Home » EPL, Latest » Match Report: Manchester United 2 Manchester City 1

Wayne Rooney scored a breathtaking over-head kick to win the 158th Manchester derby for Manchester United and all but extinguish Manchester City’s hopes of winning this season’s Premier League title.

Rooney, linked strongly with a controversial move to Eastlands before signing a new contract at Old Trafford last October, secured a 2-1 victory for United in an absorbing clash that City had dominated for long spells.

But despite David Silva producing a man-of-the-match performance for City, Rooney’s goal consolidated top spot for United and placed him in pole position for the goal of the season award.

City, aiming to improve a record that had seen them win just once at Old Trafford in 26 attempts, suffered a pre-match blow with midfielder Nigel de Jong being ruled out with an ankle injury.

But Sir Alex Ferguson’s surprise decision to name Premier League top scorer Dimitar Berbatov on the bench, with Rooney operating as a lone striker, appeared to diminish United’s attacking threat, reducing the impact of De Jong’s absence.

And although United were able to go in at the interval with a 1-0 lead thanks to Nani’s 41st minute goal, City dominated for long periods of the first-half and should have scored at least once.

The impressive Silva missed a golden opportunity to open the scoring after just four minutes when a one-two with Carlos Tevez left him one-on-one with Edwin van der Sar.

But Spain winger Silva somehow guided his left foot shot inches wide of the far post from inside the six-yard box when it appeared more difficult to miss.

United had no answer to Silva’s vision and the former Valencia player continued to cut the home side open with an array of incisive passes.

Too often, however, City had nobody able to get on the end of Silva’s work and United were let off the hook.

It wasn’t until the 34th minute that United tested City goalkeeper Joe Hart, when Darren Fletcher’s far post header from Ryan Giggs’s cross brought a routine save from the England No 1.

Tension was never far from the surface and Rooney was fortunate not to be booked for angrily lashing out at Vincent Kompany. In return, Kompany and James Milner were booked for reckless challenges on the United forward.

With half-time looming, however, United made the breakthrough when Nani scored after 41 minutes.

Van der Sar’s long clearance was diverted into Nani’s path, after bouncing off Joleon Lescott’s back, and the Portuguese winger escaped Pablo Zabaleta before guiding a left-foot shot past Hart from 10 yards.

City could justifiably feel hard done by but, with United failing to press their advantage in the second-half, Roberto Mancini increased his team’s attacking threat by replacing Aleksandar Kolarov and James Milner with Shaun Wright-Phillips and Edin Dzeko respectively.

And the two substitutes played central roles in City’s equaliser after 64 minutes when Silva’s performance was rewarded with a deserved goal.

Wright-Phillips’s cross found £27m signing Dzeko six yards out and the Bosnian’s shot bounced off Silva’s back before beating the helpless Van der Sar.

City now sensed victory and they were unlucky not to score again moments later when Dzeko and Wright-Phillips linked brilliantly before Nemanja Vidic produced a crucial block on Wright-Phillips.

Nani then shot over from distance before he delivered the cross for Rooney to score his breathtaking overhead kick.

It was a goal worthy of winning any game, at any level, but producing it in a Manchester derby is as good as it gets.

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