Pep Guardiola's City take opening Manchester Derby

Published Sunday, September 11, 2016 4:09 AM by Shane Barrow
Pep Guardiola's City take opening Manchester Derby

Round 1 goes to Pep Guardiola.  Manchester City road a dominant first half to beat rivals Manchester United 2-1 Saturday at Old Trafford on Saturday moving City to a perfect four wins in four matches to open the season.  

Manchester United had no answer for Kevin De Bruyne who was simply the best player on the pitch all afternoon.  He opened the scoring going past Daley Blind before firing home.  De Bruyne could have had more goals if not for a bit more luck. United could barely lay a finger on De Bruyne, and he was instrumental in City's second, nine minutes before the break. Picking up a blocked shot on the right side of the area, he turned inside Blind and Jesse Lingard far too easily and drilled a left footed effort against the far post. Iheanacho tapped in the rebound and City were on their way.  Kevin De Bruyne went close several times on counter attacks including another strike off the post near the end.

A furious second half rally would not be enough to salvage a result for Jose Mourinho's boys despite halftime adjustments that flipped the game in their favor. They could only grab one goal back though in the end falling to their first defeat of the season.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic brought the crowd to life as he blasted home a Wayne Rooney freekick which Claudio Bravo dropped perfectly for him. The home side pushed hard the final 20 minutes pushing City deep into their own half for long stretches. United looked have equalized late on only to have the goal ruled offside when Marcus Rashford's strike deflected off Ibra who was in an offside position.  

So round 1 of the Manchester Derby goes to City, but this story is far from over.  Jose Mourinho is too good of a coach and United looks to have the quality to be in the fight this year even though City have cast their lot as early EPL favorites.  It remains to be seen if Pep Guardiola can keep his squad playing at this high level once the grind of Champions League and Domestic Cups start crowding the schedule.