Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both struck hat tricks as Manchester City sent another ominous warning to the rest of the Premier League with a 6-3 embarrassment of rivals Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
City quickly went to work as Erling Haaland headed wide but only as far as Kevin De Bruyne. However, the Belgian and Bernardo Silva were denied from close range as Scott McTominay and David de Gea made important blocks.
The visitors took the lead inside ten minutes when Foden made it 1-0. The England international started a move from the right and moved upfield unmarked to deflect Silva’s cross at the near post.
United were overwhelmed by City’s superior quality throughout the first half, managing just two shots on target through Christian Eriksen’s intrepid strike and Bruno Fernandes’ ambitious long-range strike, and Pep Guardiola’s side were quickly 3-0 up as Haaland began to assert himself.
The Norwegian giant netted twice in four minutes, with both assists coming from De Bruyne.
First he headed in from a corner, the ball going over the line despite Tyrell Malacia’s last-ditch effort, before the former Borussia Dortmund forward stretched De Bruyne’s cross at the back post.
Haaland turned provider as City made it 4-0 before half-time. It was Foden who grabbed his second as the hosts went deliberately wide, Haaland joining the 22-year-old to strike in similar fashion for the third strike.
City allowed United more of the ball early in the second half and that tactic cost them a goal as Antony reduced the arrears in spectacular fashion.
The Brazilian collected Eriksen’s cross-field pass and cut inside to fire a venomous strike from the outside into the bottom corner beyond the outstretched Ederson.
That strike didn’t matter though as Haaland converted substitute Sergio Gomez’s cross to make it 5-1 to become the first player to score a Premier League hat-trick in three consecutive home games.
United’s pain was compounded as City made it six, with Foden joining Haaland in the hat-trick club by finishing off his team-mate’s pass.
City let their dominant authority slip somewhat in the second half when a sloppy tackle from Ederson deflected into the path of substitute Antony Martial to pull another back. And when Joao Cancelo brought down the Frenchman down in the area and he headed into the top corner, United appeared to have salvaged some respect from the performance.
However, City’s superior quality was evident in regulation time and this 6-3 win moved them within a point of current Premier League leaders Arsenal. Man Utd are in sixth place.
Manchester City vs Manchester United – player ratings
1. Manchester City (4-3-3)
GK: Ederson – 5/10 – A few comfortable saves to make and was well beaten by Antony’s stirke. Saved Fred’s strike into Martial’s path for 6-2.
RB: Kyle Walker – 5/10 – Pulled up lame just before half time and had to be substituted.
CB: Manuel Akanji – 7/10 – Looked confident, stepping into midfield to make interceptions frequently, and kept United’s forward options quiet.
CB: Nathan Ake – 6/10 – Swept up well and was solid enough, but Ake obviously wasn’t the protagonist here.
LB: Joao Cancelo – 7/10 – Would have expected Cancelo to be among the goals and assists but his defensive work was more impressive. Did later give away a penalty.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne – 9/10 – Was afforded time and space by United’s midfielders. He made them pay, setting up Haaland twice.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 8/10 – Sat deeper in Rodri’s absence. Clipped the post with a curling free kick. Broke up play occasionally but didn’t need to be the authoritative defensive presence some might have expected.
CM: Bernardo Silva – 8/10 – Lovely ball across goal to set up Foden. Knitted play together nicely alongside City’s midfielders and attackers.
RW: Phil Foden – 10/10 – Started an attack on the right and finished it off by getting into the box to finish Silva’s pass. Another two goals showed his ruthless
ST: Erling Haaland – 10/10 – Initially quiet but came alive when required to finish off two De Bruyne assists. Got his hat trick in the second half and set up Foden for his. The guy is a cheat code and United simply had no answer.
LW: Jack Grealish – 7/10 – Got Dalot booked early on and made a few darting runs that threatened United’s backline with the space he was provided.
SUB: Sergio Gomez (41′ for Walker) – 6/10 – Allowed Antony a little too much time and space to shimmy and shoot for United’s goal. Set up Haaland for the fifth home goal.
SUB: Aymeric Laporte (75′ for Gundogan) – 5/10
SUB: Cole Palmer (75′ for Grealish) – 5/10 –
SUB: Riyad Mahrez (75′ for Foden) – 5/10 –
SUB: Julian Alvarez (75′ for De Bruyne) – 5/10
Manager: Pep Guardiola – 7/10 – Might have been worried without Rodri in midfield but his forward selection paid dividends. Won’t have been happy with conceding three in the second half.
2. Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
GK: David de Gea – 3/10 – Probably wondering how many more games he has to keep putting up with this.
RB: Diogo Dalot – 2/10 – Booked early on for a boot on Grealish. Grealish then enjoyed a nice day out, with Dalot unable to offer any of his recent attacking threat.
CB: Raphael Varane – 4/10 – Unable to hold off the swarms of attacks in front of him and suffered an injury in the first half, ending his afternoon prematurely.
CB: Lisandro Martinez – 2/10 – It doesn’t really matter how tall Martinez is. Like Varane, was overwhelmed and chasing shadows.
LB: Tyrell Malacia – 3/10 – Was played into trouble and had to bring down Foden and take a yellow card.
CM: Scott McTominay – 4/10 – A couple of good blocks in quick succession in the early stages. It’s tough to hack the opposition all game.
CM: Christian Eriksen – 4/10 – Lost Foden before the first goal. Struggled to match the dizzying runs of City’s midfield. Linked play a little better in the second half when United did get forward and provided the assist for Antony’s strike.
RW: Antony – 5/10 – Made no impact whatsoever until he struck home a beauty of a strike from distance.
AM: Bruno Fernandes – N/A – Got in some quality moaning. Got booked for dissent.
LW: Jadon Sancho – 2/10 – Couldn’t make the impact he did in the same fixture last season, when he netted.
ST: Marcus Rashford – 2/10 – Little to no impact up front and played a few of his teammates into trouble in bad areas.
SUB: Victor Lindelof (40′ for Varane) – 4/10 – “Yeah, cheers for bringing me on, gaffer!”
SUB: Luke Shaw (46′ for Malacia) – 5/10 – Kept the ball in play before Martial netted his first.
SUB: Anthony Martial (59′ for Rashford) – 7/10 – Took advantage of City’s slipping standards in the second half to head in first and fire home a penalty second.
SUB: Casemiro (59′ for McTominay) – 5/10
SUB: Fred (70′ for Sancho) – 5/10
Manager: Erik ten Hag – 2/10 – Was made to pay for playing Eriksen in deep midfield as City swarmed United’s box. Isn’t the only United manager to get smashed in a Manchester derby, but it will be a chastening experience.