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Manchester City won the first rivalry bout of the season, taking a 2-1 triumph at Old Trafford.

By The SI Staff
September 10, 2016

Following a summer of big spending and weeks of hype, the first blood in the Manchester derby belongs to Manchester City.

Pep Guardiola's side took a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford over Jose Mourinho's Manchester United, with Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho's first-half strikes holding up. Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled one back for Manchester United just before halftime, but it wasn't enough for the Red Devils, who fell for the first time this season. 

Both Manchester clubs put their perfect 3-0-0 records on the line coming off the international break and the clubs' summer additions also brought a new element to this derby, with Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Paul Pogba all getting the start for United, while Nolito, John Stones and just-added goalkeeper Claudio Bravo all started for City.

It was an already established City player, De Bruyne, who struck first in the 15th minute to hush the home crowd. Iheanacho, starting in place of the suspended Sergio Aguero, flicked on a header from Aleksandar Kolarov's long ball. De Bruyne put it around Daley Blind with an outstretched right foot to put himself in clear on goal, and he struck a low, right-footed blast from 18 yards by David de Gea to open the scoring:

De Bruyne had a hand in making it 2-0 in the 36th minute. He whipped a low shot in from the right, and it ricocheted off the right post. Iheanacho, who was onside when De Bruyne fired, had the ball land right at his foot while he was unmarked six yards out, and he simply put the rebound in to double City's lead, with United players all standing around and waiting for the offside flag that was never raised.

Ibrahimovic pulled back a vital goal for United just minutes before halftime to let the hosts claw back into the game. Bravo, with all eyes on him after Joe Hart's departure, came off his line to try to punch or catch a lofted free kick in his box, but all he could do was tap it right to Ibrahimovic. The Swedish striker happily took advantage and scored for the fourth time this Premier League season with an impressive right-footed, first-time volley from 15 yards out.

Bravo was fortunate not to gift United another scoring opportunity in the 56th minute, after his heavy touch in his own box forced him to scramble to recover. He slid, studs up, into an onrushing Wayne Rooney, but referee Mark Clattenburg did not give the penalty despite Manchester United's shouts.

United had another opportunity to equalize in the 71st minute, as halftime substitute Marcus Rashford latched onto a long ball and ran right at Stones. His chance from just inside the box beat Bravo, but it took a deflection off an offside Ibrahimovic, negating the goal.

Minutes later, City had a chance to restore its two-goal edge, with De Bruyne hitting the post again. He made a near-post run to meet substitute winger Leroy Sane's pass, and his first-time blast hit off the right post and rolled across the goal mouth without trickling in for City's third.

City held on for the win despite late United pressure, and both clubs now turn their attention to European competition this week.

Manchester City hosts Borussia Monchengladbach in the Champions League on Tuesday, while Manchester United travels to Feyenoord Thursday for a Europa League group match.

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