Manchester United ended Manchester City's 28-game unbeaten run with a shock 2-0 victory at the Etihad on Sunday, with early goals in each half from Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw stunning Pep Guardiola's Premier League leaders.
United have been criticised for their lack of intent in these big fixtures this season but they were ahead inside two minutes thanks to a Bruno Fernandes penalty, after Gabriel Jesus had clumsily fouled Anthony Martial just 34 seconds in.
City - who had won their last 21 on the spin - assumed control of possession after that and hit the bar through Rodri at the start of the second half but moments later, Shaw drove forwards and finished the move he started to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side on course for a big derby win.
The title remains seemingly out of reach for United, with City's lead shorn to a still-handsome 11 points with 10 games to play, but they took an important step towards Champions League qualification and laid down a marker with this statement win.
Man City: Ederson (6), Joao Cancelo (5), Dias (5), Stones (6), Zinchenko (6), Gundogan (6), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (5), Mahrez (7), Gabriel Jesus (5), Sterling (5).
Subs: Walker (6), Foden (6)
Man Utd: Henderson (7), Wan Bissaka (7), Lindelof (7), Maguire (7), Shaw (8), McTominay (7), Fred (7), James (6), Bruno Fernandes (8), Rashford (7), Martial (8).
Subs: Greenwood (6), Matic (N/A), Williams (N/A)
Man of the match: Anthony Martial
How United stunned rivals City...
City had shut United out in their two previous meetings this season but the visitors got off to the perfect start when, during their first attack of the game, Jesus tripped Martial inside the box.
Fernandes fired his low penalty in off Ederson's right hand and celebrated his 16th goal of the season by covering his ears, after receiving criticism in recent weeks for failing to deliver against top opposition.
City certainly fall into that bracket. They hadn't trailed for a minute of their previous 19 Premier League games but they were rocked by United's early goal and, incredibly, Shaw almost made it two just moments later. The United left-back robbed a dithering Joao Cancelo in the box but his scuffed right-foot shot was comfortable for Ederson.
It was a breath-taking start from United and Marcus Rashford had a sight at goal on 16 minutes, firing straight at the City keeper from just outside the box after some sloppy play from Kevin De Bruyne.
Manchester City made three changes for the derby visit of rivals Manchester United. John Stones returned in place of Aymeric Laporte while Ilkay Gundogan and Oleksandr Zinchenko also came back into the side. Kyle Walker dropped to the bench meaning Joao Cancelo was likely to switch to right-back.
United made four changes following their goalless draw with Crystal Palace with Victor Lindelof, Scott McTominay, Daniel James and Anthony Martial returning. Dean Henderson continued in goal while Edinson Cavani was not in the squad.
However, City began to gain control from there and, after Ilkay Gundogan bent a shot off target, Raheem Sterling saw a penalty shout rightly waved away, and Oleksandr Zinchenko fired at Dean Henderson.
United's defence responded to the challenge well, though, and, other than a tame Gundogan shot following some neat build-up play, a De Bruyne free-kick needlessly tipped out for a corner by Henderson, and Riyad Mahrez's drive across goal, the visitors made it to the half-time interval without any major alarms.
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That changed just three minutes into the second half when Rodri fired against the bar from Jesus' lay-off - but it was United celebrating soon after.
Shaw burst forward with the ball from inside his own half and, after getting the ball back from Rashford in the box, the left-back clipped a low shot into the far corner to put the visitors two clear against their neighbours with just his second-ever Premier League goal.
Sterling went in search of an immediate response but after he fired straight at Henderson, Martial teed up Daniel James for a blocked shot before the France striker headed his own effort at Ederson.
United had their tails up now and on 69 minutes, Martial missed a golden opportunity to make it three. He latched onto a loose ball after good play from Scott McTominay but failed to convert his one-on-one with Ederson.
City sent on Phil Foden and the local lad almost pulled his side back into the game after exchanging passes with De Bruyne but he badly sliced his shot wide with Henderson's goal exposed.
Sterling blew an even better chance with 10 minutes to play, when he completely missed Kyle Walker's cross into the six-yard box, and despite some frantic attacking in the final moments, City weren't able to carve out a better opening, as United held firm.
The result makes it 22 Premier League away games unbeaten for United - but this will be the sweetest of the lot.
What the managers said...
Man City boss Pep Guardiola: "It was a fantastic game. United make incredibly high pressing and they are so fast on the counter. We played good. Unfortunately we couldn't be clinical up front so we congratulate United.
"We will be the news because we lost. But the news is 21 victories in a row. There are still 30 points to play and we have to start to win again. That's football. Sometimes it happens. We played much better than the game against West Ham which we won."
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: "When you come away with a 2-0 win, another clean sheet, and a performance like this, we're delighted, of course. We knew it was a challenge, the first goal dictated a lot of what happened out there. We came in at half-time having played too much on the result that we were winning, but in the second half we got on the ball more and what a second goal, fantastic.
"Every game is different, but we went back to more of the kind of team we want to be. We were more direct, more straightforward, attacking play was positive and we got at them."
Man of the Match: Anthony Martial
Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:
"Martial was absolutely superb, he was the Anthony of old. To think that he was a doubt this morning, even two hours before the game I wasn't sure he would play or not. He was fantastic. Today he rediscovered himself, was really good on the ball."
Keane on United's fast start - and Jesus' 'crazy' defending
Sky Sports' Roy Keane:
"As soon as City throw it into midfield you look at United, they're like a pack of animals, hungry animals. They're all pressing. There's a mis-control by Jesus, and he's trying to make up for the mistake, but the more you look at it, it's just crazy what he's doing. Absolutely crazy. It's stupidity, it's crazy.
"Obviously it's a striker's tackle. But what's he doing? What is going through his mind? Martial's going nowhere.
"But it's the dream start for United, and I bet they couldn't believe their luck, they didn't even have to work for it."
- Manchester City were beaten for the first time since November 2020 (0-2 v Spurs), ending a run of 28 games without defeat across all competitions for Pep Guardiola's side.
- Manchester United have won three consecutive away games in all competitions against Manchester City for the first time since a run of four between November 1993 and November 2000.
- Amongst managers Manchester City's Pep Guardiola has faced more than three times across all competitions as a top-flight boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the only one to have beaten the Spaniard (4) more often than he has lost to Guardiola (3).
- Ole Gunnar Solskjær is the first manager in Manchester United's history to win each of his first three away meetings in all competitions with Manchester City.
- Since the start of the 2019-20 season, 60% of Manchester City's home defeats in all competitions have come against Ole Gunnar Solskjær's Manchester United (3/5). The Norwegian is now the only manager to have won three away games against sides managed by Pep Guardiola.
- Manchester United are unbeaten in their last 103 Premier League games when leading at half time (W91 D12), with their last such defeat coming in September 2014 under Louis van Gaal (3-5 v Leicester).
- Marcus Rashford's assist for Manchester United's second goal was his 10th across all competitions this season - the first time he has reached double figures for assists in a single season in his club career.
- Since his Premier League debut in February 2020, Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes has scored 12 of the 13 penalties he has taken in the competition. Indeed, his 12 penalty goals are more than any team besides Man Utd in the Premier League in this period.
- After just 101 seconds, Bruno Fernandes' penalty was the earliest goal that Manchester City have ever conceded in a Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, and the first they have conceded within two minutes at home in the competition since Steed Malbranque's strike for Fulham at Maine Road in January 2003.
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