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Premier League

Manuel Pellegrini puts poor Manchester United performance down to Manchester City's tactics

United were beaten 4-1 at the Etihad Stadium

Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has claimed Manchester United were so poor at the Etihad Stadium On Sunday because his own side did not let them play.

Although it was easy to cast minds back to the 6-1 mauling City inflicted on United at Old Trafford two years ago as the Blues were coasting to a 4-1 victory, in actual fact the comparison was invalid.

For on that occasion, United were only one down when Jonny Evans was sent off and City scored three times in a ridiculous period of injury-time.

There was nothing so bizarre yesterday as the Red Devils were picked apart, making the game more like the 5-1 hammering inflicted on Sir Alex Ferguson at Maine Road in 1989.

And for that, Pellegrini feels, his players deserve praise.

"Maybe they couldn't play better because we played very well," said Pellegrini.

"We tried to create space and did it.

"We didn't give them space to damage our goal."

Sergio Aguero scored twice, with Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri grabbing the others as City romped to the biggest home win over their neighbours since 2004.

Blues fans revelled in the triumph, cheekily chanting "One David Moyes" and "Getting sacked in the morning" before the end.

And Pellegrini, also making his debut as a Manchester derby manager, claimed his team had struck a big psychological blow

"It is very big," said the Chilean.

"Always winning against Manchester United and the way we won is important.

"You don't expect to win 4-1 against United. Normally derbies are more equal.

"But today we had a very good day and that allows us to have a superiority against Manchester United.

"The fans will enjoy this for the next three months.

"For the team, winning the way we did today will give a lot of trust.

"Winning a derby will also give them a lot of confidence."

City are now in third, their margin of victory allowing them to ease ahead of Chelsea and Liverpool on goal difference.

And Pellegrini is hopeful of more to come.

"We must improve every day," he said.

"Not all the games are the same. I think we are just starting another style and another way to play."