As it happened: Manchester City return to the top of the league with win over rivals
Photo: VAVEL

As it happened: Manchester City return to the top of the league with win over rivals

Matchday live text commentary blog from the Etihad stadium as Manchester City take on Manchester United in the Premier League, Oliver Miller reports

Oliver Miller
Good Evening!
That's all from the Etihad! Plenty to talk (and type) about in the coming days on VAVEL UK, make sure that you check out all of our post-match analysis pieces. Thanks once again for your company and hope to join you again soon.
Full Time Stats
Attempts on target: 5-1

Attempts off target: 6-1

Possession: 68%-32%

Corner kicks: 5-1

Fouls: 11-11

Goal kicks: 6-10

Full Time Analysis
It was not a rip-roaring affair, there was even a nervy spell in the second half, but there was drama and plenty of entertainment. City were a class apart and should have really gone in at half time with a greater winning margin, United were porous and unable to deal with the speed of thought and feet of the two Silvas. 

The goal early in the second half was what City needed and, if anything, encouraged United out a bit more. The visitors goal came against the run of play, the penalty was correct but the 2-1 scoreline was misleading. United created virtually nothing, Lukaku was an improvement when he came on but there were still no chances being created despite the tension in the stadium. Their anaemic performances are becoming increasingly accepted and despite the fact that they do and have come back in games, they are not offering nearly enough for a United side.

City's third goal was tremendous, it ensured that the champions remain two points clear at the top of the table going into the international break.

90'+3: Full Time
Ole! Ole! Ole! Whistle is blown and that brings an end to this Manchester derby. City have won it 3-1.
90' +2
Just a quick a note of appreciation to David Silva, he's been my Man of the Match today. As always, a joy to watch him ply his humble trade.
90'+2 Manchester City Substitution
David Silva is replaced by Phil Foden - quite symbolic some may say, everyone at City will hope so anyhow.
There will be three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
It's over, everyone knows it. "City! City!" sing the fans. They're going back to the top of the table.
86' Goal: City 3-1 United (Gundogan)
And that's that. A fine finish to a seemingly everlasting move. Superb!! Having worked their way into the United area, bypassing every visiting player, Gundogan taps past De Gea to give City the victory.
City are moving the ball all over the place, they must have racked up 40 or 50 passes in this move.
From open play, United have created zilch. I know this game feels alive but really they have done little in terms of creating chances or even opportunities to create chances. But still there's nerves. City have dropped deep, a few boos - I'm not sure what they're for!?
City's build up play is forcing United further back. Gundogan manufactures an area of space just outside the area but his curling shot was always going wide of De Gea's left post. 
Some anxiety is creeping into City's play and also the home crowd. One dodgy back pass to Emerson is a touch too testing considering the circumstances, the Brazilian deals with it nevertheless.
74' Manchester City Substitution
Aguero is replaced by Gundogan
4 v 2 as City attack, a wonderful chance goes begging. It began with Shaw giving the ball away on the halfway line, committing and allowing Sterling and troops to progress forward. The finish, however, never came as he made the wrong pass to Sane who swipes it over the bar.
73' Manchester United Substitutions
Sanchez and Mata come on for Herrera and Rashford, that is now United maxed out.
There's shuffling on the United bench, subs incoming. Meanwhile in the City technical area, I must admit that Guardiola is wearing quite a lovely piece of knitwear, it is essentially a giant cardigan with pockets, how fetching.
City seeing more and more of the ball, but for now at least they are being patient.
Sane provides some fine wing play as he dances, jinks and cuts inside. That draws several United defenders to him, he slips it to Fernandinho, who drills a shot at goal. De Gea gathers it though.
It is bizarre how consistent United's match play is becoming: starting poorly, conceding chances but not too many goals, thus sending everyone into a false sense of security, and then managing to instigate some sort of half chance to bring the game back into their grasp. Against Newcastle and Juventus, United came back to win whereas against Chelsea, it was only a draw. How will this one end??
Sterling zips down the right side and crosses low. Smelling gratefully bundles it clear.
This is now all rather tight. The crowd need to play their part and urge their side on. Lukaku has certainly brought a presence since coming onto the pitch.
62' Manchester City Substitution
Sane's on for Mahrez (as predicted)
58' Goal: City 2-1 United (Martial - pen)
Emerson goes one way, Martial the other and United, against the odds and the run of play, have a lifeline. Pogba nods his head in the crowd, acknowledging a well-taken penalty - if it was him taking it, he'd still be running up to take it now!
57' Manchester United Penalty
Ederson brings down Lukaku in the area, where did that come from. Well, I'll tell you; the first instance of City sloppy defending ended with Ederson rushing out, arms outstretched almost asking to bring the United striker down.
56' Manchester United Substitution
Lingard's afternoon is over - or one ask whether it actually began -, he is replaced by Lukaku.
Fernandinho plays the ball over the top, Sterling runs in behind, taking it on his chest but instead of hitting it with his left foot he opts to turn and use his right. Smalling comes across and manages to stop what could have become City's third.
The crowd are boisterous now. They sense blood! This could turn nasty, it will certainly be a test of United's resolution at the back. "Shoot" they shout as Fernandinho receives the ball probably no less than 40 yards out.
48' Goal: City 2-0 United (Aguero)
And there's the second! It starts from a poor De Gea goal kick who plays Lingards into trouble as he receives it in the centre circle. Lingard's touch, likewise, leaves plenty to be desired. United have lost it. Aguero starts the attack, a neat, trademark one-two on the edge of the penalty area, and he smashes it form a tight angle through De Gea's raised palms. Should he have stopped it? Yes, at source by not playing the sloppy pass!
There is a nip in the air now, but City are looking to change that as they are hotting up.
Early signs are that Smalling is instructing his defence to play higher up the pitch - with City's pace, this will go one of two ways, and yes that's good or bad.
45' Second Half
We are back underway in Manchester under darkened skies - United get us started.
Half Time Stats
Attempts on target: 1-1

Attempts off target: 4-1

Possession: 71%-29%

Corners: 5-1

Fouls: 5-6

Goal kicks: 3-6

Half Time Analysis
City a goal up, but they had enough chances in the opening 20 minutes to have scored at least two or three. Guardiola may be slightly disappointed with that, especially considering that United usually have a ten minute spell in them which can turn games their heads. But going off the first 45 it does not look like United are going to threaten their rivals this afternoon. A number of their players are not seeing the ball, they aren't even countering effectively. Hmmm, we'll see.
Just the single minute of added time.
Fluent build up play again by the Silvas. Bernardo runs forward and releases Philip Schofield who fires the ball into the side-netting. Apologies, it was Aguero!
Fluent build up play again by the Silvas. Bernardo runs forward and releases Philip Schofield who fires the ball into the side-netting. Apologies, it was Aguero!
There haven't been too many chances of note since the goal, and I think that both sides will be reasonably happy with this going in at half time. United could be far more behind whilst City are in control, it only takes a single half chance for United to score as they showed in Turin on Wednesday - and even here last season.
The game now resembles more of a chess match. A United attack breaks down and arms are flying everywhere; shrugging sighs and discussions. Martial needs to be in support of Rashford more.
Lindelof gets too tight to Bernardo Silva who is able to turn  on the spot and run off into space. The attack though comes to nothing as Matic is able to head the ball away from any danger. 
I'm sure David Silva must have an invisibility cloak on today, United simply cannot pick him up. He keeps cropping up across the forward line and is serving Aguero & Co. superbly.
Quick change overs in possession in the middle of the park, a slightly sloppy period of the half. United's back-line must be appreciating the respite.
At last United are enjoying a few passes on the Etihad turf. Young crosses well from the right and it is certainly inviting but no one makes a run across the goalkeeper and so Ederson can collect with ease.
Sterling is tackled by Herrera who is getting stuck in but guilty of losing possession in the early stages. Martial had a run, pretty much United's first use of the football. Walker, however, stopped him.
City have slowed the tempo slightly but remain in control. Fernandinho is enjoying his time in the centre dictating the play, Stones is willing to stride further forward and add yet more numbers to the City midfield. It must be noted that both Silvas have been scintillating so far.
It is striking how dominant City have been. The aggression and speed that the hosts have provided is testing United, but the visitors have been notoriously slow starters in recent matches and if they can remain in this game then their time may come. For now, they have to try and get a kick.
19 passes! That is how many the visitors have had so far. They have only had 13% possession thus far. And here City come again. Mahrez sends Bernardo Silva through, he manages to squeeze in a shot, and Smalling has to keep it out however he can. United are under the cosh.
12' Goal: City 1-0 United (D.Silva)
Sterling crosses no one provides a touch, Bernardo Silva keeps the ball in play and feeds it back into the centre of the united area where Aguero swipes at it but David Silva is there to fire the ball into the net. Referee Taylor played a very good advantage during that as he could have blown more than once there.
Slightly embarrassing at the moment - it is essentially attack vs defence at the moment. City corner whipped towards the back post where Augero heads straight at Young. I suppose this is how the match was expected to start but this daunting challenge is becoming a reality for United.
City in again! Silva has time to ping a lovely crafted ball over the top towards Sterling whose movement afforded him space to bring it down and win his side a corner. It is all too easy at the moment for the hosts.
City cut through the United defence with ease. Fernandinho plays the ball to David Silva who squares for the silver-slicker Aguero but it is slightly behind him. Not too sure where Smalling and Young went there.
Bernardo Silva lets rip 20 yards out from goal! United are yet to have a touch of the ball. De Gea may well have had it covered but it whistles wide of the post.
Referee Anthony Taylor blows his whistle and the Manchester derby is underway. City are kicking from left to right and in their usual sky blue. United are in red and black.
Join us from around an hour before kick-off for confirmed starting XIs. 
Match Preview
A derby so often billed as unpredictable, might just be as predictable as it has been for some seasons - although, that was the consensus until the past week. Manchester City, unbeaten at the top of the table having scored 33 goals and only conceded four, are the favourites; in the early stages of the season, they have seemingly improved on last season. In the past week alone they have scored 12 goals in two matches, however off the pitch, there are storm clouds starting to form.

This is a football match and, hence, the football should be the focus, but the allegations of 'financial doping' that have been revealed by German magazine Der Spiegel - based on documents seized by hacking group Football Leaks - cannot be ignored. It leaves a nasty taste in the mouth, and cries are already being voiced that Financial Fair Play rules need to be stricter. Nevertheless, it is still possible to enjoy the football that City serve up on the pitch - a quality almost unrivalled in world football - whilst disapproving of the off-pitch stuff.

United - by their recent standards - have had a very successful week, with late victories over Bournemouth and Juventus showing a renewed character and intensity about Mourinho's side. This derby match does, however, represent a challenge for a United team that languish in seventh place at the start of the weekend with a goal difference of only +1. Losing this match really will put an end to any unrealistic title hopes for this season.

At face value, there is a clear winner, but it must be remembered that Pep Guardiola is yet to win a Manchester derby at home and would love to change that in this the 177th edition. Though Mourinho is sure to have something to say about that. 

This is the climax of a splendid day of Premier League football. Will the three unbeaten teams remain so by 7pm on Sunday? Here's to finding out. Join us an hour before kick-off for team news and updates from Etihad.

What's being said?
Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera has spoken to the media ahead of Sunday's derby:

It's true that they are the favourites because they are in unbelievable form, but this is Manchester United and you never know what can happen. When you play for Manchester United, the biggest club in the UK and one of the biggest in the world, you have to get used to [headlines].

I have been here five years and with (Louis) van Gaal every day the papers talking. When Mourinho came, the same and we won titles. One day if another manager comes, they will speak so it's something we are used to coping with.

I think Manchester United players need to have the personality to cope with that. It's true when our Premier League opponents lose games, the papers don't talk that much, but when we lose, they do.

United manager Jose Mourinho has also had his say:

If we drew it's nine [points behind Manchester City], if we lose it's 12. I don't think it's the way to look at the match. You know, I think we have to just think about the match. The match is difficult enough by being an isolated event. If you want to put that match into the context of where we are, where we can be, then it becomes even more difficult.

So, I just want to play the match as an isolated event: difficult match against a very difficult team. But I don't think they think it's an easy match for them. If we keep conceding goals before the opponent, it will arrive the day where we cannot come back.

So, we have to make sure we grow up not just in our approach, - because that I think is clear that the team is growing up - but also we have to grow up in our compactness and to start matches well. Which, I have to say against Juventus, it happened.

Pep Guardiola, City manager, also held his press conference on Friday afternoon:

We have to play good. If we play good, we have a chance to win. You cannot imagine we are going to play amazingly for 90 minutes against top teams. I would like to play the same game as last season when we were on top for 75 minutes but United showed us that they just need 10 or 15 minutes to create chances. When they have the ball, they can create something because they have incredible talent. We are in November so maybe the game at Old Trafford (in March) will be more decisive. Of course we are on a good run, United as well. It's a good derby. All of them are special.

Player Updates
City have no fresh injury concerns but Kevin De Bruyne and Claudio Bravo remain absent, while Eliaquim Mangala has a knock, though he is out of favour at the moment and likely won't feature regardless. Gabriel Jesus will probably drop back down to the bench despite scoring a hat-trick against Shakhtar Donetsk in midweek.

Provisional City squad: Ederson, Muric, Danilo, Walker, Stones, Otamendi, Laporte, Kompany, Delph, Mendy, Zinchenko, Fernandinho, Gundogan, Mahrez, Sterling, Sane, D Silva, B Silva, Foden, Aguero, Jesus.


Paul Pogba is a fitness doubt, with what United are calling a 'little injury'. Romelu Lukaku could return to action after missing the trips to Bournemouth and Juventus with a hamstring complaint. Diogo Dalot has been out with an injury sustained during the international break, while captain Antonio Valencia is back in contention having travelled to Turin.

Provisional United squad: De Gea, Romero, Grant, Valencia, Young, Darmian, Shaw, Smalling, Bailly, Lindelof, Rojo, Jones, Fellaini, Herrera, Lingard, Matic, McTominay, Pogba, Mata, Pereira, Fred, Martial, Rashford, Sanchez, Lukaku.

The Manchester derby has not really needed much of a build up in recent years; At the Etihad last season City had the opportunity to win the league title against their rivals and appeared to be doing so with a 2-0 lead at half time. However, United managed to come back to win 2-3, such drama would be very welcome in this encounter as the 'big duals' so far this season have been rather damp squibs.
Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live text coverage of the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United from the Etihad stadium. I'm Oliver Miller and I'll be providing updates, analysis and opinion on this Manchester derby. It is a 4:30pm kick-off on Sunday and you can bookmark this page to stay up to date with the latest updates and team news as the match approaches. In fact, Sunday is quite a day of Premier League football; I will be at Anfield for Liverpool v Fulham and, whilst I'm hotfooting it from Liverpool to Manchester, Chelsea will be taking on Everton, then it's the derby. Yes, all three of the Premier League's unbeaten clubs at the top of the table will all feature in a truly 'Super Sunday' of live action.