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Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Inter Milan's Roberto Gagliardini, bottom, is challenged by Pordenone's Emanuele Berrettoni during the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Pordenone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Dec.12, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Inter Milan's Yuto Nagatomo, center, celebrates with teammates Joao Cancelo, Ivan Perisic and Andrea Ranocchia after scoring the decisive penalty during the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Pordenone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Dec.12, 2017. InInter won 5-4 following a shootout. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Pordenone coach Leonardo Colucci gives indications during the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter and Pordenone at the Milan San Sito stadium, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Matteo Bazzi/ANSA via AP)

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Inter Milan's Yuto Nagatomo scores the decisive penalty during the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Pordenone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Dec.12, 2017. Inter won 5-4 following a shootout. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti waits for the kick-off of the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Pordenone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Dec.12, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Inter beats 3rd-division Pordenone 5-4 on penalties in Cup

Inter Milan's Yann Karamoh reaches for the ball during the Italian Cup soccer match between Inter Milan and Pordenone at the San Siro stadium in Milan, Italy, Tuesday, Dec.12, 2017. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)

Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders' blushes

Serie A leaders Inter required a penalty shoot-out to see off minnows Pordenone in the Coppa Italia round of 16.

Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders' blushes

Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders' blushes

Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders' blushes

Inter 0 Pordenone 0 (AET, 5-4 on penalties): Nagatomo spares Serie A leaders' blushes

LIVE SCORES: All the goals as they go in

Chelsea, Inter and Borussia Dortmund are among the sides in action on another busy night of football around Europe - follow it all as it happens!

LIVE SCORES: All the goals as they go in

Chelsea, Inter and Borussia Dortmund are among the sides in action on another busy night of football around Europe - follow it all as it happens!

A Closer Look at a Devastating Week of NFL Injuries Reinforces This Season’s Recurring Theme: Pain

This story appears in the December 18, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

The fourth week of this NFL season was so obviously painful, with so many spine-shaking hits to so many star players, that it made painfully obvious what images would come to define pro football this fall. That is, helmeted men crumpling to the turf, clutching damaged limbs as teammates pray and stadiums fall silent. Twenty-one players on SI’s preseason Top 100 fantasy list have been sidelined for significant time. You could fill a Pro Bowl roster with 2017’s injured stars. At quarterback: Aaron Rodgers; at receiver: Odell Beckham and Julian Edelman; at running back: David Johnson and Dalvin Cook. . . .

Week 4, as much as any other, embodied that theme: pain. For those who care about the players, who want them to live long and healthy lives, it was hard to watch. It was ambulances and blue medical tents and MRIs; concussions and torn ACLs and numb arms; a broken back, broken ribs and, in the case of Seahawks rookie running back Chris Carson, a broken left leg with a side of torn ankle ligaments. Over the course of 16 games, some three dozen players left with noteworthy injuries. But for anyone who finds that body count unusually high, who thinks that Week 4 is any different from the ones before it, here’s what those walking wounded want to make clear: It’s not. That’s football. The same carnage unfolds, to some degree, every single week, and its ripple effects are unrelentingly devastating.

A snapshot: It was 8:15 p.m., Seattle time, on Sunday, Oct. 1, when Carson, a promising seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State, took a fourth-quarter handoff against the Colts, shot right and ran into a wall of defenders. Indianapolis linebacker Jon Bostic grabbed Carson by the waist, “but my foot was caught [under a body],” Carson says, “and my left ankle was trapped underneath him. Two other guys came in and pushed me—and I’m yelling, ‘Chill, chill, chill!’ My ankle was folding and I hear this pop.”

Lying on his back, Carson kept his eyes shut. He didn’t see quarterback Russell Wilson pushing defenders away or Pete Carroll standing over him or even the crowd standing and cheering as he was taken off on a cart. “I felt people touching my shoulder,” Carson says, “but I couldn’t look. All I was thinking was, Dang, my season’s over.”

Afterward teammates limped off the field at the end of another bloody, bruised and battered Sunday, half-celebrating a 46–18 win, while Carson sped away on a cart toward the X-ray room underneath CenturyLink Field, then back to the locker room, where he ran into offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo . . . who was being stretchered toward an awaiting ambulance with breathing problems. Odhiambo would spend the night a mile away at Harborview Medical Center . . . in the same hospital where another teammate, defensive end Cliff Avril, had been evaluated earlier that evening after losing feeling in his arms.

Week 4: so brutal. And yet not all that different from Week 3 or Week 14; the same as last year and the year before that. There may be more injured stars—almost a quarter of last year’s All-Pros have missed at least four games—but the extra attention their absences garner only underscores what has long been obvious: that gladiators who collide on every play rarely finish games and seasons and careers with all of their body parts intact.

One month after his injury, Carson sits in a coffee shop outside Seattle and considers all the carnage of Week 4. He hasn’t played since that Colts game. He still remembers what cornerback Richard Sherman told him back in training camp, that he should cherish every carry because he plays a sport with a 100% injury rate.

Later that night, after the coffee shop meeting, Sherman will rupture his right Achilles against the Cardinals, landing on injured reserve alongside Carson and Odhiambo and Avril. The running back laughed at Sherman’s warning back in August. He’s not laughing now.

Here’s how Week 4 unfolded.

SUNDAY, 10:30 A.M. PST

On the morning of the day that fate will hit pause on his career, Carson sleeps in, downs a breakfast of eggs and hash browns, and retreats to his hotel room to review the offensive script. Because we’re in Week 4, because Thomas Rawls (ankle) and C.J. Prosise (ankle) have already succumbed to injury, quickening Carson’s rise, he is getting his first start, so the 15 plays the Seahawks have planned for their initial possession matter more to him than ever.

As he studies, Carson is trying to forget a particularly brutal hit from three nights earlier, when Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan went helmet-to-helmet with Packers wideout Davante Adams. The receiver would later tell The MMQB’s Peter King that his first memory post-collision was of waking up in the hospital, his fiancée showing him the play on YouTube. “It made me sick to my stomach,” Adams says. (Nonetheless, he suits up 10 days later and scores two TDs against the Cowboys. “There’s no point in sitting out when you’re feeling great,” he tells reporters. “You’re not going to keep taking DayQuil if the cough is gone.”) The hit has dominated the NFL news cycle for days, leaving those who take the field on this Sunday to . . . do what, exactly? Write it off? Say, That’s football?

Legions of players across the league do just that, shrugging off ailments every week before enduring another Sunday of collisions: players like Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, an All-Pro in 2016, who worries about his tender left ankle, injured a week earlier. The 6' 2", 262-pound lineman describes the pain—pain that would relegate any normal human being to bed rest—as merely “soreness.” Before Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers he asks himself: How will I feel when I’m trying to overpower some 300-plus-pounder?

The nine early games kick off, and by 1:25 p.m., six players have already sustained serious injuries.

SUNDAY, 10:40 A.M. PST

Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman hears a pop—this one comes after he takes a helmet to the back of his left knee in New England. “I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse,” he’ll say weeks later. Worse could mean tearing his MCL. A mere sprain, in this case, is good news, a simple workplace hazard that can more immediately be remedied.

Down the Eastern seaboard, in Atlanta, Bills linebacker Ramon Humber rushes to add to his team-leading tackles total, only to jam his right thumb into a lineman’s shoulder pads. He finishes the series, ignoring the pain, until he notices “something moving in there.” Later he’ll be asked how his wife felt when he went back into the game. “It wasn’t her decision,” he says. But was it the right decision? “Yeah. We won.” Humber’s thumb is broken and will require surgery. At the hospital he’ll run into his Bills teammate, Jordan Matthews, who’s also having a procedure to fix a broken thumb. “It’s better,” Humber later says of his digit. “It’s in place.”

Minutes after Humber’s injury, Falcons receiver Julio Jones exits with a right-hip flexor, never to return from the locker room. Fully-healthy Julio doesn’t resurface for weeks, and a three-game skid threatens Atlanta’s postseason hopes. Fantasy owners from coast to coast groan. It isn’t yet halftime in the early window.

SUNDAY, 11 A.M. PST

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scampers through the Texans’ defense for his second touchdown . . . only to strain his left hamstring on the play. He’ll miss one game (a loss to the Dolphins that could prove costly at the wire) and later be described by coach Mike Mularkey as a “quick healer,” an attribute, like “high pain tolerance,” that’s more important to a football player than it is to any other elite athlete. In his return, a win over the Colts, he’ll throw for 306 yards and teammates will laud him for his bravery—for playing hurt—more than for any of his passes. Availability trumps ability.

Back in Seattle, Carson reclines on the bed in his hotel room, readying himself for a late-morning nap. One of the last images he sees on TV before he drifts off is that of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook clutching his left leg. That sucks, Carson thinks to himself. Later he’ll learn that Cook tore his ACL while planting to cut, ending the promising season of an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

SUNDAY, 1 P.M. PST

By the time Carson wakes up, at least a dozen players have left the field in some degree of agony. He watches their names scroll across the ticker but doesn’t worry. He’s certain it won’t happen to him.

Later, on the bus to CenturyLink Field, he listens to the same song over and over at max volume—“Steady Hustlin” by Ice Billion Berg. It’s a fitting anthem for a guy who, after tweaking his hamstring on the first day of rookie mini camp, figured he might have to win a roster spot with his special teams play. And here he is. He’s not leaving anything to chance for his first start: At the facility he hops into the hot tub, gets a hamstring massage and deploys a foam roller on his legs. He’s loose, pliable, ready.

Giants running back Paul Perkins feels it too—“like a million bucks,” he’ll later say—as New York kicks off in Tampa. He has banished some rib soreness from his mind . . . until he’s hit so hard on the first offensive series of the second quarter that he can’t breathe. He heads to the locker room for X-rays, feeling what he’ll later describe as “a stabbing pain.”

In Arizona, 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin leaves his game in the first quarter with what is initially described as a “head and eye” injury but is later revealed to be his fourth concussion in 14 months.

Perkins’s mom calls, worrying. He tells her he can’t do anything but ice his ribs and watch. The toll has already reached almost two dozen.

SUNDAY, 2:10 P.M. PST

Odell Beckham Jr.’s season takes a painful turn when he dislocates his right index finger trying to haul in an Eli Manning laser against the Bucs. After pogoing around the sideline in pain he’ll tell reporters that the finger “just popped out” and describe it as “not a comfortable feeling,” though his Instagram post of his index finger bent at a 90-degree angle suggests much worse. Beckham goes back in, but seven days later he will land awkwardly and fracture his left ankle, ending his season the same week that fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris land on IR. That’s football: Manning loses three pass catchers in one week and the seeds of his eventual benching are sown.

Later in that Week 4 Giants game Vernon realizes he can’t push off on his tender ankle anymore. “It felt like the upper part was about to break,” he says afterward with the nonchalance of an office worker gently complaining that the supply closet has been emptied of paper clips.

SUNDAY, 3 P.M. PST

Colts center Deyshawn Bond warms up before his Sunday Night Football appearance at Century-Link. He’s not thinking about how he got here—undrafted out of Cincinnati, signed as a free agent by his hometown team, already a starter.

He’s also not aware about what’s happening halfway across the country, in Denver. While the Raiders and Broncos keep playing, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is getting X-rays for what will eventually be revealed as vertebrae chipped in several places when an opponent’s knee is driven into his nameplate. Reporters ask Carr what he felt as he crumpled to the turf, and he answers simply, “Pain.” Yet he remains optimistic that he’ll return in a matter of weeks. He does—only after EJ Manuel takes a costly loss to the Ravens. Carr’s explanation for his quick turnaround is just another way of saying That’s football. “It’s one of the worst things,” he says of the injury. “You can’t walk.” And yet, he continues, “within a couple days I was able to do absolutely everything.”

Across the field from Bond in Seattle, Avril jogs out of the tunnel. After racking up a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2016, he’s off to a slow start in Year 10—but he believes that will change against Indy. He heads back into the locker room for an IV drip before kickoff. “Best I’ve felt all season,” he says.

In Tampa, Vernon cannot say the same. He finishes on the sideline and knows this injury will cost him time; he’s just not sure how much. He won’t return until Week 10, missing an NFL game for the first—and then second, third and fourth—time in his career. Not being there for his team hurts, but also, says Vernon, “It’s more of a pride thing—priding yourself on playing football. You’re never going to be 100% healthy.

“A lot of guys have been through worse.”

SUNDAY, 5 P.M. PST

Carson stands in the home team’s tunnel at the Clink while his teammates charge into the stadium. Finally his name booms over the loudspeakers and he shoots onto the field, pushing both hands downward, reminding himself to remain calm.

At the same time, Bond allows himself a moment. The spectacle of it all, “it kind of brought me back to reality,” he says. “Like, Wow, I’m really here.”

And then he isn’t. His night lasts two plays. “I felt something in my [left] knee, and someone under my foot,” Bond recalls. “I’m falling backward, but I’m being pushed the other way.” He tries to rise and fails, signaling for Indy’s trainers, who ask him to flex his left quadriceps. He can’t even feel it. Right away he knows he has suffered his first significant football injury. His torn quad is a rite of passage. “I was crushed,” he says.

SUNDAY, 6 P.M. PST

Avril can feel his extra film studies paying off. “Early on, passing down, I’m running game with Mike [Bennett],” he says, referring to his bookend on the D-line. “We’re chasing [QB Jacoby Brissett] down and—freak accident—I’m trying to make a tackle and somehow I get a heel to the face.”

He doesn’t see Brissett’s foot approaching his chin until the moment his head snaps backward. He thinks maybe it’s a stinger, because he can’t feel his arms for more than 10 seconds. But that’s football, he reasons as he heads into a blue medical tent on the sideline. (Ever wonder what’s in one of those tents? Nothing, Avril says. Just a table and a doctor who tells Avril that a stinger wouldn’t cause both arms to go numb. “This,” the doctor explains, “is pretty serious.”)

“You’re gonna get banged up,” Avril will say weeks later, plainly. “The game is really about how tough you are. A normal person would probably panic [in that situation], but my pain tolerance is higher. I’m not scared.”

Avril feels . . . fine. At least by football standards. He couldn’t feel his arms; now he can. But when he tries to return to the game, Seattle’s team doctor gives him a medical stiff-arm. As the lineman heads to the locker room, where an ambulance waits by the back door, teammates yell, “What’s up?”

“I’m going to the hospital,” he tells them casually, like he’s off to the supermarket on a grocery run. He changes clothes and rides with his wife to Harborview. The game goes on.

Back on the field, Carson glances at his left tackle, Odhiambo, and notices blood coming out of his mouth.

At halftime, Bennett reaches out to Avril over FaceTime. Avril tells his best friend that he’s about to slide into an MRI tube, where he’ll have to sit still for 45 minutes—especially difficult given his spiking adrenaline. As he slides into the machine, the Seahawks trail by five points.

When he emerges, they’re up 14. “What happened?” he asks the nurse.

SUNDAY, 9 P.M. PST

Odhiambo leans forward at his locker after the Seahawks’ victory. He’s in obvious pain, clutching his chest and grimacing. He moves to the ground and trainers scamper over. Carroll hovers nearby and teammates form a wall trying to shield reporters from what’s happening.

Security officers stand guard. Wilson stops and prays. Carroll walks away, rubbing his temples. What else could possibly happen today? Eventually trainers place Odhiambo on a stretcher; they leave the locker room . . . and run into Carson, who’s coming back from X-rays. Back in the locker room wideout Doug Baldwin explains that Odhiambo took a shot to the sternum and had trouble breathing. He doesn’t seem particularly worried. No one does. The celebration resumes. At Harborview, Avril is getting ready to leave when someone tells him another Seahawk is coming in.

Carson, hobbling out on crutches, gets a ride home from Rawls, who recounts how he came back from a similar injury—broken ankle, torn ligaments—a year earlier. He promises to help. Later, Carson’s mother reminds him of the torn ACL he overcame in high school. Eventually he shuts his phone down and climbs into bed.

Avril orders takeout on the way home while he tries to make sense of his murky test results. “I felt normal, honestly,” he says. “But the MRI showed something different.” He stays up with his wife, weighing the future. He wants to be able to play basketball with his children.

Up at cruising altitude on the Colts’ flight home, Bond is wearing an immobilizer on his injured leg. He can’t bend the knee at all, which means he can’t sleep. Week 4 is not even over yet.

MONDAY MORNING

Carson barely sleeps, such is the throbbing pain in his ankle. He ignores a stream of texts and phone calls. Everyone means well, he knows—they just don’t know the heart of it. Sure, playing football hurts. But not playing football hurts way more.

Bond gets an MRI, which confirms he’s out for the season. Coleman notices little swelling in his injured leg, which he sees as a “good indicator” that he won’t miss much time. (He doesn’t play again until Week 8.) Perkins’s X-rays come back negative, but his rib pain feels like a “constant stabbing”; a shift in any direction makes it hard to breathe. Vernon tries to remain positive—if he doesn’t, he’ll never make it back. “Whatever injury you’re going through,” he says, “you’ve got to come back and play.”

Or not. Avril bumps into Odhiambo in Seattle’s locker room on Monday and they swap tales from the hospital. Avril had security; Odhiambo did not, and strangers knocked on his door asking for autographs. They share a laugh, a momentary distraction from the scary reality that Avril must now confront. Doctors are telling him he cannot work out. He needs more tests. His absence is explained to media as a neck injury, but it affects his spine. And “that changes everything,” he says. “My life and my kids are more important than football.”

Minutes later he says he wants to play again. He cannot be more clear. He wants to play again this season—a hope that is squashed when he undergoes neck surgery in late November.

“I’ve never heard of this many high-caliber guys, Pro Bowlers, going down in one week,” he says. “That’s crazy.

“At the same time, that’s the NFL.”

MONDAY, 5:30 P.M. PST

There’s still another game to play: Redskins-Chiefs. Washington’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, spent Sunday watching games, noting the injuries on the ticker—and then he gets rolled up from behind and goes down clutching his right knee cap on his team’s first play of the second quarter. (MRI: nothing devastating; he’s back for the next game.) Right before halftime, cornerback Josh Norman takes a foot to the midsection. He argues with team doctors to remain in the game, even as a decoy. “I [wanted] to go, regardless,” he tells reporters afterward, launching into a soliloquy about “mortal” bodies and how moments like this remind him he’s “still here on Earth.” With a broken rib and punctured lung, he’ll be sidelined for two games, including an inter-divisional game in which the Eagles’ Carson Wentz carves up the Skins’ depleted secondary.

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, too, limps off the field, with pain in his right knee. Duvernay-Tardif attends medical school at McGill in between seasons, learning how to heal others when he’s not causing destruction on the field. Knowing how these collisions destroy bodies still does not diminish his love for the game. Never will, he says.

Two summers ago, during his residency, an obstetrician asked Duvernay-Tardif: What do you even like about football? The lineman explained that he understands the risks and believes that the positives—the camaraderie, the social interaction, even the physicality—outweigh them. Not to mention his five-year $42.5 million contract.

On Tuesday morning he gets an MRI and fights the urge to jump across the exam table to read the images himself. It’s his MCL—just as he predicted—not an ACL tear. He won’t play for a month, but he’ll play again this season.

At the coffee shop, Carson sits back and weighs all of this Week 4 wreckage. Even if the NFL’s injury rate remains painfully constant, the fact that he’s even talking about the piles of bodies demonstrates how much football has changed in recent years, how awareness of the consequences has evolved. Rules have been changed, protocols introduced; promising young players have retired early rather than face 16 (or more) versions of Week 4. There’s talk of no-contact practices, of a CTE test for active players . . . .

Those who stick around, like Carson, recognize that they’ve made a choice. They’re playing a violent game because they want to, because the rewards outweigh the risks. A broken ankle is the cost of competing in the game they love. All Carson wants, anyway, is to return.

He started to jog on an Anti-Gravity treadmill a week ago and threw his walking boot away this morning. “Look,” he says. “It’s not like a serious, serious injury, where you can’t come back or won’t come back the same.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “It’s the NFL,” he says.

The Seahawks play tonight. He’s not sure he’ll watch. Too painful.

Additional reporting by Jacob Feldman and Jonathan Jones.

A Closer Look at a Devastating Week of NFL Injuries Reinforces This Season’s Recurring Theme: Pain

This story appears in the December 18, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

The fourth week of this NFL season was so obviously painful, with so many spine-shaking hits to so many star players, that it made painfully obvious what images would come to define pro football this fall. That is, helmeted men crumpling to the turf, clutching damaged limbs as teammates pray and stadiums fall silent. Twenty-one players on SI’s preseason Top 100 fantasy list have been sidelined for significant time. You could fill a Pro Bowl roster with 2017’s injured stars. At quarterback: Aaron Rodgers; at receiver: Odell Beckham and Julian Edelman; at running back: David Johnson and Dalvin Cook. . . .

Week 4, as much as any other, embodied that theme: pain. For those who care about the players, who want them to live long and healthy lives, it was hard to watch. It was ambulances and blue medical tents and MRIs; concussions and torn ACLs and numb arms; a broken back, broken ribs and, in the case of Seahawks rookie running back Chris Carson, a broken left leg with a side of torn ankle ligaments. Over the course of 16 games, some three dozen players left with noteworthy injuries. But for anyone who finds that body count unusually high, who thinks that Week 4 is any different from the ones before it, here’s what those walking wounded want to make clear: It’s not. That’s football. The same carnage unfolds, to some degree, every single week, and its ripple effects are unrelentingly devastating.

A snapshot: It was 8:15 p.m., Seattle time, on Sunday, Oct. 1, when Carson, a promising seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State, took a fourth-quarter handoff against the Colts, shot right and ran into a wall of defenders. Indianapolis linebacker Jon Bostic grabbed Carson by the waist, “but my foot was caught [under a body],” Carson says, “and my left ankle was trapped underneath him. Two other guys came in and pushed me—and I’m yelling, ‘Chill, chill, chill!’ My ankle was folding and I hear this pop.”

Lying on his back, Carson kept his eyes shut. He didn’t see quarterback Russell Wilson pushing defenders away or Pete Carroll standing over him or even the crowd standing and cheering as he was taken off on a cart. “I felt people touching my shoulder,” Carson says, “but I couldn’t look. All I was thinking was, Dang, my season’s over.”

Afterward teammates limped off the field at the end of another bloody, bruised and battered Sunday, half-celebrating a 46–18 win, while Carson sped away on a cart toward the X-ray room underneath CenturyLink Field, then back to the locker room, where he ran into offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo . . . who was being stretchered toward an awaiting ambulance with breathing problems. Odhiambo would spend the night a mile away at Harborview Medical Center . . . in the same hospital where another teammate, defensive end Cliff Avril, had been evaluated earlier that evening after losing feeling in his arms.

Week 4: so brutal. And yet not all that different from Week 3 or Week 14; the same as last year and the year before that. There may be more injured stars—almost a quarter of last year’s All-Pros have missed at least four games—but the extra attention their absences garner only underscores what has long been obvious: that gladiators who collide on every play rarely finish games and seasons and careers with all of their body parts intact.

One month after his injury, Carson sits in a coffee shop outside Seattle and considers all the carnage of Week 4. He hasn’t played since that Colts game. He still remembers what cornerback Richard Sherman told him back in training camp, that he should cherish every carry because he plays a sport with a 100% injury rate.

Later that night, after the coffee shop meeting, Sherman will rupture his right Achilles against the Cardinals, landing on injured reserve alongside Carson and Odhiambo and Avril. The running back laughed at Sherman’s warning back in August. He’s not laughing now.

Here’s how Week 4 unfolded.

SUNDAY, 10:30 A.M. PST

On the morning of the day that fate will hit pause on his career, Carson sleeps in, downs a breakfast of eggs and hash browns, and retreats to his hotel room to review the offensive script. Because we’re in Week 4, because Thomas Rawls (ankle) and C.J. Prosise (ankle) have already succumbed to injury, quickening Carson’s rise, he is getting his first start, so the 15 plays the Seahawks have planned for their initial possession matter more to him than ever.

As he studies, Carson is trying to forget a particularly brutal hit from three nights earlier, when Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan went helmet-to-helmet with Packers wideout Davante Adams. The receiver would later tell The MMQB’s Peter King that his first memory post-collision was of waking up in the hospital, his fiancée showing him the play on YouTube. “It made me sick to my stomach,” Adams says. (Nonetheless, he suits up 10 days later and scores two TDs against the Cowboys. “There’s no point in sitting out when you’re feeling great,” he tells reporters. “You’re not going to keep taking DayQuil if the cough is gone.”) The hit has dominated the NFL news cycle for days, leaving those who take the field on this Sunday to . . . do what, exactly? Write it off? Say, That’s football?

Legions of players across the league do just that, shrugging off ailments every week before enduring another Sunday of collisions: players like Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, an All-Pro in 2016, who worries about his tender left ankle, injured a week earlier. The 6' 2", 262-pound lineman describes the pain—pain that would relegate any normal human being to bed rest—as merely “soreness.” Before Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers he asks himself: How will I feel when I’m trying to overpower some 300-plus-pounder?

The nine early games kick off, and by 1:25 p.m., six players have already sustained serious injuries.

SUNDAY, 10:40 A.M. PST

Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman hears a pop—this one comes after he takes a helmet to the back of his left knee in New England. “I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse,” he’ll say weeks later. Worse could mean tearing his MCL. A mere sprain, in this case, is good news, a simple workplace hazard that can more immediately be remedied.

Down the Eastern seaboard, in Atlanta, Bills linebacker Ramon Humber rushes to add to his team-leading tackles total, only to jam his right thumb into a lineman’s shoulder pads. He finishes the series, ignoring the pain, until he notices “something moving in there.” Later he’ll be asked how his wife felt when he went back into the game. “It wasn’t her decision,” he says. But was it the right decision? “Yeah. We won.” Humber’s thumb is broken and will require surgery. At the hospital he’ll run into his Bills teammate, Jordan Matthews, who’s also having a procedure to fix a broken thumb. “It’s better,” Humber later says of his digit. “It’s in place.”

Minutes after Humber’s injury, Falcons receiver Julio Jones exits with a right-hip flexor, never to return from the locker room. Fully-healthy Julio doesn’t resurface for weeks, and a three-game skid threatens Atlanta’s postseason hopes. Fantasy owners from coast to coast groan. It isn’t yet halftime in the early window.

SUNDAY, 11 A.M. PST

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scampers through the Texans’ defense for his second touchdown . . . only to strain his left hamstring on the play. He’ll miss one game (a loss to the Dolphins that could prove costly at the wire) and later be described by coach Mike Mularkey as a “quick healer,” an attribute, like “high pain tolerance,” that’s more important to a football player than it is to any other elite athlete. In his return, a win over the Colts, he’ll throw for 306 yards and teammates will laud him for his bravery—for playing hurt—more than for any of his passes. Availability trumps ability.

Back in Seattle, Carson reclines on the bed in his hotel room, readying himself for a late-morning nap. One of the last images he sees on TV before he drifts off is that of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook clutching his left leg. That sucks, Carson thinks to himself. Later he’ll learn that Cook tore his ACL while planting to cut, ending the promising season of an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

SUNDAY, 1 P.M. PST

By the time Carson wakes up, at least a dozen players have left the field in some degree of agony. He watches their names scroll across the ticker but doesn’t worry. He’s certain it won’t happen to him.

Later, on the bus to CenturyLink Field, he listens to the same song over and over at max volume—“Steady Hustlin” by Ice Billion Berg. It’s a fitting anthem for a guy who, after tweaking his hamstring on the first day of rookie mini camp, figured he might have to win a roster spot with his special teams play. And here he is. He’s not leaving anything to chance for his first start: At the facility he hops into the hot tub, gets a hamstring massage and deploys a foam roller on his legs. He’s loose, pliable, ready.

Giants running back Paul Perkins feels it too—“like a million bucks,” he’ll later say—as New York kicks off in Tampa. He has banished some rib soreness from his mind . . . until he’s hit so hard on the first offensive series of the second quarter that he can’t breathe. He heads to the locker room for X-rays, feeling what he’ll later describe as “a stabbing pain.”

In Arizona, 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin leaves his game in the first quarter with what is initially described as a “head and eye” injury but is later revealed to be his fourth concussion in 14 months.

Perkins’s mom calls, worrying. He tells her he can’t do anything but ice his ribs and watch. The toll has already reached almost two dozen.

SUNDAY, 2:10 P.M. PST

Odell Beckham Jr.’s season takes a painful turn when he dislocates his right index finger trying to haul in an Eli Manning laser against the Bucs. After pogoing around the sideline in pain he’ll tell reporters that the finger “just popped out” and describe it as “not a comfortable feeling,” though his Instagram post of his index finger bent at a 90-degree angle suggests much worse. Beckham goes back in, but seven days later he will land awkwardly and fracture his left ankle, ending his season the same week that fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris land on IR. That’s football: Manning loses three pass catchers in one week and the seeds of his eventual benching are sown.

Later in that Week 4 Giants game Vernon realizes he can’t push off on his tender ankle anymore. “It felt like the upper part was about to break,” he says afterward with the nonchalance of an office worker gently complaining that the supply closet has been emptied of paper clips.

SUNDAY, 3 P.M. PST

Colts center Deyshawn Bond warms up before his Sunday Night Football appearance at Century-Link. He’s not thinking about how he got here—undrafted out of Cincinnati, signed as a free agent by his hometown team, already a starter.

He’s also not aware about what’s happening halfway across the country, in Denver. While the Raiders and Broncos keep playing, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is getting X-rays for what will eventually be revealed as vertebrae chipped in several places when an opponent’s knee is driven into his nameplate. Reporters ask Carr what he felt as he crumpled to the turf, and he answers simply, “Pain.” Yet he remains optimistic that he’ll return in a matter of weeks. He does—only after EJ Manuel takes a costly loss to the Ravens. Carr’s explanation for his quick turnaround is just another way of saying That’s football. “It’s one of the worst things,” he says of the injury. “You can’t walk.” And yet, he continues, “within a couple days I was able to do absolutely everything.”

Across the field from Bond in Seattle, Avril jogs out of the tunnel. After racking up a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2016, he’s off to a slow start in Year 10—but he believes that will change against Indy. He heads back into the locker room for an IV drip before kickoff. “Best I’ve felt all season,” he says.

In Tampa, Vernon cannot say the same. He finishes on the sideline and knows this injury will cost him time; he’s just not sure how much. He won’t return until Week 10, missing an NFL game for the first—and then second, third and fourth—time in his career. Not being there for his team hurts, but also, says Vernon, “It’s more of a pride thing—priding yourself on playing football. You’re never going to be 100% healthy.

“A lot of guys have been through worse.”

SUNDAY, 5 P.M. PST

Carson stands in the home team’s tunnel at the Clink while his teammates charge into the stadium. Finally his name booms over the loudspeakers and he shoots onto the field, pushing both hands downward, reminding himself to remain calm.

At the same time, Bond allows himself a moment. The spectacle of it all, “it kind of brought me back to reality,” he says. “Like, Wow, I’m really here.”

And then he isn’t. His night lasts two plays. “I felt something in my [left] knee, and someone under my foot,” Bond recalls. “I’m falling backward, but I’m being pushed the other way.” He tries to rise and fails, signaling for Indy’s trainers, who ask him to flex his left quadriceps. He can’t even feel it. Right away he knows he has suffered his first significant football injury. His torn quad is a rite of passage. “I was crushed,” he says.

SUNDAY, 6 P.M. PST

Avril can feel his extra film studies paying off. “Early on, passing down, I’m running game with Mike [Bennett],” he says, referring to his bookend on the D-line. “We’re chasing [QB Jacoby Brissett] down and—freak accident—I’m trying to make a tackle and somehow I get a heel to the face.”

He doesn’t see Brissett’s foot approaching his chin until the moment his head snaps backward. He thinks maybe it’s a stinger, because he can’t feel his arms for more than 10 seconds. But that’s football, he reasons as he heads into a blue medical tent on the sideline. (Ever wonder what’s in one of those tents? Nothing, Avril says. Just a table and a doctor who tells Avril that a stinger wouldn’t cause both arms to go numb. “This,” the doctor explains, “is pretty serious.”)

“You’re gonna get banged up,” Avril will say weeks later, plainly. “The game is really about how tough you are. A normal person would probably panic [in that situation], but my pain tolerance is higher. I’m not scared.”

Avril feels . . . fine. At least by football standards. He couldn’t feel his arms; now he can. But when he tries to return to the game, Seattle’s team doctor gives him a medical stiff-arm. As the lineman heads to the locker room, where an ambulance waits by the back door, teammates yell, “What’s up?”

“I’m going to the hospital,” he tells them casually, like he’s off to the supermarket on a grocery run. He changes clothes and rides with his wife to Harborview. The game goes on.

Back on the field, Carson glances at his left tackle, Odhiambo, and notices blood coming out of his mouth.

At halftime, Bennett reaches out to Avril over FaceTime. Avril tells his best friend that he’s about to slide into an MRI tube, where he’ll have to sit still for 45 minutes—especially difficult given his spiking adrenaline. As he slides into the machine, the Seahawks trail by five points.

When he emerges, they’re up 14. “What happened?” he asks the nurse.

SUNDAY, 9 P.M. PST

Odhiambo leans forward at his locker after the Seahawks’ victory. He’s in obvious pain, clutching his chest and grimacing. He moves to the ground and trainers scamper over. Carroll hovers nearby and teammates form a wall trying to shield reporters from what’s happening.

Security officers stand guard. Wilson stops and prays. Carroll walks away, rubbing his temples. What else could possibly happen today? Eventually trainers place Odhiambo on a stretcher; they leave the locker room . . . and run into Carson, who’s coming back from X-rays. Back in the locker room wideout Doug Baldwin explains that Odhiambo took a shot to the sternum and had trouble breathing. He doesn’t seem particularly worried. No one does. The celebration resumes. At Harborview, Avril is getting ready to leave when someone tells him another Seahawk is coming in.

Carson, hobbling out on crutches, gets a ride home from Rawls, who recounts how he came back from a similar injury—broken ankle, torn ligaments—a year earlier. He promises to help. Later, Carson’s mother reminds him of the torn ACL he overcame in high school. Eventually he shuts his phone down and climbs into bed.

Avril orders takeout on the way home while he tries to make sense of his murky test results. “I felt normal, honestly,” he says. “But the MRI showed something different.” He stays up with his wife, weighing the future. He wants to be able to play basketball with his children.

Up at cruising altitude on the Colts’ flight home, Bond is wearing an immobilizer on his injured leg. He can’t bend the knee at all, which means he can’t sleep. Week 4 is not even over yet.

MONDAY MORNING

Carson barely sleeps, such is the throbbing pain in his ankle. He ignores a stream of texts and phone calls. Everyone means well, he knows—they just don’t know the heart of it. Sure, playing football hurts. But not playing football hurts way more.

Bond gets an MRI, which confirms he’s out for the season. Coleman notices little swelling in his injured leg, which he sees as a “good indicator” that he won’t miss much time. (He doesn’t play again until Week 8.) Perkins’s X-rays come back negative, but his rib pain feels like a “constant stabbing”; a shift in any direction makes it hard to breathe. Vernon tries to remain positive—if he doesn’t, he’ll never make it back. “Whatever injury you’re going through,” he says, “you’ve got to come back and play.”

Or not. Avril bumps into Odhiambo in Seattle’s locker room on Monday and they swap tales from the hospital. Avril had security; Odhiambo did not, and strangers knocked on his door asking for autographs. They share a laugh, a momentary distraction from the scary reality that Avril must now confront. Doctors are telling him he cannot work out. He needs more tests. His absence is explained to media as a neck injury, but it affects his spine. And “that changes everything,” he says. “My life and my kids are more important than football.”

Minutes later he says he wants to play again. He cannot be more clear. He wants to play again this season—a hope that is squashed when he undergoes neck surgery in late November.

“I’ve never heard of this many high-caliber guys, Pro Bowlers, going down in one week,” he says. “That’s crazy.

“At the same time, that’s the NFL.”

MONDAY, 5:30 P.M. PST

There’s still another game to play: Redskins-Chiefs. Washington’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, spent Sunday watching games, noting the injuries on the ticker—and then he gets rolled up from behind and goes down clutching his right knee cap on his team’s first play of the second quarter. (MRI: nothing devastating; he’s back for the next game.) Right before halftime, cornerback Josh Norman takes a foot to the midsection. He argues with team doctors to remain in the game, even as a decoy. “I [wanted] to go, regardless,” he tells reporters afterward, launching into a soliloquy about “mortal” bodies and how moments like this remind him he’s “still here on Earth.” With a broken rib and punctured lung, he’ll be sidelined for two games, including an inter-divisional game in which the Eagles’ Carson Wentz carves up the Skins’ depleted secondary.

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, too, limps off the field, with pain in his right knee. Duvernay-Tardif attends medical school at McGill in between seasons, learning how to heal others when he’s not causing destruction on the field. Knowing how these collisions destroy bodies still does not diminish his love for the game. Never will, he says.

Two summers ago, during his residency, an obstetrician asked Duvernay-Tardif: What do you even like about football? The lineman explained that he understands the risks and believes that the positives—the camaraderie, the social interaction, even the physicality—outweigh them. Not to mention his five-year $42.5 million contract.

On Tuesday morning he gets an MRI and fights the urge to jump across the exam table to read the images himself. It’s his MCL—just as he predicted—not an ACL tear. He won’t play for a month, but he’ll play again this season.

At the coffee shop, Carson sits back and weighs all of this Week 4 wreckage. Even if the NFL’s injury rate remains painfully constant, the fact that he’s even talking about the piles of bodies demonstrates how much football has changed in recent years, how awareness of the consequences has evolved. Rules have been changed, protocols introduced; promising young players have retired early rather than face 16 (or more) versions of Week 4. There’s talk of no-contact practices, of a CTE test for active players . . . .

Those who stick around, like Carson, recognize that they’ve made a choice. They’re playing a violent game because they want to, because the rewards outweigh the risks. A broken ankle is the cost of competing in the game they love. All Carson wants, anyway, is to return.

He started to jog on an Anti-Gravity treadmill a week ago and threw his walking boot away this morning. “Look,” he says. “It’s not like a serious, serious injury, where you can’t come back or won’t come back the same.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “It’s the NFL,” he says.

The Seahawks play tonight. He’s not sure he’ll watch. Too painful.

Additional reporting by Jacob Feldman and Jonathan Jones.

A Closer Look at a Devastating Week of NFL Injuries Reinforces This Season’s Recurring Theme: Pain

This story appears in the December 18, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

The fourth week of this NFL season was so obviously painful, with so many spine-shaking hits to so many star players, that it made painfully obvious what images would come to define pro football this fall. That is, helmeted men crumpling to the turf, clutching damaged limbs as teammates pray and stadiums fall silent. Twenty-one players on SI’s preseason Top 100 fantasy list have been sidelined for significant time. You could fill a Pro Bowl roster with 2017’s injured stars. At quarterback: Aaron Rodgers; at receiver: Odell Beckham and Julian Edelman; at running back: David Johnson and Dalvin Cook. . . .

Week 4, as much as any other, embodied that theme: pain. For those who care about the players, who want them to live long and healthy lives, it was hard to watch. It was ambulances and blue medical tents and MRIs; concussions and torn ACLs and numb arms; a broken back, broken ribs and, in the case of Seahawks rookie running back Chris Carson, a broken left leg with a side of torn ankle ligaments. Over the course of 16 games, some three dozen players left with noteworthy injuries. But for anyone who finds that body count unusually high, who thinks that Week 4 is any different from the ones before it, here’s what those walking wounded want to make clear: It’s not. That’s football. The same carnage unfolds, to some degree, every single week, and its ripple effects are unrelentingly devastating.

A snapshot: It was 8:15 p.m., Seattle time, on Sunday, Oct. 1, when Carson, a promising seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State, took a fourth-quarter handoff against the Colts, shot right and ran into a wall of defenders. Indianapolis linebacker Jon Bostic grabbed Carson by the waist, “but my foot was caught [under a body],” Carson says, “and my left ankle was trapped underneath him. Two other guys came in and pushed me—and I’m yelling, ‘Chill, chill, chill!’ My ankle was folding and I hear this pop.”

Lying on his back, Carson kept his eyes shut. He didn’t see quarterback Russell Wilson pushing defenders away or Pete Carroll standing over him or even the crowd standing and cheering as he was taken off on a cart. “I felt people touching my shoulder,” Carson says, “but I couldn’t look. All I was thinking was, Dang, my season’s over.”

Afterward teammates limped off the field at the end of another bloody, bruised and battered Sunday, half-celebrating a 46–18 win, while Carson sped away on a cart toward the X-ray room underneath CenturyLink Field, then back to the locker room, where he ran into offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo . . . who was being stretchered toward an awaiting ambulance with breathing problems. Odhiambo would spend the night a mile away at Harborview Medical Center . . . in the same hospital where another teammate, defensive end Cliff Avril, had been evaluated earlier that evening after losing feeling in his arms.

Week 4: so brutal. And yet not all that different from Week 3 or Week 14; the same as last year and the year before that. There may be more injured stars—almost a quarter of last year’s All-Pros have missed at least four games—but the extra attention their absences garner only underscores what has long been obvious: that gladiators who collide on every play rarely finish games and seasons and careers with all of their body parts intact.

One month after his injury, Carson sits in a coffee shop outside Seattle and considers all the carnage of Week 4. He hasn’t played since that Colts game. He still remembers what cornerback Richard Sherman told him back in training camp, that he should cherish every carry because he plays a sport with a 100% injury rate.

Later that night, after the coffee shop meeting, Sherman will rupture his right Achilles against the Cardinals, landing on injured reserve alongside Carson and Odhiambo and Avril. The running back laughed at Sherman’s warning back in August. He’s not laughing now.

Here’s how Week 4 unfolded.

SUNDAY, 10:30 A.M. PST

On the morning of the day that fate will hit pause on his career, Carson sleeps in, downs a breakfast of eggs and hash browns, and retreats to his hotel room to review the offensive script. Because we’re in Week 4, because Thomas Rawls (ankle) and C.J. Prosise (ankle) have already succumbed to injury, quickening Carson’s rise, he is getting his first start, so the 15 plays the Seahawks have planned for their initial possession matter more to him than ever.

As he studies, Carson is trying to forget a particularly brutal hit from three nights earlier, when Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan went helmet-to-helmet with Packers wideout Davante Adams. The receiver would later tell The MMQB’s Peter King that his first memory post-collision was of waking up in the hospital, his fiancée showing him the play on YouTube. “It made me sick to my stomach,” Adams says. (Nonetheless, he suits up 10 days later and scores two TDs against the Cowboys. “There’s no point in sitting out when you’re feeling great,” he tells reporters. “You’re not going to keep taking DayQuil if the cough is gone.”) The hit has dominated the NFL news cycle for days, leaving those who take the field on this Sunday to . . . do what, exactly? Write it off? Say, That’s football?

Legions of players across the league do just that, shrugging off ailments every week before enduring another Sunday of collisions: players like Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, an All-Pro in 2016, who worries about his tender left ankle, injured a week earlier. The 6' 2", 262-pound lineman describes the pain—pain that would relegate any normal human being to bed rest—as merely “soreness.” Before Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers he asks himself: How will I feel when I’m trying to overpower some 300-plus-pounder?

The nine early games kick off, and by 1:25 p.m., six players have already sustained serious injuries.

SUNDAY, 10:40 A.M. PST

Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman hears a pop—this one comes after he takes a helmet to the back of his left knee in New England. “I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse,” he’ll say weeks later. Worse could mean tearing his MCL. A mere sprain, in this case, is good news, a simple workplace hazard that can more immediately be remedied.

Down the Eastern seaboard, in Atlanta, Bills linebacker Ramon Humber rushes to add to his team-leading tackles total, only to jam his right thumb into a lineman’s shoulder pads. He finishes the series, ignoring the pain, until he notices “something moving in there.” Later he’ll be asked how his wife felt when he went back into the game. “It wasn’t her decision,” he says. But was it the right decision? “Yeah. We won.” Humber’s thumb is broken and will require surgery. At the hospital he’ll run into his Bills teammate, Jordan Matthews, who’s also having a procedure to fix a broken thumb. “It’s better,” Humber later says of his digit. “It’s in place.”

Minutes after Humber’s injury, Falcons receiver Julio Jones exits with a right-hip flexor, never to return from the locker room. Fully-healthy Julio doesn’t resurface for weeks, and a three-game skid threatens Atlanta’s postseason hopes. Fantasy owners from coast to coast groan. It isn’t yet halftime in the early window.

SUNDAY, 11 A.M. PST

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scampers through the Texans’ defense for his second touchdown . . . only to strain his left hamstring on the play. He’ll miss one game (a loss to the Dolphins that could prove costly at the wire) and later be described by coach Mike Mularkey as a “quick healer,” an attribute, like “high pain tolerance,” that’s more important to a football player than it is to any other elite athlete. In his return, a win over the Colts, he’ll throw for 306 yards and teammates will laud him for his bravery—for playing hurt—more than for any of his passes. Availability trumps ability.

Back in Seattle, Carson reclines on the bed in his hotel room, readying himself for a late-morning nap. One of the last images he sees on TV before he drifts off is that of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook clutching his left leg. That sucks, Carson thinks to himself. Later he’ll learn that Cook tore his ACL while planting to cut, ending the promising season of an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

SUNDAY, 1 P.M. PST

By the time Carson wakes up, at least a dozen players have left the field in some degree of agony. He watches their names scroll across the ticker but doesn’t worry. He’s certain it won’t happen to him.

Later, on the bus to CenturyLink Field, he listens to the same song over and over at max volume—“Steady Hustlin” by Ice Billion Berg. It’s a fitting anthem for a guy who, after tweaking his hamstring on the first day of rookie mini camp, figured he might have to win a roster spot with his special teams play. And here he is. He’s not leaving anything to chance for his first start: At the facility he hops into the hot tub, gets a hamstring massage and deploys a foam roller on his legs. He’s loose, pliable, ready.

Giants running back Paul Perkins feels it too—“like a million bucks,” he’ll later say—as New York kicks off in Tampa. He has banished some rib soreness from his mind . . . until he’s hit so hard on the first offensive series of the second quarter that he can’t breathe. He heads to the locker room for X-rays, feeling what he’ll later describe as “a stabbing pain.”

In Arizona, 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin leaves his game in the first quarter with what is initially described as a “head and eye” injury but is later revealed to be his fourth concussion in 14 months.

Perkins’s mom calls, worrying. He tells her he can’t do anything but ice his ribs and watch. The toll has already reached almost two dozen.

SUNDAY, 2:10 P.M. PST

Odell Beckham Jr.’s season takes a painful turn when he dislocates his right index finger trying to haul in an Eli Manning laser against the Bucs. After pogoing around the sideline in pain he’ll tell reporters that the finger “just popped out” and describe it as “not a comfortable feeling,” though his Instagram post of his index finger bent at a 90-degree angle suggests much worse. Beckham goes back in, but seven days later he will land awkwardly and fracture his left ankle, ending his season the same week that fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris land on IR. That’s football: Manning loses three pass catchers in one week and the seeds of his eventual benching are sown.

Later in that Week 4 Giants game Vernon realizes he can’t push off on his tender ankle anymore. “It felt like the upper part was about to break,” he says afterward with the nonchalance of an office worker gently complaining that the supply closet has been emptied of paper clips.

SUNDAY, 3 P.M. PST

Colts center Deyshawn Bond warms up before his Sunday Night Football appearance at Century-Link. He’s not thinking about how he got here—undrafted out of Cincinnati, signed as a free agent by his hometown team, already a starter.

He’s also not aware about what’s happening halfway across the country, in Denver. While the Raiders and Broncos keep playing, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is getting X-rays for what will eventually be revealed as vertebrae chipped in several places when an opponent’s knee is driven into his nameplate. Reporters ask Carr what he felt as he crumpled to the turf, and he answers simply, “Pain.” Yet he remains optimistic that he’ll return in a matter of weeks. He does—only after EJ Manuel takes a costly loss to the Ravens. Carr’s explanation for his quick turnaround is just another way of saying That’s football. “It’s one of the worst things,” he says of the injury. “You can’t walk.” And yet, he continues, “within a couple days I was able to do absolutely everything.”

Across the field from Bond in Seattle, Avril jogs out of the tunnel. After racking up a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2016, he’s off to a slow start in Year 10—but he believes that will change against Indy. He heads back into the locker room for an IV drip before kickoff. “Best I’ve felt all season,” he says.

In Tampa, Vernon cannot say the same. He finishes on the sideline and knows this injury will cost him time; he’s just not sure how much. He won’t return until Week 10, missing an NFL game for the first—and then second, third and fourth—time in his career. Not being there for his team hurts, but also, says Vernon, “It’s more of a pride thing—priding yourself on playing football. You’re never going to be 100% healthy.

“A lot of guys have been through worse.”

SUNDAY, 5 P.M. PST

Carson stands in the home team’s tunnel at the Clink while his teammates charge into the stadium. Finally his name booms over the loudspeakers and he shoots onto the field, pushing both hands downward, reminding himself to remain calm.

At the same time, Bond allows himself a moment. The spectacle of it all, “it kind of brought me back to reality,” he says. “Like, Wow, I’m really here.”

And then he isn’t. His night lasts two plays. “I felt something in my [left] knee, and someone under my foot,” Bond recalls. “I’m falling backward, but I’m being pushed the other way.” He tries to rise and fails, signaling for Indy’s trainers, who ask him to flex his left quadriceps. He can’t even feel it. Right away he knows he has suffered his first significant football injury. His torn quad is a rite of passage. “I was crushed,” he says.

SUNDAY, 6 P.M. PST

Avril can feel his extra film studies paying off. “Early on, passing down, I’m running game with Mike [Bennett],” he says, referring to his bookend on the D-line. “We’re chasing [QB Jacoby Brissett] down and—freak accident—I’m trying to make a tackle and somehow I get a heel to the face.”

He doesn’t see Brissett’s foot approaching his chin until the moment his head snaps backward. He thinks maybe it’s a stinger, because he can’t feel his arms for more than 10 seconds. But that’s football, he reasons as he heads into a blue medical tent on the sideline. (Ever wonder what’s in one of those tents? Nothing, Avril says. Just a table and a doctor who tells Avril that a stinger wouldn’t cause both arms to go numb. “This,” the doctor explains, “is pretty serious.”)

“You’re gonna get banged up,” Avril will say weeks later, plainly. “The game is really about how tough you are. A normal person would probably panic [in that situation], but my pain tolerance is higher. I’m not scared.”

Avril feels . . . fine. At least by football standards. He couldn’t feel his arms; now he can. But when he tries to return to the game, Seattle’s team doctor gives him a medical stiff-arm. As the lineman heads to the locker room, where an ambulance waits by the back door, teammates yell, “What’s up?”

“I’m going to the hospital,” he tells them casually, like he’s off to the supermarket on a grocery run. He changes clothes and rides with his wife to Harborview. The game goes on.

Back on the field, Carson glances at his left tackle, Odhiambo, and notices blood coming out of his mouth.

At halftime, Bennett reaches out to Avril over FaceTime. Avril tells his best friend that he’s about to slide into an MRI tube, where he’ll have to sit still for 45 minutes—especially difficult given his spiking adrenaline. As he slides into the machine, the Seahawks trail by five points.

When he emerges, they’re up 14. “What happened?” he asks the nurse.

SUNDAY, 9 P.M. PST

Odhiambo leans forward at his locker after the Seahawks’ victory. He’s in obvious pain, clutching his chest and grimacing. He moves to the ground and trainers scamper over. Carroll hovers nearby and teammates form a wall trying to shield reporters from what’s happening.

Security officers stand guard. Wilson stops and prays. Carroll walks away, rubbing his temples. What else could possibly happen today? Eventually trainers place Odhiambo on a stretcher; they leave the locker room . . . and run into Carson, who’s coming back from X-rays. Back in the locker room wideout Doug Baldwin explains that Odhiambo took a shot to the sternum and had trouble breathing. He doesn’t seem particularly worried. No one does. The celebration resumes. At Harborview, Avril is getting ready to leave when someone tells him another Seahawk is coming in.

Carson, hobbling out on crutches, gets a ride home from Rawls, who recounts how he came back from a similar injury—broken ankle, torn ligaments—a year earlier. He promises to help. Later, Carson’s mother reminds him of the torn ACL he overcame in high school. Eventually he shuts his phone down and climbs into bed.

Avril orders takeout on the way home while he tries to make sense of his murky test results. “I felt normal, honestly,” he says. “But the MRI showed something different.” He stays up with his wife, weighing the future. He wants to be able to play basketball with his children.

Up at cruising altitude on the Colts’ flight home, Bond is wearing an immobilizer on his injured leg. He can’t bend the knee at all, which means he can’t sleep. Week 4 is not even over yet.

MONDAY MORNING

Carson barely sleeps, such is the throbbing pain in his ankle. He ignores a stream of texts and phone calls. Everyone means well, he knows—they just don’t know the heart of it. Sure, playing football hurts. But not playing football hurts way more.

Bond gets an MRI, which confirms he’s out for the season. Coleman notices little swelling in his injured leg, which he sees as a “good indicator” that he won’t miss much time. (He doesn’t play again until Week 8.) Perkins’s X-rays come back negative, but his rib pain feels like a “constant stabbing”; a shift in any direction makes it hard to breathe. Vernon tries to remain positive—if he doesn’t, he’ll never make it back. “Whatever injury you’re going through,” he says, “you’ve got to come back and play.”

Or not. Avril bumps into Odhiambo in Seattle’s locker room on Monday and they swap tales from the hospital. Avril had security; Odhiambo did not, and strangers knocked on his door asking for autographs. They share a laugh, a momentary distraction from the scary reality that Avril must now confront. Doctors are telling him he cannot work out. He needs more tests. His absence is explained to media as a neck injury, but it affects his spine. And “that changes everything,” he says. “My life and my kids are more important than football.”

Minutes later he says he wants to play again. He cannot be more clear. He wants to play again this season—a hope that is squashed when he undergoes neck surgery in late November.

“I’ve never heard of this many high-caliber guys, Pro Bowlers, going down in one week,” he says. “That’s crazy.

“At the same time, that’s the NFL.”

MONDAY, 5:30 P.M. PST

There’s still another game to play: Redskins-Chiefs. Washington’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, spent Sunday watching games, noting the injuries on the ticker—and then he gets rolled up from behind and goes down clutching his right knee cap on his team’s first play of the second quarter. (MRI: nothing devastating; he’s back for the next game.) Right before halftime, cornerback Josh Norman takes a foot to the midsection. He argues with team doctors to remain in the game, even as a decoy. “I [wanted] to go, regardless,” he tells reporters afterward, launching into a soliloquy about “mortal” bodies and how moments like this remind him he’s “still here on Earth.” With a broken rib and punctured lung, he’ll be sidelined for two games, including an inter-divisional game in which the Eagles’ Carson Wentz carves up the Skins’ depleted secondary.

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, too, limps off the field, with pain in his right knee. Duvernay-Tardif attends medical school at McGill in between seasons, learning how to heal others when he’s not causing destruction on the field. Knowing how these collisions destroy bodies still does not diminish his love for the game. Never will, he says.

Two summers ago, during his residency, an obstetrician asked Duvernay-Tardif: What do you even like about football? The lineman explained that he understands the risks and believes that the positives—the camaraderie, the social interaction, even the physicality—outweigh them. Not to mention his five-year $42.5 million contract.

On Tuesday morning he gets an MRI and fights the urge to jump across the exam table to read the images himself. It’s his MCL—just as he predicted—not an ACL tear. He won’t play for a month, but he’ll play again this season.

At the coffee shop, Carson sits back and weighs all of this Week 4 wreckage. Even if the NFL’s injury rate remains painfully constant, the fact that he’s even talking about the piles of bodies demonstrates how much football has changed in recent years, how awareness of the consequences has evolved. Rules have been changed, protocols introduced; promising young players have retired early rather than face 16 (or more) versions of Week 4. There’s talk of no-contact practices, of a CTE test for active players . . . .

Those who stick around, like Carson, recognize that they’ve made a choice. They’re playing a violent game because they want to, because the rewards outweigh the risks. A broken ankle is the cost of competing in the game they love. All Carson wants, anyway, is to return.

He started to jog on an Anti-Gravity treadmill a week ago and threw his walking boot away this morning. “Look,” he says. “It’s not like a serious, serious injury, where you can’t come back or won’t come back the same.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “It’s the NFL,” he says.

The Seahawks play tonight. He’s not sure he’ll watch. Too painful.

Additional reporting by Jacob Feldman and Jonathan Jones.

A Closer Look at a Devastating Week of NFL Injuries Reinforces This Season’s Recurring Theme: Pain

This story appears in the December 18, 2017, issue of SPORTS ILLUSTRATED. To subscribe, click here.

The fourth week of this NFL season was so obviously painful, with so many spine-shaking hits to so many star players, that it made painfully obvious what images would come to define pro football this fall. That is, helmeted men crumpling to the turf, clutching damaged limbs as teammates pray and stadiums fall silent. Twenty-one players on SI’s preseason Top 100 fantasy list have been sidelined for significant time. You could fill a Pro Bowl roster with 2017’s injured stars. At quarterback: Aaron Rodgers; at receiver: Odell Beckham and Julian Edelman; at running back: David Johnson and Dalvin Cook. . . .

Week 4, as much as any other, embodied that theme: pain. For those who care about the players, who want them to live long and healthy lives, it was hard to watch. It was ambulances and blue medical tents and MRIs; concussions and torn ACLs and numb arms; a broken back, broken ribs and, in the case of Seahawks rookie running back Chris Carson, a broken left leg with a side of torn ankle ligaments. Over the course of 16 games, some three dozen players left with noteworthy injuries. But for anyone who finds that body count unusually high, who thinks that Week 4 is any different from the ones before it, here’s what those walking wounded want to make clear: It’s not. That’s football. The same carnage unfolds, to some degree, every single week, and its ripple effects are unrelentingly devastating.

A snapshot: It was 8:15 p.m., Seattle time, on Sunday, Oct. 1, when Carson, a promising seventh-round pick out of Oklahoma State, took a fourth-quarter handoff against the Colts, shot right and ran into a wall of defenders. Indianapolis linebacker Jon Bostic grabbed Carson by the waist, “but my foot was caught [under a body],” Carson says, “and my left ankle was trapped underneath him. Two other guys came in and pushed me—and I’m yelling, ‘Chill, chill, chill!’ My ankle was folding and I hear this pop.”

Lying on his back, Carson kept his eyes shut. He didn’t see quarterback Russell Wilson pushing defenders away or Pete Carroll standing over him or even the crowd standing and cheering as he was taken off on a cart. “I felt people touching my shoulder,” Carson says, “but I couldn’t look. All I was thinking was, Dang, my season’s over.”

Afterward teammates limped off the field at the end of another bloody, bruised and battered Sunday, half-celebrating a 46–18 win, while Carson sped away on a cart toward the X-ray room underneath CenturyLink Field, then back to the locker room, where he ran into offensive tackle Rees Odhiambo . . . who was being stretchered toward an awaiting ambulance with breathing problems. Odhiambo would spend the night a mile away at Harborview Medical Center . . . in the same hospital where another teammate, defensive end Cliff Avril, had been evaluated earlier that evening after losing feeling in his arms.

Week 4: so brutal. And yet not all that different from Week 3 or Week 14; the same as last year and the year before that. There may be more injured stars—almost a quarter of last year’s All-Pros have missed at least four games—but the extra attention their absences garner only underscores what has long been obvious: that gladiators who collide on every play rarely finish games and seasons and careers with all of their body parts intact.

One month after his injury, Carson sits in a coffee shop outside Seattle and considers all the carnage of Week 4. He hasn’t played since that Colts game. He still remembers what cornerback Richard Sherman told him back in training camp, that he should cherish every carry because he plays a sport with a 100% injury rate.

Later that night, after the coffee shop meeting, Sherman will rupture his right Achilles against the Cardinals, landing on injured reserve alongside Carson and Odhiambo and Avril. The running back laughed at Sherman’s warning back in August. He’s not laughing now.

Here’s how Week 4 unfolded.

SUNDAY, 10:30 A.M. PST

On the morning of the day that fate will hit pause on his career, Carson sleeps in, downs a breakfast of eggs and hash browns, and retreats to his hotel room to review the offensive script. Because we’re in Week 4, because Thomas Rawls (ankle) and C.J. Prosise (ankle) have already succumbed to injury, quickening Carson’s rise, he is getting his first start, so the 15 plays the Seahawks have planned for their initial possession matter more to him than ever.

As he studies, Carson is trying to forget a particularly brutal hit from three nights earlier, when Bears linebacker Danny Trevathan went helmet-to-helmet with Packers wideout Davante Adams. The receiver would later tell The MMQB’s Peter King that his first memory post-collision was of waking up in the hospital, his fiancée showing him the play on YouTube. “It made me sick to my stomach,” Adams says. (Nonetheless, he suits up 10 days later and scores two TDs against the Cowboys. “There’s no point in sitting out when you’re feeling great,” he tells reporters. “You’re not going to keep taking DayQuil if the cough is gone.”) The hit has dominated the NFL news cycle for days, leaving those who take the field on this Sunday to . . . do what, exactly? Write it off? Say, That’s football?

Legions of players across the league do just that, shrugging off ailments every week before enduring another Sunday of collisions: players like Giants defensive end Olivier Vernon, an All-Pro in 2016, who worries about his tender left ankle, injured a week earlier. The 6' 2", 262-pound lineman describes the pain—pain that would relegate any normal human being to bed rest—as merely “soreness.” Before Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers he asks himself: How will I feel when I’m trying to overpower some 300-plus-pounder?

The nine early games kick off, and by 1:25 p.m., six players have already sustained serious injuries.

SUNDAY, 10:40 A.M. PST

Panthers free safety Kurt Coleman hears a pop—this one comes after he takes a helmet to the back of his left knee in New England. “I’m just thankful it wasn’t worse,” he’ll say weeks later. Worse could mean tearing his MCL. A mere sprain, in this case, is good news, a simple workplace hazard that can more immediately be remedied.

Down the Eastern seaboard, in Atlanta, Bills linebacker Ramon Humber rushes to add to his team-leading tackles total, only to jam his right thumb into a lineman’s shoulder pads. He finishes the series, ignoring the pain, until he notices “something moving in there.” Later he’ll be asked how his wife felt when he went back into the game. “It wasn’t her decision,” he says. But was it the right decision? “Yeah. We won.” Humber’s thumb is broken and will require surgery. At the hospital he’ll run into his Bills teammate, Jordan Matthews, who’s also having a procedure to fix a broken thumb. “It’s better,” Humber later says of his digit. “It’s in place.”

Minutes after Humber’s injury, Falcons receiver Julio Jones exits with a right-hip flexor, never to return from the locker room. Fully-healthy Julio doesn’t resurface for weeks, and a three-game skid threatens Atlanta’s postseason hopes. Fantasy owners from coast to coast groan. It isn’t yet halftime in the early window.

SUNDAY, 11 A.M. PST

Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota scampers through the Texans’ defense for his second touchdown . . . only to strain his left hamstring on the play. He’ll miss one game (a loss to the Dolphins that could prove costly at the wire) and later be described by coach Mike Mularkey as a “quick healer,” an attribute, like “high pain tolerance,” that’s more important to a football player than it is to any other elite athlete. In his return, a win over the Colts, he’ll throw for 306 yards and teammates will laud him for his bravery—for playing hurt—more than for any of his passes. Availability trumps ability.

Back in Seattle, Carson reclines on the bed in his hotel room, readying himself for a late-morning nap. One of the last images he sees on TV before he drifts off is that of Vikings running back Dalvin Cook clutching his left leg. That sucks, Carson thinks to himself. Later he’ll learn that Cook tore his ACL while planting to cut, ending the promising season of an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate.

SUNDAY, 1 P.M. PST

By the time Carson wakes up, at least a dozen players have left the field in some degree of agony. He watches their names scroll across the ticker but doesn’t worry. He’s certain it won’t happen to him.

Later, on the bus to CenturyLink Field, he listens to the same song over and over at max volume—“Steady Hustlin” by Ice Billion Berg. It’s a fitting anthem for a guy who, after tweaking his hamstring on the first day of rookie mini camp, figured he might have to win a roster spot with his special teams play. And here he is. He’s not leaving anything to chance for his first start: At the facility he hops into the hot tub, gets a hamstring massage and deploys a foam roller on his legs. He’s loose, pliable, ready.

Giants running back Paul Perkins feels it too—“like a million bucks,” he’ll later say—as New York kicks off in Tampa. He has banished some rib soreness from his mind . . . until he’s hit so hard on the first offensive series of the second quarter that he can’t breathe. He heads to the locker room for X-rays, feeling what he’ll later describe as “a stabbing pain.”

In Arizona, 49ers receiver Marquise Goodwin leaves his game in the first quarter with what is initially described as a “head and eye” injury but is later revealed to be his fourth concussion in 14 months.

Perkins’s mom calls, worrying. He tells her he can’t do anything but ice his ribs and watch. The toll has already reached almost two dozen.

SUNDAY, 2:10 P.M. PST

Odell Beckham Jr.’s season takes a painful turn when he dislocates his right index finger trying to haul in an Eli Manning laser against the Bucs. After pogoing around the sideline in pain he’ll tell reporters that the finger “just popped out” and describe it as “not a comfortable feeling,” though his Instagram post of his index finger bent at a 90-degree angle suggests much worse. Beckham goes back in, but seven days later he will land awkwardly and fracture his left ankle, ending his season the same week that fellow wideouts Brandon Marshall and Dwayne Harris land on IR. That’s football: Manning loses three pass catchers in one week and the seeds of his eventual benching are sown.

Later in that Week 4 Giants game Vernon realizes he can’t push off on his tender ankle anymore. “It felt like the upper part was about to break,” he says afterward with the nonchalance of an office worker gently complaining that the supply closet has been emptied of paper clips.

SUNDAY, 3 P.M. PST

Colts center Deyshawn Bond warms up before his Sunday Night Football appearance at Century-Link. He’s not thinking about how he got here—undrafted out of Cincinnati, signed as a free agent by his hometown team, already a starter.

He’s also not aware about what’s happening halfway across the country, in Denver. While the Raiders and Broncos keep playing, Oakland quarterback Derek Carr is getting X-rays for what will eventually be revealed as vertebrae chipped in several places when an opponent’s knee is driven into his nameplate. Reporters ask Carr what he felt as he crumpled to the turf, and he answers simply, “Pain.” Yet he remains optimistic that he’ll return in a matter of weeks. He does—only after EJ Manuel takes a costly loss to the Ravens. Carr’s explanation for his quick turnaround is just another way of saying That’s football. “It’s one of the worst things,” he says of the injury. “You can’t walk.” And yet, he continues, “within a couple days I was able to do absolutely everything.”

Across the field from Bond in Seattle, Avril jogs out of the tunnel. After racking up a career-best 11 1/2 sacks and earning his first Pro Bowl nod in 2016, he’s off to a slow start in Year 10—but he believes that will change against Indy. He heads back into the locker room for an IV drip before kickoff. “Best I’ve felt all season,” he says.

In Tampa, Vernon cannot say the same. He finishes on the sideline and knows this injury will cost him time; he’s just not sure how much. He won’t return until Week 10, missing an NFL game for the first—and then second, third and fourth—time in his career. Not being there for his team hurts, but also, says Vernon, “It’s more of a pride thing—priding yourself on playing football. You’re never going to be 100% healthy.

“A lot of guys have been through worse.”

SUNDAY, 5 P.M. PST

Carson stands in the home team’s tunnel at the Clink while his teammates charge into the stadium. Finally his name booms over the loudspeakers and he shoots onto the field, pushing both hands downward, reminding himself to remain calm.

At the same time, Bond allows himself a moment. The spectacle of it all, “it kind of brought me back to reality,” he says. “Like, Wow, I’m really here.”

And then he isn’t. His night lasts two plays. “I felt something in my [left] knee, and someone under my foot,” Bond recalls. “I’m falling backward, but I’m being pushed the other way.” He tries to rise and fails, signaling for Indy’s trainers, who ask him to flex his left quadriceps. He can’t even feel it. Right away he knows he has suffered his first significant football injury. His torn quad is a rite of passage. “I was crushed,” he says.

SUNDAY, 6 P.M. PST

Avril can feel his extra film studies paying off. “Early on, passing down, I’m running game with Mike [Bennett],” he says, referring to his bookend on the D-line. “We’re chasing [QB Jacoby Brissett] down and—freak accident—I’m trying to make a tackle and somehow I get a heel to the face.”

He doesn’t see Brissett’s foot approaching his chin until the moment his head snaps backward. He thinks maybe it’s a stinger, because he can’t feel his arms for more than 10 seconds. But that’s football, he reasons as he heads into a blue medical tent on the sideline. (Ever wonder what’s in one of those tents? Nothing, Avril says. Just a table and a doctor who tells Avril that a stinger wouldn’t cause both arms to go numb. “This,” the doctor explains, “is pretty serious.”)

“You’re gonna get banged up,” Avril will say weeks later, plainly. “The game is really about how tough you are. A normal person would probably panic [in that situation], but my pain tolerance is higher. I’m not scared.”

Avril feels . . . fine. At least by football standards. He couldn’t feel his arms; now he can. But when he tries to return to the game, Seattle’s team doctor gives him a medical stiff-arm. As the lineman heads to the locker room, where an ambulance waits by the back door, teammates yell, “What’s up?”

“I’m going to the hospital,” he tells them casually, like he’s off to the supermarket on a grocery run. He changes clothes and rides with his wife to Harborview. The game goes on.

Back on the field, Carson glances at his left tackle, Odhiambo, and notices blood coming out of his mouth.

At halftime, Bennett reaches out to Avril over FaceTime. Avril tells his best friend that he’s about to slide into an MRI tube, where he’ll have to sit still for 45 minutes—especially difficult given his spiking adrenaline. As he slides into the machine, the Seahawks trail by five points.

When he emerges, they’re up 14. “What happened?” he asks the nurse.

SUNDAY, 9 P.M. PST

Odhiambo leans forward at his locker after the Seahawks’ victory. He’s in obvious pain, clutching his chest and grimacing. He moves to the ground and trainers scamper over. Carroll hovers nearby and teammates form a wall trying to shield reporters from what’s happening.

Security officers stand guard. Wilson stops and prays. Carroll walks away, rubbing his temples. What else could possibly happen today? Eventually trainers place Odhiambo on a stretcher; they leave the locker room . . . and run into Carson, who’s coming back from X-rays. Back in the locker room wideout Doug Baldwin explains that Odhiambo took a shot to the sternum and had trouble breathing. He doesn’t seem particularly worried. No one does. The celebration resumes. At Harborview, Avril is getting ready to leave when someone tells him another Seahawk is coming in.

Carson, hobbling out on crutches, gets a ride home from Rawls, who recounts how he came back from a similar injury—broken ankle, torn ligaments—a year earlier. He promises to help. Later, Carson’s mother reminds him of the torn ACL he overcame in high school. Eventually he shuts his phone down and climbs into bed.

Avril orders takeout on the way home while he tries to make sense of his murky test results. “I felt normal, honestly,” he says. “But the MRI showed something different.” He stays up with his wife, weighing the future. He wants to be able to play basketball with his children.

Up at cruising altitude on the Colts’ flight home, Bond is wearing an immobilizer on his injured leg. He can’t bend the knee at all, which means he can’t sleep. Week 4 is not even over yet.

MONDAY MORNING

Carson barely sleeps, such is the throbbing pain in his ankle. He ignores a stream of texts and phone calls. Everyone means well, he knows—they just don’t know the heart of it. Sure, playing football hurts. But not playing football hurts way more.

Bond gets an MRI, which confirms he’s out for the season. Coleman notices little swelling in his injured leg, which he sees as a “good indicator” that he won’t miss much time. (He doesn’t play again until Week 8.) Perkins’s X-rays come back negative, but his rib pain feels like a “constant stabbing”; a shift in any direction makes it hard to breathe. Vernon tries to remain positive—if he doesn’t, he’ll never make it back. “Whatever injury you’re going through,” he says, “you’ve got to come back and play.”

Or not. Avril bumps into Odhiambo in Seattle’s locker room on Monday and they swap tales from the hospital. Avril had security; Odhiambo did not, and strangers knocked on his door asking for autographs. They share a laugh, a momentary distraction from the scary reality that Avril must now confront. Doctors are telling him he cannot work out. He needs more tests. His absence is explained to media as a neck injury, but it affects his spine. And “that changes everything,” he says. “My life and my kids are more important than football.”

Minutes later he says he wants to play again. He cannot be more clear. He wants to play again this season—a hope that is squashed when he undergoes neck surgery in late November.

“I’ve never heard of this many high-caliber guys, Pro Bowlers, going down in one week,” he says. “That’s crazy.

“At the same time, that’s the NFL.”

MONDAY, 5:30 P.M. PST

There’s still another game to play: Redskins-Chiefs. Washington’s Pro Bowl left tackle, Trent Williams, spent Sunday watching games, noting the injuries on the ticker—and then he gets rolled up from behind and goes down clutching his right knee cap on his team’s first play of the second quarter. (MRI: nothing devastating; he’s back for the next game.) Right before halftime, cornerback Josh Norman takes a foot to the midsection. He argues with team doctors to remain in the game, even as a decoy. “I [wanted] to go, regardless,” he tells reporters afterward, launching into a soliloquy about “mortal” bodies and how moments like this remind him he’s “still here on Earth.” With a broken rib and punctured lung, he’ll be sidelined for two games, including an inter-divisional game in which the Eagles’ Carson Wentz carves up the Skins’ depleted secondary.

Chiefs guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, too, limps off the field, with pain in his right knee. Duvernay-Tardif attends medical school at McGill in between seasons, learning how to heal others when he’s not causing destruction on the field. Knowing how these collisions destroy bodies still does not diminish his love for the game. Never will, he says.

Two summers ago, during his residency, an obstetrician asked Duvernay-Tardif: What do you even like about football? The lineman explained that he understands the risks and believes that the positives—the camaraderie, the social interaction, even the physicality—outweigh them. Not to mention his five-year $42.5 million contract.

On Tuesday morning he gets an MRI and fights the urge to jump across the exam table to read the images himself. It’s his MCL—just as he predicted—not an ACL tear. He won’t play for a month, but he’ll play again this season.

At the coffee shop, Carson sits back and weighs all of this Week 4 wreckage. Even if the NFL’s injury rate remains painfully constant, the fact that he’s even talking about the piles of bodies demonstrates how much football has changed in recent years, how awareness of the consequences has evolved. Rules have been changed, protocols introduced; promising young players have retired early rather than face 16 (or more) versions of Week 4. There’s talk of no-contact practices, of a CTE test for active players . . . .

Those who stick around, like Carson, recognize that they’ve made a choice. They’re playing a violent game because they want to, because the rewards outweigh the risks. A broken ankle is the cost of competing in the game they love. All Carson wants, anyway, is to return.

He started to jog on an Anti-Gravity treadmill a week ago and threw his walking boot away this morning. “Look,” he says. “It’s not like a serious, serious injury, where you can’t come back or won’t come back the same.

“I’ll be fine,” he says. “It’s the NFL,” he says.

The Seahawks play tonight. He’s not sure he’ll watch. Too painful.

Additional reporting by Jacob Feldman and Jonathan Jones.

Luciano Spalletti's Inter Milan are the only unbeaten team in Serie A this season

Luciano Spalletti's Inter Milan are the only unbeaten team in Serie A this season (AFP Photo/MIGUEL MEDINA)

Luciano Spalletti's Inter Milan are the only unbeaten team in Serie A this season

Champions League: What to Expect from a Mouthwatering Knockout Stage

Real Madrid, the 12-time European champion, will play Paris St-Germain, who broke the world transfer record in the summer, in the pick of the Champions League last-16 ties that were drawn on Monday in Nyon, Switzerland. There will also be a renewal of rivalries for Barcelona and Chelsea when the knockout stage begins in February.

Here's a breakdown of all eight ties.

JUVENTUS vs. TOTTENHAM

Last season was dismal for Tottenham in Europe, but it has learned quickly. Whereas previously it seemed they could only win games by dominating the ball, this season they have developed and recorded three wins and a draw from four games against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund having less than 50% possession in each game. The squad, though, is slim, so much will depend on who is available come February. It never looks as solid at the back without Toby Alderweireld who is expected back early in the New Year following his hamstring injury. Their manager Mauricio Pochettino had said that after playing Madrid and Dortmund, the draw could not be tougher. Perhaps not, but it is probably equally tough.

The first half of this season has felt like something of a struggle for Juve as it adapts to life after Leonardo Bonucci, but such matters are relative. Although last season’s losing finalists were held to a goalless draw at home by Inter on Saturday, its win away to Napoli suggested a side returning to form. At home, particularly, it remains formidable, having lost only two games in Turin since the beginning of the 2013-14 season.

BASEL vs. MANCHESTER CITY

Manchester City began the season in extraordinary form, breaking goalscoring records over the first dozen league games of the season, partly because of the signings the club had made in the summer and partly because players who struggled at times with Pep Guardiola’s methods last season have adapted to his philosophy. Victory away to Manchester United on Sunday took it 11 points clear at the top of the Premier League; it can afford to rest players to prioritize the Champions League. Raheem Sterling has been in the form of his life, while Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva offer great variety and creativity. Defensive concerns, however, remain. The Swiss champion Basel is at this stage for the first time in three years. It has a habit of unsettling English sides, eliminating Manchester United from the Champions League in 2011-12 and beating Tottenham on penalties in the Europa League quarter-final a year later. Its coach Raphael Wicky has benefited from relative stability, with few outgoings and the only major arrival that of the Dutch striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel. He hasn’t played since the end of September, though, and the sense is that Basel has become a better-balanced side as a result, with the right-winger Michael Lang emerging as a key presence.

PORTO vs. LIVERPOOL

No Premier League side has ever scored more in the group stage than the 23 Liverpool managed. Its front four of Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohammed Salah gives the impression of being able to blow any side away with its pace and invention but Liverpool’s problem is that if sides can get through the press and can attack it is extremely vulnerable – as Everton demonstrated in pinching a draw on Sunday. When it concedes goals it tends to concede in batches: four times this season Liverpool has conceded three or more in a game. Porto leads the Portuguese league on goal difference from Sporting and in the end made it through the group relatively comfortably. Only Sevilla of the sides who made it to this stage conceded more goals, but Vincent Aboubakar, who scored the winner for Cameroon in the Cup of Nations final in February, has begun the season in such form that he can turn a game with a half-chance. The sides have been drawn together twice before, in the UEFA Cup in 2000-01 and in the Champions League in 2007-08. On both occasions , Liverpool won at Anfield and drew in Portugal.

SEVILLA vs. MANCHESTER UNITED

Manchester United qualified comfortably enough for the last 16, the one game in which it dropped points, the away game in Basel, the result of sloppiness rather than anything else. As ever, Jose Mourinho has improved his side significantly in its second season. United has proved capable of playing with both a back three and a back four this season, it has the tallest side left in the competition meaning it can physically dominate sides and when Paul Pogba is on form, his link up with Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard offers a fluency that has been missing from United for some time. Sevilla is another example of what feels like a very modern trait in football. Going forward it can be devastating, but get beyond that and it's extremely vulnerable defensively – no side who made the last 16 conceded more than the 12 it did. The club let in four against Valencia and five against both Spartak Moscow and Real Madrid. It also gave up a three-goal start to Liverpool at home before coming back to draw 3-3. Mourinho had said he is “never lucky in draws” but this could have been a lot worse.

REAL MADRID vs. PARIS SAINT-GERMAIN

The stand out as tie of the round: the old money against the nouveaux riches. PSG sets a new record for goals scored during the group stage, banging in 25 in six games, and it's streets clear in Ligue Un. It responded to last season’s collapse against Barcelona in the last 16 by agreeing record-breaking deals to being in Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and the result has been a side capable of spectacular attacking football. The question, though, is over their defense which is so rarely tested that it’s very hard to assess. The way it leaked goals in losing its final group game 3-1 to Bayern – when a four-goal defeat would have seen it lose top spot – only added to the concerns.

The defending champion, the first side to win the tournament in successive seasons since the change to the Champions League format, has begun the season slowly. Madrid was well-beaten by Tottenham at Wembley and has dozed through a number of games this season. But then it was the same last season and still won both league and Champions League. Whatever questions remain about Zinedine Zidane’s tactical acumen, it has such attacking quality – plus Luka Modric to knit everything together - that it can never be written off. The sides have only been drawn together once before, in the group stage in 2015-16 when they drew 0-0 in Paris before Nacho scored the only goal at the Bernabeu.

SHAKHTAR vs. ROMA

When Roma was outplayed at home by Atletico Madrid in its opening group game, clinging on for a 0-0 draw, the suspicion was that it would take new coach Eusebio Di Francesco time to adapt to the Champions League. As it turned out, that process of adaptation didn’t take long at all. Although it lost in Madrid, Roma didn’t concede at all at home and took four points off Chelsea, coming from 2-0 down to draw 3-3 at Stamford Bridge and hammering the Premier League side 3-0 at home. Considering what Shakhtar has been through, having to relocate to Kharkiv because of the war in Donetsk, to reach this stage is a remarkable achievement. This side remains based around Brazilian imports, but that process has stalled with no new signings from Brazil in four years. The fear was that the departure of Mircea Lucescu last year would undermine it, but its enjoyed a new lease of life under Paulo Fonseca, who dressed up as Zorro to celebrate the team's progress from the group stage.

CHELSEA vs. BARCELONA

When Barcelona was beaten 5-1 on aggregate by Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup this looked like being a season of toil. It lost Neymar over the summer while the player it brought in to replace him, Ousmane Dembele, was soon ruled out with a serious hamstring problem. He should be back by the time the knockouts begin. Yet the crisis never materialized as Lionel Messi, seemingly fired by anger at the mess of a summer, inspired the Spanish giants to the top of la Liga. With Antonio Conte having effectively written off the Premier League following Saturday’s defeat away to West Ham, the Champions League probably becomes the focus as it’s a trophy Conte has never won but for all the doubts about how Juve performed in the competition under him, Chelsea produced its best performance of the season, perhaps even its best performance under the Italian. There is a reliance on Eden Hazard and, to a lesser extent, Alvaro Morata but, with everybody fit, Chelsea will be a threat. The sides have developed a strange long-distance rivalry over seven ties (and 15 games), most notably in Champions League semi-finals. In 2009, Andres Iniesta scored an injury-time equalizer in a controversial second leg at Stamford Bridge to take Barca through; three years later, Chelsea ground out a 1-0 at home before drawing 2-2 at the Camp Nou on its way to the trophy.

BESIKTAS vs. BAYERN MUNICH

After a difficult start to the season that saw Carlo Ancelotti sacked, Bayern has improved dramatically since Jupp Heynckes took over. The German team is well-clear at the top of the Bundesliga and, while nobody would suggest its playing in the way they did when they won the trophy in 2013, Heynckes has always reached at least the final in three seasons with Bayern, and there is a sense that its slowly improving. Bayern misses its inspirational goalkeeper Manuel Neuer who is expected to be out till April with a broken bone in his foot but both Arjen Robben and Thiago Alcantara should be back in time for the first leg, The Turkish champion was arguably the revelations of the group stage, passing unbeaten through six games and winning all three away matches. Senol Gunes’s side are ideally set up to play on the break, with a well-balanced front three. Ricardo Quaresma stays wide on the right, Cenk Tosun is a mobile center forward who offers an aerial threat, and Ryan Babel is dangerous coming on off the left flank to attack the back post.

5 things you didn't know...Juve's scoring streak comes to an end

Juventus failed to score against Inter, ending a run of 44 games in a row where they found the net at least once.

5 things you didn't know...Juve's scoring streak comes to an end

Juventus failed to score against Inter, ending a run of 44 games in a row where they found the net at least once.

5 things you didn't know...Juve's scoring streak comes to an end

Juventus failed to score against Inter, ending a run of 44 games in a row where they found the net at least once.

Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

Samir Handanovic and João Miranda do their best to deny Juve’s Mario Mandzukic.

Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

Inter and Juventus take the positives from Serie A stalemate | Paolo Bandini

On Miami Dolphins’ Voting Mission, Roger Goodell’s New Deal, Bono Talks Football and More

A few things you should know this week...

• Surprise! Registering to vote is controversial. The Dolphins announced late in the week that all 75 players under contract to the team—active, injured reserve and practice squad—are now registered to vote, either in Florida or in the place they consider their permanent home. I spoke to one of the first-time registered voters, 23-year-old running back Kenyan Drake, on Saturday for this column, and then praised the Dolphins on Twitter for their efforts to make their players more enlightened citizens. Drake first, then our populace.

Drake is from Atlanta, used to go with his mom as a child to vote, but said he never got around to registering to vote while a player and student at Alabama, or in his rookie year in Miami. But the Dolphins brought in Martin Luther King III, the eldest son of the slain civil-rights leader, to address the team on the importance of voting, and Drake was convinced.

“It was very impactful to hear his speak, especially coming from Atlanta like I do,” Drake said. “I’m not the most political person. But I do appreciate the fact that not everyone through the course of our history has had the right to vote, and I think it’s important we take advantage of it. To have a positive impact as a football player is important, but you can have a positive impact by being a citizen also.”

I asked Drake about the importance of one more voter—and he says he’ll definitely be one now, in the state of Florida. “It’s not just about the national elections,” he said. “It’s about the local elections too. The people we elect locally are important in our lives too.”

Now for the reaction from more than 31,000 people on my Twitter feed. Take a scroll through the replies to this tweet and you’ll see the mixed bag. Some called it a P.R. stunt by the Dolphins. We’ll find out, in time, if it was. But to criticize an organization for trying to make its players more responsible citizens takes a special kind of oaf.

• NFL scheduling is flawed. Green Bay played at Cleveland on Sunday. Aaron Rodgers, the superstar Packers quarterback, was hurt and did not play. So, if you live in Cleveland and want to see Aaron Rodgers, you could have done that in his 13th NFL start, in 2009, when Rogers was 25. The next time you’ll be able to do that, if Rodgers is still playing football, and if he is still playing for the Packers, will be in 2025, when Rodgers will be either 41 or 42. I’ve said it forever: The arcane scheduling model of the NFL needs to cut down the time between inter-conference games. As it is now, it’s eight years between an AFC team’s visit to an NFC team. The way to cut it down? Make all 28 non-division foes interchangeable. It’s nonsensical for instance that, between 2008 and 2017, Cleveland plays Jacksonville seven times and Green Bay twice. It’s simple to fix. You play twice a year against your division foes, and the other 10 games are a rotation, home and away, of the other 28 teams in the league. Instead of the Packers coming to Cleveland once per eight years, they’d come once ever five or six. Still a big gap, but not as egregious as it is now.

• You may still think Roger Goodell would be overpaid at $4-million per, and I get that, but I’m told it’s highly unlikely he’ll make $40 million a year in this deal. I hear the same thing about Goodell’s contract that Albert Breer does, and it’s basically that there’s no way the extension will net Goodell $200 million over five years. The deal, essentially, guarantees Goodell about $3.9 million per year in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 before expiring in March 2024, with an estimated 88 percent of the deal incentive-based. The fact is that if Goodell hits a few grand slams every year and reaches the max incentives in league success metrics like attendance, TV ratings, income, etc., he’ll approach or hit $40 million. That’s unlikely to happen. At least not regularly. As Breer was told by one smart league person, Goodell’s likely to earn somewhere in the high twenties in a typical year, with a very good year in the low-to-mid-thirties.

• How Goodell should handle the Steelers-Bengals situation. Most times these teams play, there are two or three or four over-the-top hits that we all watch and say: Shameful. This is going to make parents shudder and prevent their kids from playing tackle football. Or something like that. The fact that JuJu Smith-Schuster waylaid the despised (by the Steelers) Vontaze Burfict and then, with Burfict possibly knocked out, taunted him is despicable. The fact that Smith-Schuster did it with beloved teammate Ryan Shazier laying in the hospital, with no idea if Shazier would walk again, exacerbates the problem. The Steelers and Ravens have a bitter rivalry. The Steelers and Bengals have an out-of-control rivalry. Goodell should call both coaches together at the league meetings in March and say, calmly but firmly, that the league has tried stiff fines and player suspensions; now, if those don’t work and the bush-league behavior continues in either of the 2018 meetings between the teams, a suspension of a head coach or head coaches is next. I can’t figure any other way to stop what has been become a stain on the game. Let me also say that both of these coaches are very good men. I have been with Tomlin and his family, and I have the highest regard for him. But this has to stop, and stop now.

• Kudos, Bono. I’m a week late praising Kyle Brandt of NFL Network’s “Good Morning Football” show for his interview with Bono, the front man for the Irish rock band U2, which played the Super Bowl after 9/11. In that halftime show—New England-St. Louis in New Orleans—Bono wore a jacket with an American flag liner, and opened it up in his last song to show the flag, and the place went crazy. Brandt got Bono to say some interesting things about the NFL. “They say, ‘Don’t meet your heroes,’” Brandt told me. “They’re so wrong.” Before the interview, in the pre-production meeting with Bono’s people, they said Bono would like to speak about players kneeling during the anthem this season. “He was very graceful, and said some meaningful things,” Brandt said. Bono’s take on those demonstrating during the anthem: “America is not just a country. It’s an idea. It’s a great idea. It’s the best idea the world has ever had. And that’s why it’s okay for people to get carried away … and on that subject, if people want to show their patriotism a different way, you know, taking a knee and all that—I think people who care about their country can never be a problem. They want to make it better. The way they’re respecting their country, I wanted to pull out my jacket, stand by this country, say, ‘I believe in it.’” Bono also said Tom Brady went to Africa with him in 2005, no cameras present, to do some humanitarian work for Bono’s “One” campaign. “That, to Bono, made Tom Brady a saint,” Brandt said.

• RIP Ron Meyer. The former coach of SMU, the Patriots and the Colts died last week after playing a round of golf in Texas. I worked with Meyer after his coaching career on CNN’s NFL Preview show on Sunday mornings in the late nineties, me on the road at a game site, and Meyer, Vince Cellini and others on the set in Atlanta. Meyer was a barrel of fun. I really liked him. He didn’t study the game much after he left it—most often, a one-hour phone call with NFL impresario/ace reporter Len Pasquarelli comprised much of his weekly homework—but he was fun to work with because he never took himself remotely seriously. Which brings to mind some of his best lines while he was in football. A few:

• On his impatience to win, when he was hired to coach the Colts in 1986: “Leave the five-year plans to Joe Stalin.”

• When young Dallas Morning News reporter Tim Kurkjian went to the Meyer house in 1982 to see if he was planning to take the New England coaching job after leaving SMU, to his wife: “Honey, did we pay the newspaper bill this month? The paperboy’s here.” (Hat tip, Gary Myers.)

• As a Colts coach: “It is not a crime to be beaten. It is a crime to stay beaten.”

• On his football wisdom, which he often made light of: “It isn’t like I came down from Mount Sinai with the tabloids.”

• In the midst of his Colts tenure: “I never applied for the job, but I don’t think Lee Iococca applied for the job at Chrysler, either. One day, someone just said, ‘How about the guy they just fired at Ford?’”

• Don misses Tom. From Sunday’s long New York Times piece from inside the Trump White House: “Mr. Trump still takes shots at Mark Cuban, a fellow rich-guy reality star, and expresses disappointment that Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, has distanced himself.” Hmmmm.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Man Utd 1 Man City 2: United outclassed by slick David Silva as City surge 11 points clear in title race

Those noisy neighbours were at it again. Too noisy, apparently, for Jose Mourinho who asked Manchester City to turn down the tunes as they celebrated in the away dressing room after a victory which extended their Premier League lead to a seemingly insurmountable 11 points. Mourinho had liquids thrown at him, it appears, and went on to cry over spilt milk - lashing out at how “lucky” City were. But after the rinsing his team had taken out on the pitch, it did not wash. It is mid-December, the snow is falling and, with it, all City’s rivals have surely drifted away with second-placed Manchester United the last to drop as they lost the 175th Manchester derby and were schooled, at times, by Pep Guardiola’s team. City are also 14 points in front of champions Chelsea and 16 ahead of fourth-placed Liverpool. Their 46 points would have secured them a top-eight finish last season. And that is over 38 games, not 16. It will take some collapse to blow it. What will hurt more for United and their supporters is that – the brilliant David Silva apart – City were not even at their best to win this encounter and gain a 14th successive league victory, a Premier League record. This was also their fourth league game in a row won 2-1. In doing so they ended United’s proud record of 40 home matches without defeat – they needed one more to go ahead of Sir Matt Busby’s United in 1966 – a sequence that started in September last year. After City won here, how that will hurt. David Silva pirouettes to hook in City's opener Credit: Michael Regan/Getty Images Afterwards it was peak Mourinho with the United manager declaring we can all bring out “stats” and “football theory” and how the game apparently hinged on a penalty appeal that was turned away when Ander Herrera went down under Nicolas Otamendi’s challenge. Given Mourinho’s pre-match warning that City were a team of divers, how ironic it was that Herrera was the only player booked for simulation. Mourinho even said he felt “sorry” for referee Michael Oliver, but enough Jose, enough. United were well beaten and he was bested – once more – by Guardiola. The City manager’s response? “We were better,” he said. And they were; all over the pitch. There was even another irony in that having been so fretful over United’s threat from set-pieces, City should score both their goals by that means. Plus there were two horrible interventions by Romelu Lukaku, with the United striker providing inadvertent ‘assists’ to City before he had even touched the ball inside the opposition area. When he did, late on, he forced an incredible save from Ederson as he drove a powerful close-range shot that struck the goalkeeper in the throat. Even then the Brazilian reacted quickly enough to turn away the follow-up from substitute Juan Mata. It was a double-save of David de Gea dimensions. If United had claimed a point it would have felt like a victory given how they were dominated and out-played in the first half. Without the suspended Paul Pogba, Mourinho had set them up with four attacking players – Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard – but only with the intention of trying to spring quickly on the counter-attack. It did not work as his team were under constant pressure, hurried into playing the ball long and spending most of their time trying to track the deceptive movement of City’s inter-changeable front three of Jesus, Raheem Sterling and Leroy Sane. Ederson blocks Lukaku's late shot and regained his feet swiftly ... Credit: AP Photo/Dave Thompson ... to block Mata's effort from the rebound Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire “Park the bus, park the bus, Man United,” sang the gleeful City fans, as their team played deep in United’s half, and there were murmurs of discontent from the home supporters, desperate for their team to do more. There was even a brief ripple of “attack, attack, attack” but it was City who did that when Silva floated the ball from the left to Sane who cushioned it on his thigh and fired a rising shot that De Gea did well to tip over. But the danger was not gone. From the corner, Nicolas Otamendi rose alongside Lukaku with the ball rebounding off the Belgian’s chest and dropping to Silva who quickly hooked it past De Gea and into the net from close range. City were in front. It was almost half-time but, finally, it did trigger a United reaction with Marcos Rojo crossing deep from the left and Otamendi mis-timing his attempt to clear, as the ball went over his head. Maybe it distracted Fabian Delph behind him because the stand-in left-back allowed the ball to skim off his chest and run to Rashford who coolly steered a low shot back across Ederson, who had strayed too far to his left, and inside the far post. Surely that would change the dynamic? City had dominated but were not in front. United had struggled but were level and they did briefly appear more ambitious in the second half until Herrera needlessly gave away a free-kick. Silva took it but it ran through to Lukaku, who had time and space to clear, but he hurriedly half-volleyed the ball, smacking Chris Smalling in the back, and it rebounded to Otamendi who smashed it past De Gea. It knocked the stuffing – what was left – out of United and even the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic did not boost them with Guardiola cleverly bringing on Eliaquim Mangala and using Silva as a ‘false nine’. Kevin De Bruyne went close, forcing a fine, low save from De Gea, before Ederson saved from Rashford and then excelled with his double-stop. Manchester United vs Manchester City player ratings Right at the end, though, it was substitute Bernardo Silva who went close as, maddeningly for United, City played keep-ball deep in their opponent’s half. Guardiola hailed his team’s courage - “because they want to play,” he said – although Mourinho tried to milk it, he had no answer. 6:50PM Jose Mourinho speaks Clear penalty. Sorry for us, sorry for Michael [Oliver]. The referee made a mistake which can happen. Last season we had a similar situation, Mr Clattenburg did not give a clear penalty Bravo on Rooney. The referee is a human being, he tried his best. He had a good match but he made one mistake. City scored two very bad goals, unbelievable to concede. When you concede goals like these in a match of this dimension you feel very bad. Rebounds. Too easy goals. We did good things, we did bad things. Credit to them for the good qualities they have in the principle of play. I think they are a very good team, they are lucky and have decisions in their favour.  Everyone will fight for points to close the distance but [City have] a very good lead, yes.  6:28PM Full time City remain unbeaten and go 11 points clear. They played wonderfully at times but scored two scrappy goals and needed Ederson to preserve their victory with a brilliant double save from Lukaku and Mata. United just couldn't keep the ball. Of course, that's not part of Mourinho's requirements but they needed to be more clinical when they did have it and made the breaks than they were. Lukaku looks low on confidence and form and was at fault for City's two goals, though may have been fouled for the first.   6:25PM 90+4 min Now De Brune lofts a glorious 60-yard crossfield pass straight into Bernardo's stride and he's clear through but take sit too wide and narrows the angle too acutely to beat De Gea.  6:24PM 90+3 min City break, Sterling rolls it to his left in the box and Bernardo topples over. Mourinho immediately gestures that he dived but there's no punishment.    6:24PM 90+2 min This goes on for a couple of minutes until De Bruyne bashes a pass out. United go long from the goalkick but can't win it. De Bruyne is caught by Matic in the face and the referee orders a restart.  6:22PM 90+1 min Bernardo joins in, using United's shins as rebound boards to keep them pinned into the right corner.  6:21PM 89 min He stays in the corner and eventually earns a corner. There will be four minutes added.  6:21PM 88 min Thierry Henry says he feels sorry for 'Rom' but 'he has to hit the back of the net'.  City head to the corner where an exasperated Young boots Sterling across the shins. Free kick.  6:19PM 86 min City substitution: Sane off, Bernardo on.  6:18PM 84 min Brilliant double save from Ederson. Lukaku volleys it through the six-yard box into the keeper's face. He made himself huge then sprang up to block Mata's effort with the rebound from similarly close quarters. Once more Mangala helped by playing close attention to Lukaku.  6:14PM 83 min Ibrahimovic is penalised for challenging Otamendi robustly in the air but City make a mess of the free-kick and cede possession. Mata holds his run but is still called offside. Not sure he was.  6:13PM 82 min Lukaku is having a mare. At fault for both goals and his execution when put through has been shonky to say the least. Now he misdirects a headed pas to surrender possession. Mata comes on for Ander Herrera 6:11PM 80 min When the ball comes back into the box Ander Herrera dives over Otamendi's foot and is booked for cheating.  6:10PM 78 min Martial plays in Lukaku down the left of the box with a cute pass but the centre-forward is closed down immediately by Mangala who sticks with him and stays close until he loses control. Superb defending again.  6:08PM 76 min Ibrahimovic on for Lingard in time for the corner that is well defended and when the ball is recycled by United out to the right, Rashford is trapped offside.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 76 min)   6:07PM 75 min Mistake from Delph dealing with Matic's long ball. He kicks fresh air and lets Rashford through on the right. He puts his laces through a shot from 20 yards and Ederson dives down to his left to tip it round the post.  6:05PM 74 min David Silva is booked on the totting up principle after a hack at Matic.  6:04PM 73 min David Silva goes in hard on Ander Herrera with a kick on the inside of his right ankle but gets away with it. 'He's just no that kind of player' etc. Earlier Lingard was flattened as he tried to shimmy into the box. Gundogan bundled into him and he went flying ... too easily.  6:02PM 72 min De Bruyne thumps a left-foot shot from left of centre about 20 yards out and De Gea swoops down to his left to palm it behind with an iron wrist.  6:01PM 70 min Sterling concedes a free-kick with a 'professional' foul from Sterling to cut off Valencia at the ankles. It's 22 yards out, left of centre. Rashford takes and tries a Ronaldo dig-down shot that gets it over the wall but it doesn't come down in time.  5:59PM 69 min If United are preying on City making a mistake, surely they should bring Ibrahimovic on as the chances will be few and he's a better finisher than Lukaku?  5:59PM 67 min Otamendi chips a pass straight at Matic who twists and plays it to Lingard storming down the left. He plays an excellent crossfield diagonal to Lukaku who approches the right of the box on an angled run. Mangala refuses to let him come in on his left and he takes two strides and bludgeons a right foot shot miles over.  Miss: Man Utd 1 - 2 Man City (Romelu Lukaku, 66 min)   5:56PM 65 min Brilliant from Silva out on the left to draw Smalling out and then play a pass through the six yard box for Gundogan to hit a shot on the angle. De Gea saves, instigates a United break but they can't hold the ball.  5:55PM 63 min Rashford is booked for contesting a throw-in decision by hurling the ball into the turf.  5:54PM 61 min City free-kick on the left, parallel with the 18-yard line. It hits the posted sentry but bounces happily for City straight back to them. United clear again but can't keep the ball on the ground or under sustained red control.  Otamendi smashes home a half-volley to put City 1-2 up Credit: CARL RECINE/Action Images via Reuters   5:51PM 60 min David Silva moves up front to continue the whirl with Sane and Sterling. United can't get the ball and Valencia has to obstruct Sane to stop him spurting past after diddling him with footwork.  5:50PM 59 min Man City substitution: Eliaquim Mangala on, Gabriel Jesus off.  5:49PM 57 min Mangala is warming up - as is Ibrahimovic. Walker bundles over Young and United have a free-kick just inside their own half.  5:47PM 55 min A self-inflicted wound. City swung a free-kick from the left towards the far post. It was hit too long and Lukaku was under no significant pressure to clear it. Instead he smashed it on the volley straight into Smalling's back and the ball rebounded to Otamendi who acrobatically twisted to half-volley it in from seven yards.    5:45PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-2 Man City (Otamendi) 5:45PM 54 min Sane decides to have a ping from 20 yards - at last - but demolishes the argument made on these pages for more long-range shots by spooning it miles over.  5:44PM 52 min Rashford and Martial double up on Fernandinho and Walker on the City right, Martial ahead of Rashford who slips the ball up to his wingman, gets it back then spears a near-post cross to meet Jesse Lingard's canny near-post run. Otamendi gets there first.  5:42PM 51 min Jesus shimmies and shakes his way back from the byline on the left of the box, looking for a pass and particularly Sterling but United swarm their own box and deny him any escape routes, win the ball back and push forward. It's pretty end to end this half.  5:40PM 49 min They try to spring Lukaku who beasts Fernandinho but Walker hares back to help out and benefits from an overhit touch one Lukaku had got past his man.  5:39PM 48 min De Bruyne picks a pass into the box with his left to the right for Silva who squares a cross instead of trying his luck. United intercept and bomb forward.  5:38PM 47 min United had made a half-time sub too, Lindelof on for Rojo who had a gashed head.  5:37PM 46 min Fernandinho drops into the back four. Noel Gallagher says 'at least it's not Mangala'. Ederson makes a long clearance up the left touchline. Jesus and Sterling combine to run at Smalling who nicks the ball away from the former and out for a City throw.  5:35PM City make a half-time substitution Gundogan is replacing the captain Kompany.  5:24PM Here are the goals David Silva hooks in the opener for City Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine  David Silva puts City ahead but United take all of four minutes to get level.  Marcus Rashford sticks the equaliser past Ederson Credit: Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images   5:21PM Half time City have dominated the half but have been guilty of over elaboration. All this useless beauty etc. United have defended stoutly and sometimes skittishly but fought back when a double error in the City box presented Rashford with a straightforward chance.  Average touch positions (26 min)   5:19PM 45+3 min Two mistakes by City defenders when a raking left-wing diagonal cross was launched into their box. Otamendi was in the wrong position and glanced his clearing header into Delph. It bounced off his midriff to Rashford and the United forward buried the opportunity with a smart right-foot shot. Man Utd 1 - 1 Man City (Marcus Rashford, 45 + 2 min) Rashford scores Credit: Michael Steele/Getty Images   5:17PM GOAL!! Man Utd 1-1 Man City (Rashford) 5:16PM 44 min Otamendi wins the header by the penalty spot, in a head-to-head bully-off with Lukaku and Silva spins sharply to whisk in a hooked half-volley past De Gea from six yards.  Man Utd 0 - 1 Man City (David Silva, 43 min) David Silva turns to to the sky after scoring from a corner Credit: Martin Rickett/PA Wire   5:14PM GOAL!! Man Utd 0-1 Man City (David Silva) 5:14PM 42 min And Delph hits a long cross from the left. Young miscalculates and is caught under it. Sane at the far post hits the dropping ball and De Gea has to be at his sharpest to palm it over, leaping to close down his space with a starfish jump.  5:12PM 40 min Very diligent from Matic to stick with Silva's run when the playmaker plays a diagonal to the left of the D and continues his run for the expected return in the one-two with Sterling. Matic mops the pass up and strides upfield but back come City.  5:11PM 38 min David Silva canters past Matic, reaches the D and slips the ball through to Sterling on the left who is fairly but forcefully tackled. Why didn't he shoot? That was the best opportunity yet to have a dig from 20 yards but, as Martin Tyler says, they're playing as if they're under the delusion that you can only score from inside the box.  5:08PM 37 min After a couple of minutes, a booking for Rojo, a head bandage and a change of bloodied shirt, Rojo comes back on and the game proceeds.  5:07PM 34 min Rojo goes up to challenge David Silva in the air and crashes through him in midair, a split second late on the ball. Silva is hurt but Rojo is cut.  Smalling tackles Sterling Credit: Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine   5:04PM 33 min Marcos Rojo is annoyed with Sterling who jinked his way through the box, bypassing Valencia and Smalling but failed to shoot, took it too far and ran into the clearing United defender with his arm raised.  5:03PM 32 min Lingard is penalised for shoving Otamendi over. He pleads for mercy on grounds of the discrepancy in their sizes and Michael Oliver keeps his card pocketed.  5:01PM 30 min Man Utd vs Man City shots on goal United break from City's overhit corner, storming forward at pace but Walker matches them stride for stride and plays a very firm, overly so, backpass to Ederson who has Lukaku bearing down on him. But Ederson traps it with the velvet touch of a Bergkamp. Remarkable.    4:59PM 28 min Jesus to Silva who is 20 yards out and ripe to shoot but instead plays it back to Jesus. It doesn't reach him and it's deflected behind for a corner. Even Guardiola seems exasperated that he didn't shoot and does his Rumpelstiltskin jig on the touchline.  4:57PM 26 min Lingard nicks the ball off Sterling's foot 25 yards out and Herrera passes it back to De Gea. That came at the end of a quick bout of City interchanging the ball and their positions. City are exhilarating to watch but are suffering from a temporary bout of Arsenalitis, taking one touch too many instead of pulling the trigger.  4:55PM 24 min 'Good tackle,' is Carragher's verdict on a full-weight Kompany intervention on Ander Herrera in which he takes ball and man in that order, saving himself from a booking.  4:54PM 22 min Gabriel Jesus dives in the United box, throwing himself over Smalling's leg. Mourinho demands a yellow card but the referee cops a deaf 'un. Martial dribbles forward through the centre-circle with Lingard to his left and Lukaku to his right. Lingard would be on a clear path past Kompany if the pass were perfect, which it isn't.   4:52PM 21 min Sterling is the beneficiary of a happy penalty box ricochet and makes the most of his second chance to fiddle a pass down the left of the United box to David Silva. His first effort, a cross, is blocked and then and only then does he deign to shoot but pokes a weak effort at De Gea.    4:50PM 20 min Rashford colonises the space behind Walker and, seeing Lukaku make a back-post run, lifts a cross towards the back post that Ederson back-pedals to catch.  4:49PM 18 min Extraordinry Frank De Boeresque long pass from Fernadinho takes five United players out and finds Jesus who shimmies and shoots with his left ... but straight again at De Gea.  Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Gabriel Jesus, 17 min)   4:48PM 16 min Two quick half chances, the second by Stereling who wriggles through on the left of the box after a crosfield tack but scuds his shot straight at De Gea. Attempt Saved: Man Utd 0 - 0 Man City (Raheem Sterling, 16 min) Earlier Jesus had played a one-two with David Silva to work a shooting opportunity but scuffed it to De Gea.  4:46PM 14 min City free-kick after a foul on Walker by Matic. It's whipped to the far post from the right and Valencia has to leap to half-volley a clearance behind. Otamendi protests that his personal space and dignity have been violated by a series of grapples. Nothing doing.  4:44PM 13 min A poor pass from Sterling lets Rashford loose and he tries to set Lukaku off on a foot race against Kompany but overclubs the pass.  4:43PM 11 min Sane cuts the ball back from the right to Fernandinho. 22 yards out, who steers  a powerful side-footed shot straight into Rojo. City are hogging the ball, as you'd expect.  Possession: Man Utd vs Man City   4:41PM 9 min City are switching and whirling, changing positions and moving at dizzying speed. Sterling pops up down the inside-left channel and picks out a lovely angled pass towards the penalty spot for Gabriel Jesus's run in from the right. The centre-forward, just onside, flicks it back with his heel, hoping that Savid Silva had continued his run but he was well-patrolled and couldn't wriggle through. Jesus ought to have taken a shot if his body position had allowed.  4:39PM 8 min Lukaku, about whom Jamie Carragher has doubts of the flat-track bully variety, shoves Otamendi over to writhe past him but does not get away with it. Free kick.  4:37PM 6 min Rashford is tracking Walker, Herrera is on De Bruyne and Matic on David Silva. De Bruyne works some room away from Herrera by drifting out to the left but his long, diagonal crossfield ball hs too much on it and skips out of play by the right corner flag for a goalkick.  4:35PM 4 min Rashford tears off up the left after Ander Herrera wins the ball and passes it a split-second before he is fouled by Walker who treads on his foot in a metatarsal-crushing intervention. When Rashford is hustled out of play, the referee goes back to book Walker.  4:33PM 3 min Kompany tries to spring Sterling free up the right but Young hounds him off the ball and Rojo puts his foot through a clearance, wellying it 60 yards and back to Kompany who controls it after coming under presure.  4:31PM 1 min United kick-off attacking from left to right and surrender possession after a handful of seconds to Kevin De Bruyne who instigates a spell of City probing and passing.  4:27PM Here come the teams And they are lining up in front of the dugouts for the portraits.  4:16PM Noel Gallagher's mastery of timing Three wise men? 'I hope'; 'I think'; 'I know' Credit: Sky Sports   'It's great to be sitting next to a legend of the game ... and Gary Neville' 3:46PM Teams in the trad style Man Utd De Gea; Valencia, Smalling, Rojo, Young;  Ander Herrera, Matic; Lingard, Rashford, Martial; Lukaku. Substitutes  Romero, Lindelof, Jones, Mata, Ibrahimovic, Shaw, McTominay.  Pep Guardiola arrives at Old Trafford where he has won once with City and drawn with Bayern Munich as a manager and drew once with Barcelona as a player Credit: Victoria Haydn/Man City via Getty Images Man City Ederson; Walker, Otamendi, Kompany, Delph; Fernandinho; Sterling  De Bruyne,  Silva, Sane; Gabriel Jesus. Substitutes Bravo,  Danilo, Gundogan, Aguero, Mangala, Bernardo Silva,  Alexander Zinchenko.  Referee Michael Oliver (Northumberland)  3:34PM Team news Here's how #MUFC line up for this afternoon's derby clash! #MUNMCIpic.twitter.com/XSx9vqPsz4— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 10, 2017 Rashford comes in for Lindelof as United switch to a back four after the victory at the Emirates and Ander Herrera replaces the suspended Pogba.  Team News | How City line-up for the 175th #manchesterderby! Presented by @haysworldwide#utdvcitypic.twitter.com/WGSjoi5iIx— Manchester City (@ManCity) December 10, 2017  Jesus! Aguero drops to the bench for the Brazil prodigy and Kompany makes it.  3:27PM Good afternoon And welcome to live coverage of the first Manchester derby of 2017-18, pitting the unbeaten leaders City against the hosts United who trail them by eight points. There has been so much hype in the build-up, framing the match as decisive and almost the last opportunity for the last credible contenders to stall City's progress, that any more preparatory words seem superfluous. United have won all seven home games in the league, even when they haven't been particularly fluent, while City have won all seven away games when they have been alternately magnificent and persistent but always efficient. Manchester derby puff Some pundits have cited City's 2-1 win at Old Trafford in the autumn of 2016, the first meeting of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola in English football, as the model for this afternoon's game but I wonder if the cagey 0-0 at the Etihad last April is more instructive. Mourinho, coldbloodedly, set up for the draw and, in the absence of Paul Pogba and despite Marouane Fellaini's late red card, came away with the point. We shall get more of a clue when the sides are named imminently.

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Mario Mandzukic in action with Inter Milan's Miranda REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

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