Manchester City hosted United at the Etihad in the 188th Manchester Derby – where’s the kitchen because the reds were panned?!
A thrilling 9 goal game saw the blues come out on top with double hat-tricks from City fans Phil Foden and Erling Haaland.
Let’s not allow the outstanding performances from the two hat-trick heroes take away from a fantastic overall performance.
Tempo and pace controlled by skipper, Gundogan. Midfield dictated by Silva. Attacks composed by De Bruyne. Defender domination by Grealish. Assured performances from the back line and Eddie.
With Rodri ruled out before the game with calf niggles and Dias left on the bench, blues were nervy about how the team would line-up.
Pep went for a starting XI of: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, Gundogan (C), Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Grealish and Haaland.
City started brightly, with a game of pinball in the 4th minute, the most surprising thing was that United kept it out of the back of the net.
Not long after, in the 8th minute, the ball was slipped to Foden after a break down the left and the young blue smashed it past De Gea who was planted to the spot.
City continued to bombard United in attack and dominated the game. It wasn’t until a 34th minute corner that met the noggin of Haaland and goal-line technology ruled it goal.
With the whole crowd behind them, City went into one of those mad hyper puppy moments. And 4 minutes later came another Haaland and De Bruyne link up to take City 3 ahead.
Another injury blow for the blues, as Gomez replaced Walker in the 41st minute due to injury after preventing the attempted United counterattacks.
The connection created before our very eyes with Foden-Haaland-De Bruyne is stunning. Leading to a 44th minute 2nd goal from Foden, assisted by Haaland to but the blues up 4-0 ahead of half time.
City started the second half slowly, lacking the intensity we saw in the first half, and it wasn’t long before Anthony pulled one back to make it 4-1.
Nevertheless, less than 10 minutes later, City took control of the half as Haaland grabbed his 3rd hat-trick in 3 consecutive home games, how many records will he break?
In the 73rd minute came the games second hat-trick scored by one of our greatest achievements, Phil Foden, as he linked up again with Haaland to take the game 6-1 and we all hoped it’d end there just for the poetry.
A couple of minutes later, Pep made 4 substitutions bringing off Foden, De Bruyne, Gundogan and Grealish to make way for Palmer, Mahrez, Alvarez and we welcomed back Laporte for the first time this season, who took the captains armband for the remainder of the game.
Things went a little wild after the substitutions, a bit of a makeshift side, which saw City lose control on a couple of occasions when United broke forward.
2 goals from Martial, one a penalty in the 91st minute. The game ended 6-3 and Manchester remains BLUE.
Haaland voted MotM. But everyone performed incredibly. Utter domination which saw City hold 54.2% possession, 22 shots to United’s 12, and 10 shots on target compared to United’s 8.
The Pep original outclassed the Wish version on this occasion. FC Copenhagen up next in the Champions League.