Man City 2 Man United 3: Heartbreak for Mancini as Van Persie's stoppage-time strike steals the points and sparks total chaos
20:05 GMT, 9 December 2012
Robin van Persie scored an injury-time winner to give Manchester United victory amid ugly scenes at the end of today's Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium.
Two goals down to a first-half Wayne Rooney double, Manchester City thought they had snatched a point when Pablo Zabaleta followed up Yaya Toure's strike by driving home five minutes from time.
But after Rafael had been fouled on the edge of the area, Van Persie's free-kick flicked off Samir Nasri before cannoning in off the far post.
As United celebrated, Rio Ferdinand was struck by an object which drew blood from a cut close to his eye.
Derby delight: Robin van Persie celebrates after his deflected free-kick snatched a win for Man United
Whip: Van Persie's free kick hit Samir Nasri in the City wall and swerved beyond Joe Hart
Incident: A City fan threw a coin at Rio Ferdinand which hit him, drawing blood
Confrontation: Hart tries to prevent this City fan reaching Ferdinand
Man City: Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany (K Toure 21), Nastasic, Clichy, Silva, Y Toure (Dzeko 84), Barry, Nasri, Aguero, Balotelli (Tevez 52).
Subs not used: Pantilimon, Maicon, Lescott, Javi Garcia.
Booked: Nasri, Y Toure, Tevez.
Goals: Y Toure 60, Zabaleta 86.
Man Utd: De Gea, Da Silva, Ferdinand, Evans (Smalling 58), Evra, Valencia (Jones 84), Carrick, Cleverley (Welbeck 87), Young, Rooney, van Persie.
Subs not used: Johnstone, Giggs, Hernandez, Scholes.
Booked: Ferdinand, Rooney, Jones.
Goals: Rooney 16, 29, Van Persie 90.
Ref: Martin Atkinson (W Yorkshire).
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A supporter then ran onto the pitch and had to be restrained by Joe Hart before being carted away by stewards.
Sir Alex Ferguson then seemed to
exchange words with former United striker Carlos Tevez before referee
Martin Atkinson brought an end to a breathless afternoon.
Rooney's brace saw him jump to the top
of United's scoring charts in Manchester derbies, his 10 goals taking
him one clear of Sir Bobby Charlton.
United's defensive frailties have been
obvious to everyone this term, so it came as something of a shock that
City's rearguard was the topic of conversation at half-time.
Dominant during the opening 15
minutes, the Blues were caught cold by the visitors' first attack,
started deep in their own half by Patrice Evra.
Van Persie cushioned a delightful
return pass from Ashley Young's flicked header, allowing the winger to
drive over halfway and drill a low cross to the edge of the area for
Rooney, who controlled it expertly.
Mix of emotions: Man United celebrate but Ferdinand holds his head after being hit by a coin and blue smoke from a flare fills the background
Premature: Pablo Zabaleta's strike seemed to have earned City a draw
Here we go: Wayne Rooney opened proceedings with a sidefooted finish which wrong-footed Joe Hart
Fine start: Rooney celebrates with his team-mates after getting the derby off to a cracking beginning
Surrounded by three City defenders,
Rooney took the ball to his left before cutting a shot back to the near
post that Hart had no chance of keeping out.
City's concerns grew when Vincent
Kompany was replaced by Kolo Toure, bringing additional uncertainty to a
defence which conceded a second a short time later.
This time the surge came from the
right wing as Antonio Valencia found an overlapping Rafael with a
perfectly-weighted pass which the Brazilian crossed into the danger
Rooney, who had been allowed to gallop
unopposed from his initial pass, could not believe the space on offer
which allowed him to tuck his first-time shot beyond Hart, allowing him
to become the sixth player – and the youngest – to score 150 Premier
There was a conviction about United's play that was missing from City's.
Swap: City skipper Vincent Kompany had to be withdrawn for Kolo Toure
Double up: Rooney strikes the second goal to increase United's lead
Mario Balotelli, preferred up front to
Carlos Tevez, was the subject of his manager's ire, yet Sergio Aguero
was the one who had failed to control the Italian's through-ball when
the scores were still level.
Aguero was also the player who took on
the entire Red Devils defence single handedly and squeezed a shot
towards the corner which David de Gea did well to keep out.
After wasting possession once too
often, Balotelli was replaced by Tevez, the Italian heading straight
down the tunnel, although not before fixing Mancini with an icy stare.
Ashley Young then had a goal
incorrectly ruled out for offside when he tucked home the rebound from a
Van Persie shot that had cannoned back off a post, and United were
still digesting their disappointment as City countered to pull a goal
Pure delight: The England striker wheels away in celebration
Away day party: United were 2-0 up and flying with City misfiring
De Gea produced brilliant saves to
deny Tevez and David Silva, but he was unable to keep out a third strike
on goal from Yaya Toure, who calmly rolled Tevez's cut-back into the
It was the goal that lit the
touchpaper for a thrilling finale, with tackles flying in from both
sides as referee Atkinson desperately tried to keep control.
Van Persie headed Cleverley's cross
over before De Gea somehow kept Silva's shot out at the other end when
it flicked off his shoulder and onto the crossbar.
Disappointment: David Silva found it hard to make an impact in the first half
Struggle: Mario Balotelli challenges David de Gea but could not trouble him
Change of tack: Roberto Mancini hooked the striker early in the second half and Balotelli stormed off
City had the momentum though and when
Tevez's corner was half-cleared into Zabaleta's path, the Argentinian
thrashed home a ferocious shot through a crowded penalty area.
There was one final twist to come,
though, as Van Persie stepped up to end City's 37-match unbeaten run on
home soil to send United six points clear at the top.
Back in business: Yaya Toure celebrates after his strike gave City hope
Starting point: Yaya Toue wraps his shot past De Gea's arm and into the far corner
Battle of wits: Mancini and Sir Alex Ferguson were both chasing the points
Twist in the tale: Zabaleta celebrates after his 86th minute goal… but he did not know what was to follow
Watching on: England boss Roy Hodgson and Stuart Pearce were in attendance
Cruising: Hollywood star Tom Cruise made it to the Etihad
Laughing matter: Actors Robert Duvall (left) and Cruise chat to Sky reporter Geoff Shreeves