Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: Dominant City return to the top of the table following convincing victory over rivals 
(Photo - Getty Images)

Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United: Dominant City return to the top of the table following convincing victory over rivals 

Manchester City have won the first Manchester derby of the season, convincingly beating United at the Etihad. 

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Josh Slinger

Manchester City have won the first Manchester derby of the season, following goals from David Silva, Sergio Aguero and Ilkay Gundogan, compiling more misery on a so far very disappointing season thus far for Jose Mourinho's Manchester United.

City now return to the top of the Premier League, whilst the Red Devils find themselves eighth heading into the international break

A dominant start

As many expected, City stamped their authority early on in the contest, flying out of the blocks and looking to get at United from the off.

The first real chance of the game fell the way of Aguero, who failed to get on the end of Silva’s low cross just four minutes in - early warning signs for Mourinho’s men. 

This early chance was followed by the opening goal, just 12 minutes in. 

Raheem Sterling, still buzzing from having scored three in his past two games, played a teasing ball into the back post which was kept alive by Bernardo Silva before the other Silva, David, controlled the ball exquisitely taking out both Ashley Young and Chris Smalling with just one touch, before calmly finishing past David de Gea - a dream start for Pep Guardiola and his men.

The Blues had dominated the early stages, resulting in 87% ball possession in the first 10 minutes, and the goal had come as little surprise to anyone. 

Red Devils seek redemption 

Following the goal, United did what United have done frequently in the past few weeks, woken up and tried to get back into the game after falling behind. Although when playing the runaway champions away from home this is no easy feat, which will add more frustration from the bench who will have been fully aware of this. 

A half chance fell the way of Smalling as the away side looked to grow into the game, which the centre-back headed onto the roof of Ederson's net, although ultimately the Reds found it very difficult to create any sort of opening against an organised and compact City defence. 

One thing that was noticeable when United went on the rare charge forward was the lack of linkup in the frontline - Marcus Rashford displayed his frustration at his teammates lack of support on the flank as the half drew to a close. 

City again rapid out the blocks

Just as City did at the start of the first-half, they fired early in the second. Jesse Lingard was dispossessed on the halfway line before Aguero played a simple one-two with Silva and then fired past de Gea from a tight angle - the sheer power of the strike proving too much for the Spaniard between the sticks, who will be disappointed not to have kept the ball out.

United were contributing to their own downfall, yet again, being asleep at the start of the second-half, just as they were the first - no doubt Mourinho will be livid. 

Unlike in the first-half, United were unresponsive after conceding at the start of the second, looking beaten following Aguero's strike, despite there being over 40 minutes to play.

Lukaku's immediate impact

Romelu Lukaku is a player that has been vastly slated in recent weeks, although came on and instantly made an impact, being brought down inside the area by Ederson, resulting in a penalty. United with a chance back into the game out of absolutely nowhere. 

Anthony Martial sent the Brazilian keeper the wrong way, his fifth consecutive league game that he's marked with a goal, and the Reds were back in the contest with half an hour to play.

A huge momentum shift followed Martial's goal, Mourinho's men now looked the team in control. 

Guardiola's men managed to ride the storm, settling back into the pattern of the vast majority of the game, possession-based football. United knew they had to simply stay in the game and wait for their turn to break. 

Gundogan seals the three points

Into the last ten minutes, City naturally sat back, with the nervous Etihad crowd as quiet as they'd been all afternoon. United have a history of late goals against their city rivals and had the belief they could find yet another one here. 

Out of nowhere, with the visitors' defence seemingly falling asleep yet again, City then wrapped up the game. Gundogan calmly finishing past de Gea, after the German found himself completely unmarked five yards out following Bernardo's teasing ball in behind both Victor Lindelof and Nemanja Matic. Game, set and match.

Whilst Mourinho may take some positives from the fact that United didn't give in right until the death, he will be incredibly frustrated with his side's effort defensively, having given away three soft goals, ultimately costing his side the game - further backing his point as to why he desperately wanted to sign a centre-back in the summer. 

Guardiola's men now return to the top of the league table, undoubtedly featuring as the best side in the league yet again thus far, his side will be thrilled having painted Manchester blue ahead of the international break. 

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