan City
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Manchester United 1, Manchester City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Manchester United 1, Manchester City 2.

  3. Booking

    Fernandinho (Manchester City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Fernandinho (Manchester City).

  5. Post update

    Ander Herrera (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Pablo Zabaleta (Manchester City).

  7. Post update

    Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  8. Post update

    Claudio Bravo (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Paul Pogba (Manchester United).

  10. Post update

    Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Bacary Sagna.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Marouane Fellaini.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Nicolás Otamendi (Manchester City).

  14. Post update

    Marouane Fellaini (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Manchester City. Pablo Zabaleta replaces Kevin De Bruyne.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Nicolás Otamendi following a set piece situation.

  17. Post update

    Nolito (Manchester City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Antonio Valencia (Manchester United).

  19. Post update

    Foul by Leroy Sané (Manchester City).

  20. Post update

    Paul Pogba (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.


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