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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.

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

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Giorgio Chiellini in action with Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Juan Cuadrado in action with Inter Milan's Ivan Perisic REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Inter Milan's Miranda in action with Juventus’ Juan Cuadrado REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala in action with Inter Milan's Matias Vecino REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi in action with Inter Milan's Matias Vecino REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Paulo Dybala in action REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi in action with Inter Milan's Borja Valero REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-Un Has Been Surprisingly Revealed as an Inter Milan Fan

​​The Sun has revealed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un as a massive fan of Serie A giants, Inter Milan. It was revealed in Italian television programme ‘Che Fuori Tempo Che Fa’ that Jong-Un loves football and he used to frequently watch Inter Milan at the San Siro in his younger years, according to a close friend of the politician. These rumours were further enhanced by Italian senator Antonio Razzi, who claimed that he had been informed by the dictator himself of his love for football...

North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-Un Has Been Surprisingly Revealed as an Inter Milan Fan

​​The Sun has revealed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un as a massive fan of Serie A giants, Inter Milan. It was revealed in Italian television programme ‘Che Fuori Tempo Che Fa’ that Jong-Un loves football and he used to frequently watch Inter Milan at the San Siro in his younger years, according to a close friend of the politician. These rumours were further enhanced by Italian senator Antonio Razzi, who claimed that he had been informed by the dictator himself of his love for football...

North Korea Dictator Kim Jong-Un Has Been Surprisingly Revealed as an Inter Milan Fan

​​The Sun has revealed that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un as a massive fan of Serie A giants, Inter Milan. It was revealed in Italian television programme ‘Che Fuori Tempo Che Fa’ that Jong-Un loves football and he used to frequently watch Inter Milan at the San Siro in his younger years, according to a close friend of the politician. These rumours were further enhanced by Italian senator Antonio Razzi, who claimed that he had been informed by the dictator himself of his love for football...

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Gennaro Gattuso puts the bite back into AC Milan's dugout but has a battle to turn toiling team's fortunes 

Rino Gattuso has never been bashful about his belligerence. The AC Milan manager had clocked only 10 days in the job before his side’s dead rubber Europa League defeat by Rijeka last Thursday compelled Ringhio, 'the Growl’, to betray his disgruntlement with his charges. “We have got to change direction,” he said. “Because we are going nowhere like this. When you wear the Milan jersey, you need to respect it. When we get a punch in the teeth, I get the feeling we never recover.” The World Cup-winning midfielder, a consummate scuffler who won two Champions Leagues and two Serie A titles in 13 years at the club, once butted the Tottenham coach Joe Jordan, a venture most who knew anything about the abrasive former Leeds United, Manchester United, Scotland and, yes, Milan centre-forward would happily swap with a kamikaze commission. In 2003 he was sent off for slapping the 6ft 5in Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the face and though the two ended up as team-mates during Milan’s last scudetto-winning campaign in 2010-11, the incorrigible Ibrahimovic had his revenge for that episode and a few salty training ground words, by picking Gattuso up and depositing him head first into a dressing room bin. One wonders if that is the kind of response Gattuso would welcome now. At least it shows some spirit. “When I lost a match I broke down in frustration,” he said. “Today players lose, take a selfie and put it on the internet. They make me sick.” It’s an attitude - a kind of disgust - that aligns a manager with supporters whose exasperation during six years of decline has curdled into revulsion and open revolt. It is also dangerous in two senses - firstly in a volatile football culture where fans are not unafraid of physical confrontation with players it could be misinterpreted. Secondly, although owners think they want a hardline approach, a disciplinarian to kick backsides and focus minds on a common purpose, they rarely have the stomach to see it through should the merest whiff of player alienation and resistance emanate from the training ground. Think of the clubs who appoint an insurgent to transform the atmosphere and practices - Real Madrid with John Toshack’s second appointment, say, or Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - and before too long points of principle are sacrificed, along with the taskmaster, in pursuit of peace. And the trigger point usually follows public criticism of a player, a line Gattuso flirted with when addressing the travails of his £34m centre-forward in Croatia. “We all know his qualities, he's a player of international level,” he said. "He struggled today, he looked like a foreign object in the team. When you have the opportunity to play for 90 minutes wearing AC Milan's shirt you have to do more.” Gattuso confront Joe Jordan in 2011 Credit: REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini He has been in charge for only two games - a 2-2 draw with Benevento whose goalkeeper scored a 95th-minute equaliser to claim their first point of the season after 14 lost league matches - and the defeat by Rijeka that did not affect Milan’s place at the top of Europa League Group D in their first continental campaign for four seasons. Both set-backs were palpably the players’ fault but managers are always dispensable no matter their service and loyalty, especially at Milan. Mauro Tassotti and Cristian Brocchi, like Gattuso, have moved up from the youth department to run the first team in caretaker roles but left the club after not getting the full-time job while Clarence Seedorf and Pippo Inzaghi, team-mates of Gattuso, have also endured stints in charge since the club sacked Max Allegri in 2014. Twice during the past 3½ years they have looked outside and appointed Sinisa Mihajlovic and Vincenzo Montella but neither, despite winning one in two league games, have convinced an impatient club that they have solved the long-standing problems of brittleness and inconsistency. Despite a huge churn of players, systemic reform at youth and academy level, the hard work of elite development and fostering club culture, was avoided in preference for the quick fix – give the manager’s job to a favoured son and demand a miracle. Where Silvio Berlusconi had the drive 20 years before to rebuild an institution, the club was in the business of providing instant gratification on the cheap for the six years since their 2011 title until he finally completed the sale to Rossoneri Sport Investment last spring. It was a convoluted deal involving the stipulated payment of instalments, one of which was rescheduled, to Li Yonghong’s Luxembourg-based holding company. The €740m deal, it later emerged, was partly financed by a €303m bridging loan from Elliott Management, the New York hedge fund firm, repayable next November at an interest rate of 11.5 per cent for the first €180m and 7.7% on the remainder. Small wonder Li’s investment vehicle is looking to refinance before then because the conditions attached to the loan, as well as the eye-watering rate, means any default hands ownership of the club to the ‘vulture fund’. 'A knife wound would have been less painful than that goal,' Gattuso said of the Benevento equaliser Credit: CARLO HERMANN/AFP/Getty Images In addition to the mechanics of the serpentine takeover process and timetable, the specifics of Li’s business interests in China have been queried and his disputes with regulators there detailed by the New York Times last month. Like other things in Europe, the takeover has hardly led to the broad, sunlit uplands of institutional rejuvenation. Back in the summer of 2015, Berlusconi splurged €80m on five players but without a proper structure in place succeeded only in moving up from 10th to 7th in the league in spite of Carlos Bacca’s 18 goals. Before this season they spent €230m, bringing in Leonardo Bonucci, Andre Silva, Andrea Conti, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ricardo Rodriguez, Mateo Musacchio, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, Nikola Kalinic and Fabio Borini. Bonucci, a terrific centre-back at Juventus and designed to be a talismanic signing, has been woeful, even though Montella switched to a back three after the 4-1 defeat by Lazio in September. His effort is conspicuous but the concentration lapses that persuaded Inter to let him go 10 years ago have returned as he tries to inspire a skittish team spooked by the crowd’s irritation. All the positives of his game at Juventus, the way he galloped forward or started attacks with diagonal, chipped passes are of little use to an anxious, dysfunctional team and the change of system has unnerved the excellent Alessio Romagnoli. Moreover the multiplicity of unsatsfactory options has fostered indecisive selection: Montella selected 20 different starters in 14 league games. Leonardo Bonucci has been out of sorts for club and country since moving to Milan from Juventus last summer Credit: Daniel Dal Zennaro/ANSA via AP More than anything, the incontinent spree exposes a fundamental flaw with their recruitment process. Hardly any of Milan’s recent big money signings have prospered and the majority of them have been bombed out within a couple of years. Alessandro Matri, Luiz Adriano, Andrea Bertolacci, Gianluca Lapadula and Bacca were all brought in for significant fees over the past three season and each has already left for a loss apart from Bacca who is out on loan at Sevilla but has no desire to come back. So far they  have been beaten by Empoli, Lazio, Sampdoria, Roma, Inter and Napoli and have not scored at home in the league since Sept 20. A club that has spent heavily and is in the midst of complex, crucial refinancing negotiations said at the start of the season that Champions League qualification was an imperative. As it has to be for those who do not own their own stadiums and are trying to break into the top end of the Far East merchandising market. It’s where the money that would allow them to compete with Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Manchester United, Bayern Munich and the petrodollar giants has to come from. They are currently 13 points off fourth place which makes winning the Europa Cup an attractive alternative. Such a disjointed performance against Rijeka, therefore, has rattled even more cages. Andre Silva, who cost £35m, was singled out for criticism by Gattuso after his inept performance against Rijeka Credit: REUTERS/Antonio Bronic In some circumstances Gattuso is the ideal hair shirt manager. The Pisa side he led to promotion to Serie B in 2016 were extraordinarily hard working and though they were relegated in 21st place at the end of their their first season back up after being unable to strengthen the squad significantly, they managed to draw 21 of 42 games and conceded only 36 goals, the second lowest in the division. That they managed to score a mere 23, however, illustrates that the virtues of diligence, discipline, coherent organisation, unyielding passion and commitment can only do so much to compensate for a lack of talent and invention. But even in those reduced circumstances, Gattuso managed to impose a coherent structure on the team, if not the club. At Milan that will not be enough. The problems with the team are a symptom of what is wrong with the club and introducing some bite in the dug-out because they have no bite on the pitch can only be a short-term solution. Gattuso can preach as much as he likes about the Milan way and the duty the players owe to the shirt but when you have new owners, new executives and new players the transfusion takes a lot longer. He may sort the defence out because that has been his forte but the success of ‘management by hand grenade’, as the former Swindon CEO, Nick Watkins, described Paolo Di Canio’s approach, is typically fleeting. The best young players in world football After five topsy-turvy seasons of decline, it is preposterous to think a turnaround could be achieved by Montella, a manager who has never qualified for the Champions League, and seemingly scattergun recruitment. It’s a long road back for the second most successful club in European history and establishing firm foundations with the investment would have seemed more logical than a dash for glory but perhaps with the loan the takeover vehicle required and its terms, it had to be that way. Prudence is rarely the seductive option but onfield it is likely to be Gattuso’s most effective approach and the 15,000 increase on average attendances from last season in the seven games so far is a positive sign amid the muddle. A goal against Bologna at San Siro on Sunday night would be an overdue step forward.

Allegri pleased with Juve display despite draw

Massimiliano Allegri was satisfied with Juventus' performance despite being held to a Serie A draw by Inter.

Allegri pleased with Juve display despite draw

Massimiliano Allegri was satisfied with Juventus' performance despite being held to a Serie A draw by Inter.

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Paulo Dybala in action REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi and Paulo Dybala in action with Inter Milan's Matias Vecino REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain (R) and team mates after the match REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti and Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri before the match REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini

Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan

Soccer Football - Serie A - Juventus vs Inter Milan - Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy - December 9, 2017 Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic reacts as Juventus’ Blaise Matuidi looks on REUTERS/Massimo Pinca

Inter draw Juve to remain unbeaten, on top of Serie A

Inter Milan's unbeaten start remains intact, and they're still top of the table.

Inter draw Juve to remain unbeaten, on top of Serie A

Inter Milan's unbeaten start remains intact, and they're still top of the table.

Inter draw Juve to remain unbeaten, on top of Serie A

Inter Milan's unbeaten start remains intact, and they're still top of the table.

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