Manchester City are in pole position to lift their first league title in 44 years after a deserved 1-0 victory over neighbours Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium on Monday.
A header in first-half stoppage time from Vincent Kompany gave City the win that puts them top on goal difference with just two games remaining – this after trailing United only three weeks ago by an eight point margin.
Here are our player ratings from the game:
Joe Hart – 6/10
After a nervy punch early on the goalkeeper was allowed to settle into the game, he then spent the game largely at ease after United failed to hit target with a single shot. He did make a vital clearance from the head of Rooney just after half time from a corner but wasn’t tested sufficiently.
Pablo Zabaleta – 8/10
Selected ahead of Micah Richards at right-back, the Argentinean was one of the stand-out players for City often exposing United’s left flank as he bombarded forward in support of Nasri. Defensively he was also impressive with very few United attacks leading to anything from his side.
Vincent Kompany – 7/10
A real captains performance from the Belgian who recovered from an early booking after a challenge on Wayne Rooney to forcefully head the eventual winner for City.
Joleon Lescott – 6/10
Defensively he was solid enough throughout the game with his work largely going unnoticed next to his impressive defensive colleagues.
Gael Clichy – 7/10
Caused United problems throughout with his attacking forays forward delivering testing crosses and also had two efforts at goal blocked and saved respectively. Rarely troubled defensively at any stage.
Gareth Barry – 6/10
His usual efficiency saw him through the game sat in front of City’s defence, nothing spectacular was needed from him in a tidy performance from the anchorman.
Yaya Toure – 7/10
Used to try and stop Scholes influencing the game, the powerful Ivorian was more successful in controlling the hosts’ attacks instead – Cautioned.
David Silva – 6/10
Assisted his sides’ goal with a pin-point delivery from the corner which led to the goal, other than this he was quiet throughout.
Samir Nasri – 8/10
The Frenchmen was a candidate for man-of-the-match after his performance during the game. Causing United all types of problems he was a constant threat to Evra whom he often glided past. Possibly should have sealed the victory late on for City after a mazy run should have resulted in an earlier shout.
Carlos Tevez – 5/10
Disappointing against his former employers, he never really featured in the game at any stage bar an effort which he blazed over the bar early on.
Sergio Aguero – 6/10
Endured a frustrating night where he was well marshalled by Rio Ferdinand. When he did get glimpses of the goal he was unusually wasteful in a game where he was watched by father in law, Diego Maradona.
David De Gea – 6/10
The Spaniard could do very little about the goal his side conceded in a game where he was largely well protected by his defence. He made a smart save late on when he dived down well to save an effort from Clichy.
Phil Jones – 5/10
Often caught out defensively on the right he was also very poor going forward for United. His night was summed up with a woefully over hit cross late on. He was also booked for a mistimed tackle on Barry.
Rio Ferdinand – 7/10
One of the very few players for United who could come off the pitch knowing full well they did their job on the night. He kept Aguero at bay terrifically all night and worked well with Smalling throughout.
Chris Smalling – 6/10
At fault for the crucial goal just before half time, the centre-half actually enjoyed a good partnership with Ferdinand through the game.
Patrice Evra – 4/10
Struggled to deal with Nasri all game, his lack of positional sense and poor defensive work meant he had to be covered by his team mates for the majority of the game – somewhat of a liability.
Michael Carrick – 7/10
Along with Ferdinand he was one of very few United players who played to anything like their potential. Kept possession well for United and tracked back to help defensively throughout the night – mainly covering for Evra and Jones.
Paul Scholes – 6/10
It wasn’t the best of nights for the veteran who was fortunate not to get booked early. However he did keep possession well for his side who struggled to give him any options in the final third to pick out.
Nani – 5/10
Wasted whatever chance he was given on the ball with sloppy first touches and poor decision making. Completely ineffective against Clichy.
Ryan Giggs – 5/10
Spent much of the game tracking Zabaleta which meant he was quiet in an attacking sense all night bar the delivery of one or two set-pieces.
Park Ji Sung – 4/10
Trusted again in the big games by Sir Alex, the Korean started brightly in breaking up City’s play from the back. Soon after he completely faded out of the game and offered United nothing in any attacking or defensive capacity before being substituted.
Wayne Rooney – 5/10
Used as a lone striker he soon became isolated and became frustrated with the lack of any meaningful service.