Manchester United 0 Manchester City 3 match report: Edin Dzeko double leaves United humbled and David Moyes back under pressure

Yaya Toure added a late third in comprehensive win at Old Trafford

Old Trafford

It was when the Manchester City supporters at Old Trafford turned their attention to Sir Alex Ferguson tonight that you began to realise just now profound the shift has become. City always loathed Ferguson, and he them, but even when they won their one Premier League title two years ago they knew that the old boy would come back for one last revenge mission.

Not any longer. The old dictator is gone and in his place is a United manager who does not even merit the hatred of the City fans. Instead it was another full-scale humiliation visited on David Moyes, culminating in the demand from the City fans that he be allowed to see out the remainder of his contract at United. “Five more years, five more years,” they chanted in the away end at the end, as Moyes turned on his heel and walked down the touchline for the safety of the tunnel.

The United fans have not turned on their manager, but that is about all he could take from another game in which his side were out-played and out-fought once again by a title challenger. “Fergie, Fergie, give us a wave”, they sung from the away seats as Moyes struggled to prevent yet another retreat from the standards of a club that once set the pace at this stage of the season.

 

Of course, even in United’s best years, City beat them. In the 2007-2008 season, Sven Goran-Eriksson’s team did the league double over Ferguson. But they were anomalies. This, tonight, was the real thing. One hesitates to make too certain a statement about shifts in power but there is no doubt that it will take a profound change at United for them to change the way things are going. They are a long way from retaining the status as the best team in Manchester, never mind England.

Edin Dzeko turns in his, and City's, second goal Edin Dzeko turns in his, and City's, second goal Edin Dzeko’s two goals and another from Yaya Toure were a relatively modest margin of victory when one took into account the boldness of City’s start and their goal within the first minute. United did indeed get their act together after the first half an hour and created a couple of chances before the break. But when Dzeko volleyed in his second goal ten minutes after half-time it felt simply like the game was heading towards its natural conclusion.

Read more: Ferguson feels the wrath of United fans
Rooney admits Old Trafford 'fear factor' has gone
Moyes has 'made a couple of signings that haven't worked out' - Scholes

The expectation with United will always be that they have something in the tank. That they never give up. That a bold substitution and a roar from the Stretford End will see them over the line. But the spell is broken these days and now they lose 3-0 at home the same way as every other mediocre club.

As for City, they looked the part. Conducted in midfield in brilliant fashion by the magisterial David Silva, the win places them second, above Liverpool and three points behind Chelsea with two games in hand over the leaders. A victory over their old rivals does not carry the currency it once had but it still matters deeply. They are scoring freely too in a title race when the margins of victory will be slim.

In the Sky Sports studio, Paul Scholes, did not spare his former team-mates. The man who was reluctant to offer an opinion over a glorious career, proved scathing in front of the cameras. “City were far better than us,” he said. “You could tell which one was on for the league and which team was seventh. It was glaringly obvious.”

Read more: Manchester United 0 Manchester City 3 match report
Comment: Cleverley way out of his depth
Dzeko: Win was crucial for Premier League title hopes

It was not a promising start when Moyes selected Tom Cleverley as part of a tight midfield three that left the right-side unguarded. Presumably it was done with City’s central midfield strength in mind but it left United badly lopsided and Cleverley himself too often in no-man’s land. With Antonio Valencia on the substitutes’ bench, and Adnan Januzaj and Ryan Giggs left out the squad altogether, it looked like Moyes was more preoccupied with bolting the back door.

David Moyes issues instructions from the sideline David Moyes issues instructions from the sideline As it was, the back door was left wide open. It started about as badly as Moyes could have imagined, and he has seen a few worst-case scenarios in eight months in the job. Dzeko popped the ball into the United net on 43 seconds, after Samir Nasri’s shot had hit the post.

Even worse for United, was that it was not City’s first chance of the game. That fell to Silva who crept through the United defence in the first few seconds with the kind of authority that made his opponents freeze. Fortunately for Moyes, Rafael came to his senses and made the intervention. From his tackle the ball went from Fernandinho, to Dzeko and onto Nasri for the shot that made the goal.

For a while it looked like this could be the worst yet for United, completely overrun in midfield and with Silva the dominant figure in a very dominant City midfield, Michael Carrick gave the ball away to Jesus Navas on nine minutes and from there it went to Silva who was dispossessed by Rio Ferdinand. That tackle rescued United. So too, another excellent save from De Gea from Dzeko on 18 minutes.

As United got to grips with that early storm from City it matured into a decent game in the first half. Although there were times when the three of Marouane Fellaini, Cleverley and Carrick looked crushed, Ferdinand offered some stability. On the right wing, Danny Welbeck looked the part although he was not on the ball enough for United. But they faltered after the break.

For United’s possession, they were held at bay by a City side that pressed and hustled them at every opportunity. The home side only carved out two chances before the break. The first, a volley from Fellaini after Welbeck knocked on Carrick’s cross, never looked like it would trouble Joe Hart. Juan Mata’s shot from Rafael’s cross on 40 minutes was carelessly inaccurate.

There were four bookings before the break, although how Rooney escaped one for his foul on Fernandinho in the latter stages of the half remains a mystery. Had Michael Oliver decided to dismiss Fellaini for ramming a forearm into the face of Pablo Zabaleta in the 30th minute, there could have been no complaints from United. It was a misjudgement indicative of the struggles that the pnds27.5m man was having adapting to the level required of him.

Scholes was withering in his verdict on Fellaini. “I expected more to be honest,” he said. “You pay that amount of money for a midfielder and you expect a few more goals.“ Ouch, and from one of the few at Old Trafford whose credentials to judge this team are unimpeachable.

Moyes brought on Shinji Kagawa for the hapless Cleverley at half-time, but out on the right wing he has little effect. Dzeko got away from Ferdinand, partly blocked by Fellaini, to score at the near post from Nasri’s corner for the second goal. With barely a chance worthy of the mention from the home team, apart from a flick by Welbeck, Toure drilled in the third in the last minute. It was the first time since 1972 that City have won three consecutive games at Old Trafford. Another unwelcome milestone for Moyes.

Manchester United (4-3-3): De Gea; Rafael, Jones, Ferdinand, Evra; Cleverley, Fellaini, Carrick; Mata, Rooney, Welbeck.

Subs: Kagawa/Cleverley ht, Valencia/Fellaini 66, Hernandez/Welbeck 77

Manchester City (4-2-3-1): Hart; Zabaleta, Demichelis, Kompany, Clichy; Fernandino, Toure; Navas, Silva, Nasri; Dzeko.

Subs: Garcia/Navas 68, Milner/Nasri 74, Negredo/Dzeko 79

Booked: Manchester United Welbeck, Fellaini Manchester City Kompany, Fernandinho

Rating: 7

Man of the match: Silva

Arts and Entertainment
books
News
Dr Alice Roberts in front of a
people
Voices
Nigel Farage arrives for a hustings event at The Oddfellows Hall in Ramsgate on Tuesday
voicesA defection that shows who has the most to fear from the rise of Ukip
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor and the Dalek meet
tvReview: Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Diego Costa
footballEverton 3 Chelsea 6: Diego Costa double has manager purring
Arts and Entertainment
The 'three chords and the truth gal' performing at the Cornbury Music Festival, Oxford, earlier this summer
music... so how did she become country music's hottest new star?
Life and Style
The spy mistress-general: A lecturer in nutritional therapy in her modern life, Heather Rosa favours a Byzantine look topped off with a squid and a schooner
fashionEurope's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln
Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
voicesShe's an inspiration, whether she likes it or not, says Ellen E Jones
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Star turns: Montacute House
tv
News
i100Steve Carell selling chicken, Tina Fey selling saving accounts and Steve Colbert selling, um...
Arts and Entertainment
Unsettling perspective: Iraq gave Turner a subject and a voice (stock photo)
booksBrian Turner's new book goes back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Some of the key words and phrases to remember
booksA user's guide to weasel words
Life and Style
Brave step: A live collection from Alexander McQueen whose internet show crashed because of high demand
fashionAs the collections start, Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution