Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United
Robin van Persie's injury-time winner sent Manchester United six points clear at the top of the Premier League after a stormy derby win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.
Wayne Rooney's two first-half goals put the leaders in control against the reigning champions - but Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta put City level as the game entered its closing moments.
Van Persie, who City manager Roberto Mancini admitted he wanted to sign before his £24m summer move from Arsenal to Old Trafford, then demonstrated his worth with his 14th goal of the season as his free-kick deflected off Samir Nasri and beyond a stretching Joe Hart.
Ugly scenes followed, United's Rio Ferdinand suffering a cut eye as he appeared to be struck by an object thrown during the celebrations and City keeper Joe Hart having to restrain a pitch invader as he advanced towards the defender.
The incident marred a magnificent game in which the hosts turned around a poor first-half display and threatened to earn a point - especially after Mario Balotelli was replaced by Carlos Tevez - until Van Persie's dramatic intervention.
United were overjoyed at a result that gives them a stranglehold on the title race, with Rooney taking his tally to a record 10 derby goals. But it capped a miserable week for City after the conclusion of their abject Champions League campaign.
Van Persie's strike ended the Blues' unbeaten home Premier League run stretching back to a 2-1 defeat by Everton in December 2010.
Mancini had taken a giant leap of faith in selecting Balotelli ahead of Tevez and it was a decision that was not rewarded.
The Italian striker skied a good chance in some early phases of home domination but City were undone by that brilliant counter-attacking opener from Rooney.
Van Persie and Ashley Young both played important parts in an attack that swept forward from goalkeeper David de Gea's clearance and Rooney finished the job. His shot may have been scuffed but his intention to wrong-foot Hart was clear.
City were further frustrated as captain Vincent Kompany limped off and was replaced by Kolo Toure, who was surprisingly preferred to England defender Joleon Lescott, also on the bench.
The visitors' width was troubling City and was pivotal as they extended their lead just before the half-hour. Rafael made inroads down the right and crossed for Rooney to sweep another precise finish past Hart for his 150th Premier League goal.
Balotelli had made no impact on the game and it was no surprise when he was replaced by Tevez in the opening moments of the second half after a needless backheel conceded possession and brought a frustrated response from Mancini.
The departing striker shot Mancini a glare as he strode straight down the tunnel but he could have no complaints after being given an opportunity he had singularly failed to take.
United then thought they had scored a third when Young converted from close range after Van Persie had struck the upright but the linesman's flag was raised for a very marginal offside decision.
Seconds later City were back in business as Yaya Toure scored after Tevez and David Silva had seen efforts blocked.
As the champions sensed an equaliser, United had a remarkable escape in the 79th minute when Silva turned inside only for his angled effort to skim off De Gea's shoulder on to the bar.
The leveller came in the 85th minute when United could only half-clear Tevez's corner and Zabaleta drilled home powerfully from 12 yards.
Mancini's men pushed forward in search of a stunning victory but the points went to United when Tevez brought down Rafael and Van Persie scored with a free-kick from an angle, aided by a crucial deflection.
- 01 Hart
- 04 Kompany (K Toure - 21' )
- 05 Zabaleta
- 22 Clichy
- 33 Nastasic
- 08 Nasri Booked
- 18 Barry Booked
- 21 Silva
- 42 Y Toure Booked (Dzeko - 84' )
- 16 Aguero
- 45 Balotelli (Tevez - 52' Booked )
- 30 Pantilimon
- 03 Maicon
- 06 Lescott
- 28 K Toure
- 14 Garcia
- 10 Dzeko
- 32 Tevez
- 01 De Gea
- 02 Rafael
- 03 Evra
- 05 Ferdinand Booked
- 06 Evans (Smalling - 48' )
- 07 Valencia (Jones - 84' Booked )
- 16 Carrick
- 18 Young
- 23 Cleverley (Welbeck - 87' )
- 10 Rooney Booked
- 20 Van Persie
- 50 Johnstone
- 04 Jones
- 12 Smalling
- 11 Giggs
- 22 Scholes
- 14 Hernandez
- 19 Welbeck
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.90:00 +4:53
David De Gea takes the free kick.90:00 +4:53 Booking
Booking Gareth Barry is shown a yellow card.90:00 +4:24
Gareth Barry gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney.90:00 +4:06 Booking
Booking Phil Jones is given a yellow card.90:00 +1:43
Rafael Da Silva provided the assist for the goal.90:00 +1:43 Goal scored
Goal! - Robin van Persie - Man City 2 - 3 Man Utd Robin van Persie grabs a goal direct from the free kick from outside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 2-3 Man Utd.90:00 +0:52
Rafael Da Silva fouled by Carlos Tevez, the ref awards a free kick.90:00 +0:15
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.89:58
Foul by Robin van Persie on Matija Nastasic, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Kolo Toure.89:38
David Silva takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.88:45
David De Gea takes the direct free kick.88:45 Booking
Booking Carlos Tevez receives a caution for dissent.88:39
Unfair challenge on Rio Ferdinand by Carlos Tevez results in a free kick.86:59 Substitution
Substitution Danny Welbeck comes on in place of Tom Cleverley.85:18
Assist by Carlos Tevez.85:18 Goal scored
Goal! - Pablo Zabaleta - Man City 2 - 2 Man Utd A goal is scored by Pablo Zabaleta from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 2-2 Man Utd.84:55
Corner taken by Carlos Tevez from the left by-line played to the near post, Rafael Da Silva makes a clearance.83:13 Substitution
Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Phil Jones coming on for Antonio Valencia.83:13 Substitution
Substitution Edin Dzeko joins the action as a substitute, replacing Yaya Toure.
Carlos Tevez takes a shot from just inside the penalty box which clears the bar.79:43
Samir Nasri takes a shot. Rio Ferdinand gets a block in.78:23
David Silva takes a shot. David De Gea makes a save. Carlos Tevez takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Robin van Persie manages to make a clearance.77:46
Centre by Tom Cleverley, Robin van Persie produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.76:58
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva, save by David De Gea.73:24
Tom Cleverley concedes a free kick for a foul on David Silva. Free kick crossed by Yaya Toure. The referee blows for offside against Kolo Toure. David De Gea restarts play with the free kick.72:54
Direct free kick taken by Gael Clichy.72:54 Booking
Booking The referee shows Wayne Rooney a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.72:42
Foul by Wayne Rooney on Yaya Toure, free kick awarded.71:46
Carlos Tevez challenges Rafael Da Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Rafael Da Silva takes the direct free kick.68:50
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Wayne Rooney, Header on goal by Patrice Evra from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.62:03 Booking
Booking Rio Ferdinand receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.61:59
Foul by Rio Ferdinand on Sergio Aguero, free kick awarded. Yaya Toure restarts play with the free kick.59:37
Carlos Tevez provided the assist for the goal.59:37 Goal scored
Goal! - Yaya Toure - Man City 1 - 2 Man Utd Yaya Toure finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 1-2 Man Utd.58:56
Robin van Persie has an effort at goal from just outside the penalty box hitting the post. The official flags Ashley Young offside. Indirect free kick taken by Joe Hart.58:35
Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Save by David De Gea. David Silva takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea. Carlos Tevez takes a shot. Chris Smalling gets a block in.57:25
Samir Nasri takes a corner.56:29
Sergio Aguero has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.55:48
Free kick awarded for a foul by Pablo Zabaleta on Ashley Young. Chris Smalling takes the direct free kick.53:40 Booking
Booking Samir Nasri shown a yellow card.53:01
The assistant referee flags for offside against Sergio Aguero. David De Gea takes the free kick.50:55 Substitution
Substitution Carlos Tevez replaces Mario Balotelli.50:55
The ball is crossed by Antonio Valencia, Shot from just outside the box by Tom Cleverley goes over the bar.47:52 Substitution
Substitution Jonny Evans goes off and Chris Smalling comes on.45:47
Foul by Gael Clichy on Ashley Young, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Patrice Evra.45:19
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.45:01
The second half has started.45:00 +2:09 Half time
Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.42:02
Gareth Barry has an effort at goal from the edge of the area that misses to the right of the target.39:38
Unfair challenge on Patrice Evra by Pablo Zabaleta results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ashley Young.38:44
Pablo Zabaleta concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Direct free kick taken by David De Gea.36:57
Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by David Silva, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.34:59
The referee blows for offside against Antonio Valencia. Indirect free kick taken by Gael Clichy.34:18
The official flags Robin van Persie offside. Free kick taken by Joe Hart.32:56
Jonny Evans gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Samir Nasri. David Silva crosses the ball from the free kick left-footed from right channel, save by David De Gea.32:17
Shot from just outside the box by Tom Cleverley goes over the target.29:52
Kolo Toure challenges Robin van Persie unfairly and gives away a free kick. Patrice Evra takes the direct free kick.28:03
Assist on the goal came from Rafael Da Silva.28:03 Goal scored
Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man City 0 - 2 Man Utd Wayne Rooney finds the net with a goal from inside the six-yard box low into the middle of the goal. Man City 0-2 Man Utd.27:01
Kolo Toure takes a shot from long distance which goes wide of the right-hand post.24:43
Robin van Persie takes the inswinging corner, Yaya Toure manages to make a clearance.22:28
Sergio Aguero takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.21:53
Robin van Persie delivers the ball, Gareth Barry manages to make a clearance.20:15 Substitution
Substitution Kolo Toure replaces Vincent Kompany.19:43
The ball is crossed by Patrice Evra, Vincent Kompany manages to make a clearance.18:17
Samir Nasri is flagged offside by the assistant referee. David De Gea takes the indirect free kick.16:34
Unfair challenge on Tom Cleverley by Yaya Toure results in a free kick. Rio Ferdinand takes the free kick.15:19
Ashley Young provided the assist for the goal.15:19 Goal scored
Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man City 0 - 1 Man Utd Goal scored by Wayne Rooney from deep inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man City 0-1 Man Utd.13:30
Mario Balotelli challenges Jonny Evans unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by David De Gea.12:01
Inswinging corner taken by David Silva, David De Gea makes a save.10:54
Shot from deep inside the area by Mario Balotelli clears the crossbar.4:25
Sergio Aguero fouled by Rio Ferdinand, the ref awards a free kick. Shot on goal comes in from Mario Balotelli from the free kick, David De Gea makes a save. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Mario Balotelli played to the near post, Robin van Persie makes a clearance.3:00
Wayne Rooney challenges Yaya Toure unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Yaya Toure.2:45
Wayne Rooney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Silva. David Silva takes the free kick.0:59
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Yaya Toure by Patrice Evra. Yaya Toure takes the free kick.0:00
The referee gets the match started.
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