Marking their return from the international break on Sunday afternoon, Manchester City put on a real masterclass as they picked up a thumping 6-3 romp against Manchester United at the Etihad.
Looking to keep up pace with Arsenal after the Gunners claimed their own derby day victory on Saturday lunchtime, the defending Premier League champions put on a real clinic here.
Heading into the half-time break with a stunning 4-0 lead and with both Erling Haaland and Phil Foden bagging their own hat-tricks, Pep Guardiola’s superstars underlined why many have tipped them as a landslide pick to defend their crown this season.
While Manchester United might have mounted somewhat of a second-half charge as Antony’s wonderstrike and Anthony Martial’s late brace brought some respect to the scoreline, Erik ten Hag’s side certainly came crashing back down to earth.
Watching their four-match Premier League winning run come to a nightmare end on Sunday afternoon, we have taken a look at the main talking points following City’s free-scoring statement at the Etihad.
Another game and another record broken for Haaland
Once again finding the net while away on international duties of Norway, it almost felt inevitable that Haaland would extend on his remarkable free-scoring run here.
While the ex-Borussia Dortmund icon might have made his first appearance in a Manchester derby on Sunday afternoon, the 22-year-old has only continued on a historic record-breaking run since arriving in the Premier League.
Further cementing his spot as one of world football’s most lethal number nines, Haaland has now notched a staggering 14 top-flight strikes in just his eight outings and is averaging a domestic strike every 48 minutes.
In fact, along with bagging consecutive hat-tricks against Nottingham Forest and Crystal Palace prior to the international break, Haaland’s trio of strikes here means that he is now the first player in Premier League history to bag three straight hat-tricks on home soil.
Appearing to breeze his way to this season’s Golden Boot and spearheading a City side that have their sights set on making real history this season, the one-time Salzburg starlet has undoubtedly staked his claim as this summer’s signing of the season.
With 17 goals in his first 10 appearances for City across all competitions, can anyone from across Europe find a solution for a record-break Haaland?
Foden proves that City are not a one-man team
While it might be Haaland who once again steals most of the headlines after City’s new attacking icon broke more Premier League records, Foden had his own afternoon to remember here.
Opening the scoring with just eight minutes on the clock and sending the Etihad into overdrive, Guardiola was filled with praise for the England international after he bagged his first City hat-trick.
Enjoying what will be remembered as one of his most memorable afternoons in a Sky Blue shirt, City’s homegrown superstar also underlined why Guardiola’s side are more than a one-man team this season.
Forming what has been a blossoming relationship with Haaland and causing United’s leaky defence a string of questions, Foden had remarkably failed to find the net against United prior to Sunday’s showdown.
However, now sat on 51 goals for the defending Premier League champions following his famous hat-trick here, Foden has continued to impress since making a slow start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Finding the net as Guardiola’s side picked up a routine 3-0 victory away at Wolves before heading into September’s international break, the reigning PFA Young Player of the Year has also now bagged more than double the nine goals that he recorded throughout the whole of last season.
United show they’re miles off their neighbours
Opening the 2022/23 campaign in the midst of a nightmare run of form and with a huge amount of discontent around Old Trafford, Manchester United appeared to have put those issues behind them prior to September’s international break.
Heading into the fortnight break enjoying a four-match winning run and the mood in their camp appearing to be on the rise, there is no doubt that ten Hag’s squad came crashing back down to earth here.
While last month’s eye-catching bounce was underlined by a 3-1 victory against Arsenal on September 4th, the ex-Ajax boss saw his side fail to find any stability as they were blown away by their bitter local rivals after a nightmare display at the Etihad.
Although Martial and Antony might have brought some respect to the scoreline after their second-half flurry, United once again demonstrated why the English giants are still a million miles off mounting a genuine title charge.
Getting hit for six and still showing some rather glaring issues at the back, ten Hag must prove that this was a minor blip for his squad and not the beginning of another public slump.
The Red Devils will be next seen on Thursday night when they make the trip to Cypriot side Omonia on Europa League duties.
Manchester City: Ederson, Walker, Akanji, Ake, Cancelo, De Bruyne, Gundogan, Silva, Foden, Haaland, Grealish
Subs: Gomez, Alvarez, Laporte, Mahrez, Palmer
Manchester United: De Gea, Dalot, Varane, Martinez, Malacia, McTominay, Eriksen, Antony, Fernandes, Sancho, Rashford
Subs: Lindelof, Martial, Shaw, Casemiro, Fred
Goals: Manchester City: Foden (8′, 44′, 64′), Haaland (34′, 37′, 64′) – Manchester United: Antony (56′), Martial (84′, 90’+1 pen)
Yellow Cards: Dalot, Malacia, Fernandes
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Michael Oliver
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