Man City 1-0 Man United: Perfect ten for Aguero as Blues win derby

first_img1 Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero Sergio Aguero’s sensational start to the Premier League season continued as he fired Manchester City to a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium, easing pressure on manager Manuel Pellegrini.The Argentine, who has hit ten goals in ten games, swiped a Gael Clichy cross into the back of the net just past the hour-mark as the Blues beat their rivals for the fourth time in a row.But Louis van Gaal will be able to draw some positives from the game as his Red Devils stood firm for the majority of the match, despite being down to ten men for 51 minutes as Chris Smalling received two idiotic yellow cards.A slow and testy start saw half-chances from the in-form Sergio Aguero and Adnan Januzaj, while Marouane Fellaini showed his confidence by pirouetting skilfully away from a Man City challenge.Meanwhile, Angel di Maria’s keenness to cross for his team-mates was there for all to see but he appeared slightly off the pace, twice missing his intended targets by quite some distance.Van Gaal, though, will have been impressed as his charges knocked the ball around on the grass at the Eithad Stadium with purpose and poise, but they failed to truly penetrate in the final third, allowing their rivals to counter but Aguero was being well marshalled by compatriot Marcos Rojo.Jesus Navas was able to shake his marker, Luke Shaw, and force a point-blank save from David de Gea, as the game changed pace, and the Spanish goalkeeper, without doubt one of the finest in the division, superbly stopped Aguero dispatching Yaya Toure’s crafty outside of the boot cross moments later.Daley Blind’s foolish tackle on Toure earned him a booking and allowed the Blues a free-kick within shooting range but, thankfully for the Dutchman, his opponent dusted himself down and smacked the ball off target.And Chris Smalling stupidly followed his team-mate into the referee’s book, garnering a caution for blocking Joe Hart’s goalkick as he attempted to start a quick counter after gathering a dangerous corner.Manchester United’s defending towards the start of the campaign was called into question but now they have found a more settled backline they appear stout and make it tough for their opponents to break them down and this appeared to frustrate Pellegrin’s side.But their task became a lot harder six minutes before the break as Smalling clattered James Milner, claiming his second booking and allowing Michael Oliver to brandish his red card.As Van Gaal pondered his options, Fellaini dropped into the centre of defence, nearly conceding a penalty before admonishing the stricken Aguero for his theatrics in the box.Michael Carrick then took to the field in place of Januzaj to relinquish Fellaini of his defensive duties as the Dutchman finally shuffled his pack.After the break, Pablo Zabaleta lashed a shot wildly over the bar and Manchester United were further weakened defensively as Rojo left the field on a stretcher, popping his shoulder, as he tried to tackle Martin Demichelis.Aguero was on the deck again, felled by Carrick, but failed to win a penalty as referee Oliver waved away his team-mates’ appeals.But the Argentine didn’t need a spot-kick to claim his tenth Premier League goal of the season as he swept home Gael Clichy’s cross after 63 minutes.Stevan Jovetic nearly doubled the lead for the Blues but was denied brilliantly by De Gea, who could have done nothing with Aguero’s opener.Robin van Persie, who looks a shadow of the man who fired Manchester United to the title in 2012, skipped past two challenges before being denied by Joe Hart’s outstretched leg, as he attempted to find an equaliser for the visitors.A barnstorming Wayne Rooney run gave Di Maria an opportunity to level as the Red Devils rallied, while Fellaini headed another effort wide.Van Gaal then turned to youth with his final substitution, hauling off Van Persie and sending strike starlet James Wilson into the fray but the prolific academy youngster, with little service, was unable to grab the leveller, leaving Manchester United in ninth position.Man City, meanwhile, remain third, two points behind high-flying Southampton and six off table-toppers Chelsea.last_img

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