Man City 4 Man United 1: The De Bruyne-inspired hosts open up a six-point lead in the title race, while United’s dreams of finishing in the top four are dashed.
Is your squad the best in the country? They are now six points ahead of Liverpool.
Is it the best in Europe? They are 5/2 favourites to win for the first time in May in Paris.
What is undeniable is that Manchester City is by far the best team in the city.
I’ve been for a long time, and I’m sure I’ll be for a long time still.
The disparity in class between the city’s blue and red halves is on display for all to observe.
On this data, Manchester United may best be regarded as tenacious opponents.
They turned it into a competition for a while.
Even though Jadon Sancho leveled Kevin De Bruyne’s fifth-minute opener in the 22nd minute, the result was never in doubt.
De Bruyne would add another on 28, before Riyad Mahrez added another three points in the second half with his own double.
The excellent De Bruyne was the standout performer for City.
They had the magic at Phil Foden’s feet, who is just getting better.
In reality, City fills an eleven-man squad in every position. Only the goalkeeper’s shirt may be available for purchase.
The ‘oles’ must have been very unpleasant for anyone of a red persuasion here at The Etihad as City moved the ball around and teased their opponents.
Pep Guardiola, City’s manager, remarked on Friday that in the run-up, ‘the games with enormous margins of goals are finished.’
This could, however, have been five or six.
While this was a significant boost for City in the title battle after Liverpool had closed within three points on Saturday, it was a major setback for United’s hopes of finishing in the top four.
Mikel Arteta’s team are now in fifth place, a point behind Arsenal, who beat Watford earlier in the day, and have three games in hand.
Once again, the Europa League beckons.
Rangnick’s pre-game planning were thrown into turmoil when Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to return home from training on Friday due to a hip ailment that ruled him out of the game.
Covid was in the hands of defenders Luke Shaw and Raphael Varane, while Edinson Cavani – well, who cares? He didn’t ‘feel nearly healthy enough to play,’ according to reports. For crying out loud, it’s a derby.
Regardless, many people wanted to play, while a few in Red may have preferred to hide for the next few days.
They did, as City sliced them open with ease to take the lead early.
Despite being surrounded by three United players, Jack Grealish on the left found Bernardo, who snuck to the byline and fired over a low cross.
It flew behind Harry Maguire, Alex Telles was unable to cross, and Kevin de Bruyne walked in to slam a high shot into the net.
United made a quick response.
Brune Fernandes sent the ball to Fred, who made a clever spin to put him one-on-one with Ederson, but Ederson smothered his shot.
Then, from deep within their own half, they scored a superb equaliser.
It was set up by Paul Pogba’s superb pinged through ball from midfield into the stride of the sprinting Sancho.
As City retreated and Kyle Walker guarded his path to goal, he held the ball up.
When Fernandes overlapped, Walker stayed with him, allowing Sancho to cut inside, evade John Stones, and curl a ball.
Rangnick, who is usually reserved, went nuts on the bench.
The city retaliated. As the ball bounced around the United six-yard box like a pinball, Foden hooked a header into the top of the bar, and De Bruyne collected his second.
But what a stroke of brilliance by Phil Foden to set up the opportunity. Consider Gazza’s goal against Scotland, when he flipped the ball over the confused Victor Lindelof and blasted a shot that required a top-notch De Gea save.
Following up, Bernardo’s shot was diverted to defender Telles, who stuck out a boot and kicked it towards De Bruyne, who finished it off.
City were already a step ahead of United in the first half, but they blew past them in the second.
De Bruyne, the playmaker, delivered the third goal that their domination deserved. In the six yard box, most corners land in the center of a conflict.
De Bruyne decided to skip all of that and go straight for Mahrez at the top of the box.
His half-volley connection was exquisite, but it might not have found the bottom corner if it hadn’t been for a small deflection from Harry Maguire’s leg, which put it past De Gea’s despairing dive.
In the shape of Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, Rangnick had already made a double substitute in an attempt to claw back the game.
Nobody was attempting to back away from this.
In injury time, Mahrez scored his second goal, thanks to superb effort by Ilkay Gundogan, who broke past United’s wilting players.
The pass was flawless, and the tremendous shot caused De Gea’s hand to bend backwards as the ball soared in.
Offside was flagged, but the VAR disagreed.
Is City the best football team on the planet? You must consent.