City’s 2-1 win over United was certainly not short on incident.
1 Best derby ever?
The 6-1 will take some beating and the 1-0 at the Etihad carried great significance but in terms of sheer nerve-shredding drama, this derby might just have been the best of recent times.
City were devastating for the first 40 minutes, producing one of the most blistering starts to a game the Premier League has seen, moving the ball from back to front with incision and speed and winning it back in packs lightning fast.
It’s rare that a game of this magnitude lives up to the hype but there’s no question this one delivered as Pep Guardiola’s side showed the quality and the grit to win at Old Trafford for the first time since March 2014.
It was by turns agonizing, enthralling and downright thrilling – the sight of the two teams like punch-drunk fighters at the end, stumbling on the canvas looking for the knockout blow was testament to just how much both sides had put into an intoxicating 172nd Manchester derby.
Roll on February 25 for Round 2!
2 Players to come in
City's performance was mightily impressive, even more so when you consider who is to come back into the squad.
Skipper Vincent Kompany and central midfielder Ilkay Gundogan are nearing full fitness, while striker Sergio Aguero will be available for selection against Borussia Monchengladbach on Tuesday in the Champions League.
Boss Pep Guardiola will have a serious selection headache when his full squad is fit!
3 Righting a wrong...
We were unable to score in a Manchester derby last season, so the City players involved in those games will feel as though they owed their rivals one here.
They certainly played like they wanted to set the record straight, bursting out of the blocks and playing a suffocating brand of football that looked like a nightmare to be on the receiving end of.
United have now lost four of their last six home meetings with City.
4 Physical challenge
Much was made of United's physical presence ahead of the game but City's stars weathered the Reds' late storm admirably.
Teeth were lost, blood was spilt but victory was secured thanks to a wonderful combination of first-half silk and second-half steel.
Otamendi won 100% of his tackles, had a 91% pass accuracy, made eight clearances, six interceptions and won four aerial duels.
5 The kid strikes again
Kelechi Iheanacho may well have given the most endearing post-match interview we’ve ever seen following his match-winning contribution at Old Trafford.
The youngster laughed when he was reminded that he walked in the wrong direction after getting off the team bus before the game but he certainly knew where the goal was when the ball fell to him in the 36th minute.
Kelechi admitted that he hadn’t expected De Bruyne’s shot to fall to him but he showed none of this surprise when he instinctively clipped the ball past David De Gea.
In doing so, Iheanacho became the youngest City player to score in a Premier League derby and scored his ninth Premier League strike from his 13th shot on target.
Some strike rate…
6 Three points
Take away the fact the game was a derby, and the heart-stopping way in which it was won, and you are left with a pleasing fact.
City won three points, against a team close to them at the top of the Premier League table, away from home.
Nobody knows how much the victory will count for in the final analysis but City have stolen an early march on United.
7 Man of the Match
He gave City the lead and played a decisive role in the match-clinching second but there was more to Kevin De Bruyne’s performance than goals.
The Belgian was the standout player on the field throughout this 2-1 win, creating space for his teammates, making driving runs at the United back four and laying on chance after chance for his colleagues.
His numbers make for impressive reading too… with his 73 touches, KDB created six opportunities, took six shots, and produced seven crosses.
What a player!
City have little time to revel in derby victory with the Champions League Group C opener against Borussia Monchengladbach looming on Tuesday evening.
This is where City's squad depth should prove so crucial, with Guardiola able to rotate his first XI should he deem it necessary.
The Catalan boss certainly has momentum - his 100%, six-win start is the most successful ever for a new Blues manager. Fans will be hoping six turns to seven in double quick time!