City move 12 points ahead of United after hard-fought Manchester derby triumph

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Champions Manchester City moved 12 points ahead of rivals Manchester United in the Premier League with a hard-fought 3-1 win in Sunday’s derby.

David Silva opened the scoring as the leaders made a blistering start at the Etihad Stadium and Sergio Aguero doubled the advantage with a his eighth derby goal after the break.

United, who were without Paul Pogba, responded through Anthony Martial after substitute Romelu Lukaku won a penalty but Ilkay Gundogan wrapped up victory for the hosts.

City asserted an early control and fashioned a chance for Bernardo Silva, who fired wide from a cutting Fernandinho pass, before United had even touched the ball.

They upped the pace even further and David Silva got behind the United defence only for Aguero – sporting a new blond hairstyle – to miskick in front of goal and Fernandinho drive wide.

The opener came after 12 minutes as Raheem Sterling’s deep cross was kept in play by Bernardo Silva and pulled back for David Silva to take a touch and fire home from close range, via a deflection.

City threatened more as Bernardo Silva had an effort blocked and Ander Herrera twice invited trouble as he was robbed of possession by Sterling and then Aguero.

On the first occasion he got back to recover the ball and, on the second, he was spared by an Aguero slip.

United eventually began to settle and tighten up but it was some time before they had even half a chance as Chris Smalling heading harmlessly over from a Jesse Lingard cross.

Some good play from the visitors presented Martial with an opening in the box but Fernandinho made a timely challenge.

City stirred back into life after a quiet spell just before the interval as Bernardo Silva fed Aguero and the Argentinian drove into the side-netting.

That proved a sighter for Aguero, who doubled City’s lead three minutes into the second half following a lightning attack.

Jesee Lingard failed to control a David De Gea pass on halfway and Fernandinho was quickly onto the ball to set City on the attack.

Aguero burst forward and played a one-two with Riyad Mahrez before unleashing a ferocious shot into the top corner.

The game was far from over, however, as United boss Jose Mourinho turned to his bench and sent on Lukaku just before the hour.

Just 30 seconds later the Belgium international won a penalty as he went through on goal and was taken down by goalkeeper Ederson.

The appointment of Wythenshawe referee Anthony Taylor to the fixture had caused some consternation among City fans but there could be little complaint with that decision. Martial sent Ederson the wrong way as he calmly stroked home the spot-kick.

City responded by sending on Leroy Sane and the winger jinked across field to tee up Fernandinho but De Gea clutched the Brazilian’s long-range drive.

City controlled the closing stages and their pressure eventually paid off as Bernardo Silva picked out Gundogan, who had replaced Aguero 15 minutes from time, and the German finished from close range.

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