Manchester: Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho were both on target as Manchester City overcame Manchester United in an enthralling 2-1 victory in the English Premier League (EPL) football league at the Old Trafford here on Saturday.
Pep Guardiola’s side raced into a two-goal lead in a pulsating opening 36 minutes before Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his fourth goal in as many EPL matches with half-time approaching.
De Bruyne put the visitors ahead on 15 minutes after reacting first to Iheanacho’s flick-on from a long punt from Aleksandar Kolarov. The Belgian burst through before sending United’s Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea the wrong way with a cool finish.
City were dominant in the first half and Belgian De Bruyne was again prominent in the second goal when he curled a left-footed shot off the far post, which Iheanacho polished off from close range.
United found a way back into the match when goalkeeper Claudio Bravo, on his EPL debut, and team-mate John Stones impeded each other in their attempt to deal with Wayne Rooney’s free-kick, and Ibrahimovic reacted with a superb half-volley from the edge of the area.
Half-time substitute Marcus Rashford made a lively contribution after coming on, setting up Ibrahimovic to fire over from six yards, before De Bruyne hit the post again and De Gea thwarted Nicolas Otamendi with a brave double-stop, as City held on to the 2-1 win.
“You know that in this league you are always going to lose matches and you know that especially between the big teams, three results are more than possible to happen,” United head coach Jose Mourinho said.
“So I don’t open my mouth when Liverpool go and beat Arsenal, when City beat Man United here, when Man United beat Chelsea or Tottenham away, nobody opens their mouth with surprise because it’s a normal result. But of course we’re sad and disappointed with the defeat.”
City coach Guardiola was “happy” after the win, and praised the “personality” of new goalkeeper Bravo for continuing to come for crosses despite the Chilean making a mistake for the hosts’ goal.