Live Commentary: Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United - as it happened
Relive Manchester City's 1-0 victory over Manchester United with Sports Mole's text coverage, as the Citizens claim local bragging rights in the derby at Eastlands.
By Barney Corkhill, Assistant Editor Filed: Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 12:00 UK
Last Updated: Sunday, November 2, 2014 at 16:00 UK
Manchester City claimed local bragging rights with victory in the first Manchester derby of the season this afternoon, beating fierce rivals Manchester United 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium.
United were forced to play more than half of the match with 10 men after Chris Smalling was shown two yellow cards before the interval.
The hosts finally made their numerical advantage count shortly after the hour mark as Sergio Aguero fired his 10th goal of the season past David de Gea from inside the box.
You can read how an eventful derby unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live minute-by-minute coverage below.
12pmGood afternoon! One of the flagship matches of the Premier League season takes place today as Manchester City welcome local rivals Manchester United to the Etihad Stadium. It is a match that could have major implications for the title race, in addition to the usual reward of bragging rights being up for grabs. This fixture has a long and rich history - with a reputation for goals - so we should be in line for a treat today. We also have a bumper build-up for you, so let's get started with a look at the home side...
12.02pmCity find themselves in a very delicate situation right now, with the title threatening to slip away from them before Christmas. Chelsea are in such good form that it is tough to see them dropping too many points throughout the campaign, so should the gap remain at nine points - as it currently stands - then it would be an uphill battle for Manuel Pellegrini's side to recover that deficit.
12.04pmIndeed, not only are they nine points adrift of Chelsea, but they are also five short of surprise package Southampton, who are showing no signs of slowing down themselves. City would be confident that the Saints will go through a relatively bad spell at some point this season, but their own recent form is proof that a string of bad results - albeit a relatively short one - could have a fatal impact on any title ambitions with a side like Chelsea relentlessly picking up points.
12.06pmThe worrying thing for Manuel Pellegrini is that his side have dropped points when they haven't been expecting it, leading to claims that they have become complacent as champions. Their defence of the title last time they won it was fairly tame, with United regaining the crown with ease, and so far there are signs of something similar happening. Whether they underestimate the 'smaller' teams in the division, only they will know, but they certainly can't afford to drop many more points against the teams that they really should be beating.
12.08pmBoth Stoke City and West Ham United have beaten City in the Premier League this season, the former of whom did it in City's own back yard. Their most recent Premier League outing was the defeat at the hands of West Ham, and they can't have too many complaints at having lost that game. The Hammers are in good form themselves, admittedly, but City were far short of their best and need to stop the rot quickly. In many ways, a derby match could be the perfect game to have in order to draw a reaction from the players following a poor run of form.
12.10pmThey certainly didn't bounce back from the West Ham defeat in midweek, when as holders they were dumped out of the League Cup at the hands of a resurgent Newcastle side. Again, that loss came in front of their own fans, and once more they couldn't have too many complaints at being beaten. The League Cup is certainly not top of Pellegrini's priority list, but exiting any cup competition hurts and will have done nothing to appease the pressure that is apparently growing on the Chilean's shoulders.
12.12pmWhether that pressure is warranted or not is up for debate, but Pellegrini will know that a club of City's stature is not expected to go four matches without a win at any stage of the campaign. They have already done that once this season, and failure to claim all three points this afternoon would make it two four-game winless streaks in the current campaign. That is a far cry from last season, when they never went three games without a win in all competitions.
12.14pmIndeed, they enter this match on the back of consecutive defeats for the first time since March, and have not lost three in a row in all competitions since October 2010. Incidentally, that was also the last time they lost back-to-back Premier League fixtures, with Arsenal and Wolverhampton Wanderers picking up victories over City in that run. Defeat this afternoon would see that four-year record ended.
12.16pmThe dip in form, which began when City squandered a two-goal lead to draw with CSKA Moscow in the Champions League, has been even more surprising as they had seemingly begun to get into their full stride before that. The goals were starting to fly in, and the likes of Sergio Aguero and David Silva were beginning to hit top form once again. Only the top two in the league have now scored more times than City's 19 in nine games, while Aguero's four-goal haul against Spurs lifted him right to the top of the individual goalscoring list.
12.18pmAt the back, City have not exactly been watertight, with renewed questions being asked about Joe Hart's position earlier in the campaign. They have only kept three clean sheets in their 14 outings in all competitions so far this season, none of which have come at home. Even so, only Southampton have conceded fewer goals in the Premier League, although City have played a game fewer than the majority of the teams in the division.
12.20pmTheir home form has been surprisingly indifferent so far this season, particularly compared with the last campaign. They were imperious at the Etihad on their way to the title in 2013-14, dropping just five points along the way, but they have already dropped as many points as that this season, with defeat to Stoke and a draw against Chelsea. They have won just three of their seven home matches in all competitions, drawing two and losing two, which will be a major concern for Pellegrini.
12.22pmIt wasn't just the points that were arriving freely at home last season, they were also scoring for fun in front of their own fans. However, with the odd exception - notably a 7-0 win over Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup - they haven't been quite as clinical in front of goal at the Etihad this season. Indeed, the 0-2 defeat to Newcastle on Wednesday was the second time that they have drawn a blank at home this season having only failed to score in two games since January 2012 before that.
12.24pmThere are certainly plenty of issues for Pellegrini to deal with, then, and this match today is approaching a must-win encounter for the Chilean. It is unlikely that he will face the sack should he lose, but it would certainly pile the pressure on him, and another poor result in the Champions League in midweek - which could effectively consign them to Europa League football at best for the rest of the season - would raise serious questions over his future. There is also the fact that defeat could mean that they start their next game a full 12 points behind Chelsea.
12.26pmCity were dealt a blow in midweek when Silva was forced off the field, and the Spanish playmaker will reportedly miss a few weeks with his knee injury. He had been beginning to find a bit of form, and scored a lovely goal in the defeat to West Ham last weekend, so City will need to fill that void effectively. However, with Lampard, Toure and Nasri all struggling with injuries themselves, that may be easier said than done.
12.28pmIn truth, though, City's major worries right now probably lie in defence. As I mentioned earlier, they only have three clean sheets this season, which is not really good enough if they want to be challenging on all fronts. We saw last season with Liverpool how a leaky defence can cost you the title, and Pellegrini will want to get his backline sorted sooner rather than later.
12.30pmThere are plenty of questions surrounding the team news for both sides today, and we should be getting the starting XIs filtering through any second now. I will bring them to you as soon as they are out, with big names such as Vincent Kompany, Wayne Rooney and Sergio Aguero expected to return to their respective lineups.
12.32pmTEAM NEWS: Indeed, here it is! Aguero does return to the starting lineup following his omission for the League Cup in midweek, and the same is true of captain Kompany. Toure has shaken off a groin problem to start, while there are also spots for Navas, Milner and Jovetic. United, meanwhile, welcome Rooney back from suspension and also start Valencia at full-back. Full team news for both sides coming right up...
12.34pmMANCHESTER CITY SUBS: Sagna, Nasri, Dzeko, Caballero, Clichy, Fernandinho, Boyata
12.36pmMANCHESTER UNITED STARTING XI: De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Shaw; Blind, Fellaini, Januzaj; Rooney, Di Maria, van Persie
12.36pmMANCHESTER UNITED SUBS: Lindegaard, McNair, Carrick, Fletcher, Herrera, Mata, Wilson
12.38pmWhat can we make of those two sides, then? Well, as far as City are concerned, their dangerman is surely going to be Sergio Aguero, who boasts the best goals-per-minute ratio of any striker in Premier League history with more than 50 goals to their name. When fit and on form, he really is one of the best in the world, and if he is on top of his game today then it could be enough to separate these two sides. He is up against a fellow Argentine in Rojo, which should make for an interesting battle, but there is no doubt that the United defender will have his hands full.
12.40pmIt is interesting to see Jovetic chosen to partner Aguero, with Dzeko having to settle for a place on the bench. Jovetic enjoyed a spell of really good form earlier in the season, only to be injured and lose his place in the side. However, it is a vote of confidence in him by Pellegrini for him to start ahead of Dzeko, who - like Aguero - has scored four goals in his last five appearances against United.
12.42pmThe inclusion of Yaya Toure is a big boost for the hosts as there had been concerns over a potential groin injury for the Ivorian. It is fair to say that he has not been at his best this season, particularly compared to his last campaign, but he is the type of player who can win a game in an instant, and his powerful driving runs could cause problems for a relatively flimsy United defence. Alongside him in midfield, Milner once again gets the nod in a big game, no doubt for his defensive work as much as his threat going forward, with Navas's pace will make Shaw think twice about bombing forward down the left.
12.44pmAs expected, Joe Hart returns in goal for the hosts after Caballero conceded twice in the League Cup on Wednesday, and the likes of Zabaleta and Kompany also come back into the starting lineup. The City defence looks a lot sturdier with those two playing, while Demichelis, who was heavily criticised at times last season, has also proven himself to be a solid defender. Mangala, incidentally, is left out of the squad altogether.
12.46pmThat City defence will be charged with stopping a United attack that is as formidable as anything in the league right now. Angel di Maria has made a fine start to life at the club, while Van Persie's late equaliser against Chelsea last weekend should give the Dutchman a lift following a spell of relatively poor form. If those two can get firing then City will certainly have their hands full this afternoon, and while Falcao remains sidelined through injury, the visitors arrive at the Etihad with plenty of firepower.
12.48pmThen, of course, there is the small matter of a return for Wayne Rooney, who has missed the last three games through suspension. The skipper is put straight back into the side despite minor concerns over his fitness, and he will look to keep up his phenomenal record against United's city rivals. He is the top scorer in the history of Manchester derbies, with 11 goals overall including a record eight in the Premier League. He has also got four in his last five league games at the Etihad, and who could forget that overhead kick a few years ago?
12.50pmFellaini gets the nod in midfield thanks to some improved form in recent weeks, notably when he came on as a sub and changed the game against West Brom. He is preferred to Herrera, who starts on the bench alongside Carrick, who is slowly returning to fitness following injury. Blind, who scored a late equaliser in the draw with West Brom, continues alongside him, as does Januzaj, with Mata the man to make way for Rooney.
12.52pmAt the back, there is no place in the squad for Rafael, who picked up an injury on Thursday and is unable to play. That means Valencia fills in at right-back, which could be a potential weak spot for the visitors now. Valencia has played there before this season, but it is fair to say that he is an attack-minded player and could perhaps neglect his defensive duties on a couple of occasions. Jones and Evans remain sidelined through injury, so Smalling continues at the back in front of De Gea. The Spanish keeper has been in good form this season and is the only United player to have started every Premier League game, despite only being nine matches into the campaign.
12.54pmThat United side shows two changes from what Louis van Gall will be hoping is a season-changing draw against Chelsea last time out. The Red Devils looked to be on course for defeat to the league leaders at Old Trafford, but Van Persie popped up with an equaliser right at the death to rescue a point for his side. It would have felt more like a victory for Van Gaal, whose side had been written off by many before the match.
12.56pmHowever, it was only a draw and United's start to the season has still be underwhelming. They were given a very kind fixture list in the opening weeks, yet this is their worst ever start to a Premier League season, with just 13 points from their opening nine games. In comparison, David Moyes had amassed 14 points at the same stage of last season.
12.58pmIndeed, Louis van Gaal has only managed three victories in all competitions as United boss so far, which led many to give unfavourable reviews on his three-month report card. The Dutchman has stressed that it is a rebuilding project, but with the money they spent in the summer it has been a disappointing start to his tenure. Those around them in the table have not taken full advantage, however, and United remain very much in the race for a top four finish.
1pmVictory this afternoon wouldn't quite be enough for them to climb into the Champions League places, with four points currently separating them from fourth, but it would see them leapfrog Liverpool and Swansea City and move within a point of their hosts today. However, should they lose tonight then they could find themselves 16 points behind Chelsea by the time they next play, and that would be any title ambitions dead and buried at the start of November.
1.02pmOf course, a title charge may be viewed as ambitious for a side that finished seventh in the table last season, but a team that includes the likes of Di Maria, Rooney, Van Persie, Mata and Falcao must surely be looking to push for honours. Next season may be a more realistic target for the Red Devils, but today's match should be a decent indicator of whether they are close to restoring their former glories or still have some way to go. The balance of their squad doesn't quite seem to be there right now, but they showed against Chelsea that they can still compete with the big boys, putting in their best performance of the campaign so far.
1.04pmHowever, despite their star-studded attacking lineup and relatively easy set of fixtures so far, United have still scored 10 goals fewer than Chelsea this season. It will, of course, take time for the side to gel, and injuries have not helped Louis van Gaal at all, but he will want more from his attacking players in terms of goals for sure. That front four has the quality to blow opposition away and, while they can't do it without the service, they probably should have found the back of the net more often than they have so far.
1.06pmAt the other end, United have struggled to keep teams at bay so far. They have kept just two clean sheets all season, with those coming against the league's bottom two clubs QPR and Burnley. Only Everton and West Ham have conceded more goals than United in the top half of the table, although their tally of 13 goals let in from nine games is not exactly something for Van Gaal to get overly concerned about. He has been forced to chop and change his defence numerous times already this season due to injuries, and he may well still be looking for his best back four.
1.08pmUnited have not been beaten since their collapse against Leicester in September, however, and have now gone four games unbeaten for the first time under Van Gaal. Wins over West Ham and Everton saw some of the gloom surrounding the club lifted, while the draw against Chelsea last time out was also a very good result. They did suffer a bit of a blip against West Brom, with a disappointing 2-2 draw, but United fans seem to be a lot more optimistic now than they were following that Leicester defeat.
1.10pmYou'd have to say that getting anything from this game would be a good result for United, even considering City's recent form. The Red Devils have not gone five matches without a defeat in 2014, and come into this game as underdogs given their poor record away from home this season. They say form goes out of the window in derby matches, but it would still be something of a shock if United were to come away with even a draw this afternoon.
1.12pmThey are still searching for their first away victory under Louis van Gaal, with three draws and two defeats from their five outings on the road so far. They have conceded 12 goals in that time, with Leicester and MK Dons combining to get nine of those in two matches. It is now eight games without an away win in all competitions stretching back to last season, which is in stark contrast to the David Moyes era, when United were better on their travels than they were at home.
1.14pmOf course, the David Moyes era was seen as an unmitigated disaster at Old Trafford following the success brought to the club by Sir Alex Ferguson, and Fergie himself has given his backing to Van Gaal despite the Dutchman making a worse start than his predecessor. It will be interesting to see what Van Gaal can do with a fully fit squad and perhaps another transfer window behind him, but so far he has struggled a little.
1.16pmOne area Van Gaal needs to improve on is how his side defend set pieces. They have already conceded six goals in the Premier League from set pieces, and at the start of this weekend only Crystal Palace had let in more. That could be directly linked with the exits of commanding defenders such as Vidic in the summer, with neither Smalling or Rojo really dominating in the air like the Serb did.
1.18pmRevenge could be on the minds of United here after they were comfortably dispatched in both meetings between these two last season. Their most recent match saw Dzeko net a brace and Toure cap off the scoring for a 3-0 victory at Old Trafford, while last time at the Etihad it was 4-1, with Aguero (2), Toure and Nasri making Rooney's goal worthless.
1.20pmPREDICTION: We're just 10 minutes away from kickoff here for this Manchester derby, so it's time for a prediction! United have been poor on the road under Van Gaal and, although City have struggled themselves in recent times and haven't been quite as strong at home, I can't see past a victory for the hosts this afternoon. It could be fairly comfortable as well. I'll go for a 3-1 victory for City, with Aguero getting on the scoresheet at least once.
1.22pmSo, that's what I think will happen, and the Sports Mole Sofa panel was generally in agreement. You can see what they had to say in the build-up to this match here:
1.24pmCity boast by far the better recent history between these two sides, with the 'noisy neighbours' overtaking United as Manchester's most dominant club. Today's hosts have won five of their last six meetings with United, including each of their last three in the Premier League.
1.26pmOverall, though, this fixture belongs to Manchester United. The Red Devils have the richer history of the two clubs, and that certainly shows in the record as United have won 59 of the league meetings compared to City's 42. There have been some iconic moments in this fixture - such as Denis Law's backheel, Rooney's overhead kick and Owen's late winner - so hopefully we will be in for another memorable match today.
1.28pmBREAKING TEAM NEWS: Bad news for Manchester City fans - Aleksandar Kolarov has suffered an injury in the warm-up and will not be able to play today. He is replaced in the starting lineup by Gael Clichy. I wonder whether that will affect Pellegrini's game plan at all, or indeed Van Gaal's.
1 minKICKOFF: Here we go then! The 168th Manchester derby gets underway at the Etihad Stadium, with United kicking off. We should be in for a cracker here!
1 minUnited earn an early free kick, which they commit plenty of men forward for. The ball is floated into the area and Rojo forces a save out of Hart low at his near post, but the flag is up against the Argentine defender.
3 minRooney is playing in a deeper role in these opening exchanges, dropping in alongside Fellaini in midfield when City have the ball. However, as soon as United win it back he is quick to race up in support of Van Persie.
5 minUnited have been a little sloppy in possession in the early stages, and that has encouraged City to really put the pressure on whoever has the ball. No chances for either side so far as both look to ease their way into the game.
7 minUnited have seen plenty of the ball so far, which will please Van Gaal. City would surely want to control possession and dictate the tempo in these opening exchanges, but they have not been able to do that so far.
8 minSAVE! City come forward menacingly here and the ball is slipped inside to Aguero, who gets behind the defence. He lines up Valencia inside the box and skips past the makeshift right-back with ease before firing a shot straight at De Gea from a tight angle, It was always going to be tough to score from there, but it was nice movement from the striker to create the chance.
10 minCHANCE! United respond with a chance of their own as they knock the ball about confidently inside the City half. The ball is eventually hoisted into the area, where Van Persie knocks it down to Januzaj on the edge of the box. The Belgian hits it first time, but drags his effort well wide.
12 minThis has been a good, even start to this match, with both sides making decent half-breaks forward without really testing the opposition keeper. United have more than held their own so far, and Van Gaal will be happy with how his side have played so far.
14 minI mentioned that United had been sloppy in possession a few times already, but City are certainly not free of guilt in that respect too. The standard of the passing overall has been a bit disappointing so far.
14 minDi Maria looks to swing a cross towards the back post, where Fellaini has lined up Clichy in what would have been a mismatched aerial battle. However, it is Van Persie who gets on the end of it, planting his header well wide of the near post.
16 minCity just can't keep hold of the ball right now. Every time they win the ball back they seem to give it away shortly afterwards, which is creating a frustrated atmosphere inside the Etihad. The hosts haven't really settled into this one yet.
18 minUnited have enjoyed 57% possession in the early stages, which is not something a visiting team can say too often at the Etihad. They have settled into the game better than the hosts and, while their passing hasn't been perfect so far, they have been better at keeping hold of the ball than City.
20 minSAVE! Van Persie is unfortunate not to get a free kick having been brought down by Kompany, but once the decision is not given City break forward. A long ball releases Aguero, who takes it down brilliantly but goes too wide and draws another comfortable stop from De Gea.
21 minCHANCES! Two huge chances for City in quick succession, but De Gea comes to United's rescue on both occasions! The first falls to Navas, whose first-time volley was straight at De Gea, while the second saw him come out to smother an Aguero effort following a fine cross from Fernando. City really should be ahead here, but that was superb work from De Gea.
23 minThat was more like it from City, who injected a bit of pace into their attack for the first time. Aguero was heavily involved in both attacks, and you would have backed him to finish the second chance, but he was thwarted by De Gea. There wasn't much more the Argentine could have done.
25 minHere is Aguero battling against the red shirts of United. He has been lively so far today but hasn't got the service he would want so far:
27 minCity have come into the game a little more in the last few minutes, seeing more of the ball and actually keeping hold of it for a decent length of time. United are on the back foot a little now, and they could need to weather a storm in the next five minutes or so.
28 minYELLOW CARD! The first booking of the derby goes the way of Daley Blind, who slid in an caught Toure in a dangerous position. This is within shooting range for the hosts...
29 minSHOT! Toure takes the responsibility on himself and puts plenty of power on his curling effort, but he can't get it back down in time as De Gea watches it fly over the crossbar.
31 minZabaleta dives into a challenge on Van Persie and catches the United striker, but Michael Oliver decides against flashing the yellow card. Rooney is not happy about it considering the booking shown to Blind a moment ago, resulting in a talking-to for the United skipper.
32 minYELLOW CARD! Speaking of yellow cards, Smalling needlessly gets himself booked for trying to block a Joe Hart kick out of his hands. Silly from the defender.
34 minThe last few minutes have been rather scrappy, with a number of niggly challenges being put in by both sides. Michael Oliver has kept control of the match quite well so far, and it is bubbling nicely under the surface at the moment.
36 minFellaini has been quite heavily involved in United's better moments so far, with the big Belgian seeing a lot of the ball. He is also looking to get forward into the box when his side have the ball within crossing distance, although the visitors are yet to make the most of that.
38 minDi Maria has shown glimpses of his quality so far, but is yet to weave his magic and get the better of a defence led by Kompany:
39 minRED CARD! Chris Smalling (Manchester United)
39 minOhhhh Chris Smalling what are you doing?! After a stupid booking earlier in the match he gets his second yellow card for a rash and mistimed challenge in the left channel. There is no doubt that it is worthy of a red card, and Smalling has put his side under so much pressure now. Huge moment in this derby.
40 minCLOSE! The resulting free kick is swung into a dangerous area, and De Gea can't get there despite going for it. Kompany is challenging with Fellaini at the back post, but it flies over both of them too before going behind for a goal kick.
42 minFellaini has dropped into central defence to cover for the absence of Smalling now, and what was already an unfamiliar defence really is makeshift now. Fellaini's first test sees him bring down Aguero inside the box, but the referee waves away claims for a penalty. I've certainly seen them given!
43 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB: Van Gaal looks to adapt following that Smalling red card, with Januzaj the man sacrificed to make way for Carrick, who will drop into defence and let Fellaini move back into midfield.
45 minThe fourth official indicates a minimum of three minutes added time at the end of this first half. United will be looking to simply hang on until the break now.
45+2 minCity pour forward looking to get themselves in front before the interval, but a promising attack comes to an end as Demichelis accidentally handballs a mis-hit volley inside the box.
45+3 minHALF TIME: Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United
2.25pmThe referee blows his whistle to bring an end to the first half, but he could well have been doing it to award a penalty. Yaya Toure looked to get on the end of a clever dinked through-ball inside the box and appeared to be caught by Rojo, but Michael Oliver once again waved the claims away. It could have easily been given, and it would probably have been another red card for the visitors.
2.27pmA controversial end then to an eventful first half to this Manchester derby. The biggest talking point of the opening 45 minutes saw Chris Smalling shown two yellow cards to receive his marching orders, and he can have no complaints about either of them. The first was stupid as he blocked Hart's kick out of his hands, while the second was a very rash challenge on Milner that was a second yellow all day long.
2.29pmCity haven't had any goals so far, but they could easily have had two penalties. The Toure one right at the end of the half looked like it should have been given, while moments after the red card Fellaini also appeared to trip Aguero inside the box with a clumsy challenge. Michael Oliver's view seemed to be blocked on both decisions, which may have prevented the ref from making the right call.
2.31pmThere hasn't been a huge amount of goalmouth action, but City did create two chances in quick succession that they would have been expected to take. The first fell to Navas, whose first-time effort was saved by De Gea, before the Spanish keeper made a brilliant stop to deny Aguero moments later. It was brave goalkeeping from the keeper on the latter occasion, and he has kept his side level in this match so far.
2.33pmThe red card was particularly bad news for United as they had been very much holding their own until that moment. They saw plenty of the ball and looked comfortable in the game, settling quicker than City without creating any clear chances. Van Gaal will have been pleased with how his side were playing, but Smalling's dismissal has changed everything and now it would be a big surprise if United were to get anything out of the game.
2.35pmIt will be interesting to see how Van Gaal approaches the second half. His side are not exactly made to park the bus, with the likes of Di Maria, Rooney and Van Persie providing more of an attacking threat, but they may not have much of a choice now.
46 minKICKOFF: City get us back underway for the second half as they look to make the most of their numerical advantage in the coming 45 minutes.
48 minBright start to the half from City as they look to break the deadlock nice and early in this second period. Unsurprisingly, they have seen more of the ball so far, and that is something that is likely to be a feature of this second half.
49 minClichy threads a lovely ball in behind the defence for Aguero to race onto, and the striker gets onto the end of it despite a slight stumble. He looks to take on Rojo, but the United defender did well and the visitors eventually scramble it clear.
50 minCHANCE! Half a chance for City as they continue to pile the pressure on, with United failing to initially deal with a drilled cross into the box. The loose ball falls to Zabaleta, but while off balance the right-back slices his left-footed effort well off target.
52 minCity are really pushing forward for an opening goal here, and United's troubles could have intensified here as Rojo comes flying out to tackle Demichelis, only to completely miss man and ball. He looks to have picked up a problem with his shoulder in the tackle, and he is in a lot of pain right now.
54 minWhat a huge blow this look like being for United. They've already lost one centre-back, and Rojo will not be able to continue here. It looks like his shoulder has popped out, so not only is it a blow for this match, but he could be out of action for a while. He is in a lot of pain and is being given oxygen on the field now.
56 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB: Here comes the change as Paddy McNair replaces Rojo, who is stretchered off the field. Massive blow for the visitors.
58 minI mentioned before the game that this United back four was unfamiliar and a little flimsy, but right now it reads Valencia, McNair, Carrick and Shaw. That really is a makeshift defence, and Aguero must be licking his lips right now. City have not been able to take advantage so far, though.
60 minYELLOW CARD! Demichelis goes into the book for a foul on Di Maria moments after Oliver turned down another City penalty appeal. Again, it could easily have been given as Carrick trip the Argentine. Demichelis, meanwhile, can have no complaints at the yellow card.
61 minDi Maria swings the resulting free kick into a very dangerous area, but no red shirts are able to get on the end of it as it skims behind for a corner. Another fine delivery from Di Maria.
63 minCity finally have the breakthrough, and it must be said that it has been coming! Toure slides a lovely pass down the left channel for Clichy, who cuts it back into the middle. Aguero has found a bit of space inside the box and fires his first-time effort past De Gea to break the United resistance. Very slick goal from the hosts, and that is now 10 league goals this season for Aguero.
65 minIs there any way back for United now? You can certainly not count them out with the attacking talent at their disposal, but they will be wary of committing too many men forward with City looking to break quickly. The visitors have a mountain to climb if they are to get anything out of this one.
67 minCity don't seem to be content with just the one goal, and they are pushing forward for a second now to make things a little more comfortable. A one-goal lead is always a precarious one, and City can afford to really pile the pressure on in search of a second.
68 minSAVE! Jovetic looks to supply that second goal with a curling effort towards the far corner, but De Gea keeps it out with an acrobatic stop. It was perhaps more comfortable than he made it look, but still a decent save from the keeper.
70 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB: The hosts make their first change of the afternoon, and it is a return from injury for Samir Nasri, who replaces Milner for the final 20 minutes.
71 minSAVE! Superb play from Van Persie as he spins away from Demichelis, skips past Clichy and then forces a good stop out of Hart from a very tight angle. Almost a moment of magic from the Dutchman to haul his side back into the game.
72 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB: A second change for the hosts as Edin Dzeko replaces Jovetic.
74 minCity have slowed the tempo right down here and are playing the game at a walking place at the moment. They are content to patiently probe for a way through before upping the tempo again in the final third. They do that here as the ball arrives in the box, but Carrick makes a fine block to deny Aguero.
75 minOFF THE POST! City are inches away from doubling their lead here as Navas finds his way through the defence and into the box. He goes for goal from a tight angle and squeezes his effort past De Gea, only to rattle the woodwork. The ball bounces back into a dangerous area, but United eventually manage to clear their lines.
77 minCHANCE! Huge chance for United to level things up! It is brilliant from Rooney as he bursts through the defence and into the box. He chooses to cut back on himself instead of going for goal himself, allowing the City defence to rob him off possession. The danger is not over, however, and the ball falls to Di Maria, who draws a superb low stop from Hart.
78 minCHANCE! Another massive chance for United to equalise! Di Maria once again provides a lovely cross into the middle, and Fellaini has stolen a march on Kompany inside the box. The Belgian looks to glance his header into the far corner, but it hits his shoulder and goes out for a goal kick. Big, big chance.
79 minYELLOW CARD! Fernando becomes the latest name in the book for a foul on Di Maria, gifting United a free kick within shooting range.
80 minSHOT! Di Maria is the man who goes for goal from the free kick, but it is a disappointing effort as he curls one well over the top. Zabaleta has also gone into the book in the midst of all that.
82 minMANCHESTER UNITED SUB: A third and final change for the visitors, and it is an interesting one as Van Persie makes way to be replaced by James Wilson.
84 minMANCHESTER CITY SUB: A interesting change from City too as Aguero comes off to be replaced by Fernandinho. The departing striker is not happy, and that is an indicator of City's philosophy for these closing stages.
85 minAnother decent sight of goal for the visitors as Di Maria's corner finds the head of Fellaini, who can't turn it on target under heavy pressure from Kompany. City are really on the back foot right now.
87 minUnited are the team putting the pressure on right now, and they look most likely to score if anyone is to find the back of the net again in this one. As things stand, though, Sergio Aguero will be the toast of the blue half of Manchester.
89 minCLOSE! Toure takes the pressure off his side with a moment of top quality, turning away from McNair with a clever flick before steering a measured effort just wide of the far post. Good try from the midfielder.
90 minVital interception from Valencia as he gets a foot in on Dzeko when the last man. The Man City striker would have only had De Gea to beat had he got through there, so it was a crucial tackle from the right-back.
90+1 minCHANCE! The fourth official indicates a minimum of FIVE minutes added time as Toure hurls himself as Fernandinho's cross, turning his header over the crossbar.
90+3 minThere really is a nervous atmosphere inside the stadium now as United continue to knock on the door in these dying stages. The visitors have rescued draws with late goals in their last two matches, and are pushing hard to make it three in a row here.
90+5 minFULL TIME: Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United
3.26pmThe bragging rights go the way of Manchester City as they hold out for a 1-0 victory over 10-man Manchester United. It was not as comfortable as it looked like it may be at one point, with City being forced to withstand some heavily late pressure. It was an incredibly nervy finish to the game for City, but they are finally back to winning ways and move six points off the pace.
3.28pmThe solitary goal, predictably, came from Sergio Aguero as he fired Clichy's cut-back past a helpless David de Gea shortly after the hour mark. United played more than half of the match with 10 men following Smalling's silly red card, but despite some threatening play in the closing stages they couldn't rescue another late point.
3.30pmRight, that is all we have time for this afternoon! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for what was an eventful and entertaining Manchester derby, with City emerging victorious over their local rivals United. I will leave you with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction, analysis and player ratings. Our coverage of the later kickoff is already underway, and you can follow Aston Villa vs. Tottenham Hotspur live here. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!