Manchester City clinched a record 14th consecutive top-flight victory in the sweetest possible manner with a 2-1 win over rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi scored the goals as Pep Guardiola’s men opened up an ominous 11-point lead at the top of the Premier League with victory in the 175th Manchester derby.
Marcus Rashford had punished a defensive lapse from Otamendi and Fabian Delph in first-half stoppage-time, but United were unable to find a second as a stunning double save from Ederson denied Romelu Lukaku and Juan Mata from snatching a point.
United’s third defeat of the season brings their 40-match unbeaten home run to an end while strengthening City’s grip on the title after just 16 matches.
With an eight-point gap to bridge ahead of kick-off, the emphasis was on United to go after their neighbours, but the hosts spent the majority of the first half chasing a slick City side on the trail of a record 14th consecutive top-flight victory.
Tame efforts from Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and a deflected Silva effort drew David de Gea into comfortable saves, but City remained dominant against an anxious United outfit who rarely ventured out of their own half.
De Gea had to be alert to tip Leroy Sane’s near-post drive over on 42 minutes but, from the resulting corner, his defences were breached as Silva hooked the ball home from six yards after Lukaku failed to clear Kevin De Bruyne’s delivery.
Anthony Martial registered their first attempt on goal a minute later before a defensive lapse from Otamendi and Delph allowed Rashford to undo City’s hard work with a welcomed equaliser for the hosts.
United returned after the interval buoyant as their front four grew into the game, but City restored their lead within nine minutes as Lukaku’s poor clearance struck Chris Smalling and fell for Otamendi, who found the net for the second game running.
Jesse Lingard threaded Lukaku through on goal on 66 minutes but the Belgian failed to atone for his error as he fired over. His compatriot, De Bruyne, meanwhile did find the target two minutes later, but De Gea produced a fine save low to his right.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic entered the fray on 79 minutes and United pushed for an equaliser, but two point-blank saves from City stopper Ederson clinched a potentially defining victory in the race for the title.