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MAN UTD 1-2 MAN CITY: GUARDIOLA CLAIMS DERBY GLORY AS BRAVO BAFFLES Dom Farrell

The Citizens maintained their perfect start
to the season as first-half goals from
Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi Iheanacho
put Jose Mourinho's Red Devils to the
sword at Old Trafford
Manchester City's early brilliance allowed
them to ride out a shambolic debut from
goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and claim a
breathless 2-1 derby win over Manchester
United at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola looked set to dish out a
comprehensive beating to his old
adversary Jose Mourinho in the United
dugout as Kevin De Bruyne and Kelechi
Iheanacho – in for suspended top scorer
Sergio Aguero – put City into a two-goal
lead.
But Bravo, starting after his move from
Barcelona hastened crowd favourite Joe
Hart through the Etihad Stadium exit
door, erred as Zlatan Ibrahimovic reduced
the arrears with his fourth Premier
League goal of the season.
Further bizarre decision making from the
33-year-old looked United's easiest route
to a draw and he prompted more last-
ditch defending in stoppage time before
City were able to take the local bragging
rights and look down on their neighbours
from the top of the table.
Paul Pogba flashed a 25-yard strike over
in the seventh minute following neat
interplay from Wayne Rooney and full
debutant Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but
United's forward talents were forced to
feed off scraps as City's sharp passing
pinned the hosts back.
Guardiola's men were good value for their
15th-minute opener, although it arrived
in unexpectedly direct circumstances.
Bravo, making his City bow in goal,
stroked a pass out to left-back Aleksandar
Kolarov, who pumped a long ball towards
Iheanacho as United held their ground.
The Nigeria international won the flick on
and De Bruyne streamed clear, away from
a switched-off Daley Blind to slot past
David de Gea.
City continued to mercilessly hog
possession and Blind's game went from
bad to worse nine minutes before half-
time, inadvertently playing Iheanacho
onside to convert when De Bruyne's left-
footed shot thudded back off the base of
the post.
But United were offered a lifeline when
Bravo horribly fumbled a free-kick from
deep and Ibrahimovic rifled home.
More haphazard decision making from
Bravo meant John Stones was forced to
clear off the line in stoppage time, giving
further encouragement to Mourinho at
the end of what proved an often
chastening half for United.
The United boss sent on Marcus Rashford
and Ander Herrera for Mkhitaryan and
Jesse Lingard at the break, and his
revamped attack began the second half on
the front foot, with Ibrahimovic blazing
over under pressure from Kolarov.
Guardiola responded by adding steel to his
midfield in the form of Fernando as
Iheanacho made way. City's earlier
fluency was providing elusive, with
Bravo's continually erratic showing doing
little for their collective composure.
Chile's number one crafted an old-
fashioned derby day 50-50 challenge in
his own area following a dreadful touch,
crunching into Rooney and playing the
ball via equal means of luck and
judgement.
Bravo allowed a shot from the menacing
Rashford to slip past him, but Ibrahimovic
being stationed in an offside position
spared him.
There was more pleasing goalkeeping at
the other end when De Gea got down
sharply to thwart Fernandinho from a De
Bruyne corner in the 71st minute.
In De Bruyne, City had one man whose
first-half level had not waned and the
Belgium star collected a pass from
substitute Leroy Sane to spin a shot off
the inside of De Gea's near post and
agonisingly across the goalline.
The breathing space Guardiola's team
appeared to need was never close to
arriving, but they hung on to retain their
100 per cent record at the expense of
United's to land a first telling blow in
what promises to be a pulsating title race.

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