Bernardo Silva suggested Manchester United were lucky to only be losing 3-0 at half-time in Tuesday's EFL Cup semi-final first-leg defeat to Manchester City.
City claimed a 3-1 win at Old Trafford, with their rampant first-half display seeing them comfortably claim victory and put one foot in the final.
Silva opened the scoring with a wonderful long-range effort, before then setting up Riyad Mahrez to make it two. An Andreas Pereira own goal, engineered by Kevin De Bruyne, effectively put the game beyond United before the break.
Marcus Rashford pulled one back for the hosts in the second half, but that goal came from a rare moment of incisiveness as United were well beaten.
Silva told Sky Sports: "I think we could have gone to half-time winning by four or five because we missed a few chances, then the second half was very hard for us.
"They started pressing higher, trying to control the game and getting on the ball. We got a bit tired, but I think overall it was a good performance and we're happy with this win.
"It's never easy to come here to Old Trafford against one of the best sides in England, in Europe, and to win 3-1.
"When you play a derby and you play Man United, you cannot always win. We were disappointed because losing at home [to United in December] is not normal for us. Coming here, in a way it makes it up to our fans, who once again were unbelievable in helping us get this win."
Pep Guardiola sprung something of a surprise with his team selection, opting against using a striker and instead loading the midfield and frontline with creative players, and Silva gave the move his seal of approval.
"I enjoyed it a lot, especially because we won and because it worked," he added. "I think Pep wanted one more man in the middle and that's why he put me there. Happily, it worked."