Manchester, England (SportsNetwork.com) – Sergio Aguero’s 63rd-minute goal was
enough to lift Manchester City to a 1-0 win over 10-man Manchester United on
Sunday at the Etihad Stadium.
A fairly even contest between the two rivals was turned on its head in the
39th minute when United defender Chris Smalling picked up a second yellow card
for a late challenge on City’s James Milner.
Aguero then provided the one moment of magic to separate the sides in the
second half, keeping City in third place and within six points of leaders
Smalling picked up his first booking on the half-hour mark when he blocked an
attempted clearance from City goalkeeper Joe Hart as the netminder tried to
punt the ball upfield.
And just nine minutes later, Smalling was off after he came in late on Milner
on the left wing with the City man trying to get into the penalty area.
The home side piled on the pressure after the break, and things got even worse
for United when defender Marcos Rojo had to be taken off the field on a
stretcher after attempting a sliding challenge and injuring his shoulder.
This left United with Michael Carrick and 19-year-old Paddy McNair in the
center of defense, and City took advantage in the 63rd as Gael Clichy got into
the area on the left and pulled the ball back for Aguero to turn home from 10
yards with a first-time shot.
United didn’t go quietly as Robin van Persie had a close-range effort kept out
from a tight angle by the leg of Hart, who produced an even better save on
Angel Di Maria a few minutes later.
But City was able to see out the rest of the game to claim their fourth
straight derby victory over United, the first time that has happened for 44
Sunday’s other match saw Tottenham rally for a 2-1 win at Aston Villa as Spurs
scored twice in the final six minutes.
Andreas Weimann fired Villa ahead in the 16th minute, but the home side was
reduced to 10 men in the 65th when Christian Benteke received a straight red
Nacer Chadli finally equalized in the 84th for Tottenham when he arrived at
the back post to score on a corner kick, while Harry Kane netted the winner in
the 90th minute as his free kick took a wicked deflection and found its way
past goalkeeper Brad Guzan.