Manchester City’s 21-game winning run was ended by their bitter rivals as Manchester United secured a deserved 2-0 victory at the Etihad.
The match got off to a lightning start as United were awarded a penalty after just 34 seconds when Gabriel Jesus clumsily tripped Anthony Martial in the box.
And Bruno Fernandes stuck away the resulting spot-kick to give his side the perfect start.
Luke Shaw was the unlikely hero as he doubled the lead shortly after half-time with a low left-footed finish to stun City.
Phil Foden and Raheem Sterling missed big chances to reply for the hosts, and United held on to move 11 points behind the Premier League leaders.
Here are five talking points from Sunday’s entertaining clash…
Man Utd make big statement
It may have come too late to make a difference in the title race, but there is no doubting this was a massive victory for United.
After a number of dull, overly conservative encounters against their ‘Big Six’ rivals this season, United’s pacey counter-attacking put City to the sword this afternoon as they showed just what they can do.
And if anything is to give Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side confidence going forward, ending their bitter enemy’s stunning winning run in their own back yard will do it.
This win will give United belief that on their day they can beat anyone, and if anything may leave them regretting not showing such ambition in some other encounters this season.
If they had done, the title race could have been well and truly alive right now.
Maybe next season…
Super Shaw’s renaissance continues
Has a player ever improved as much in such a short space of time as Shaw?
The United left-back looked in danger of becoming one of those who would never truly fulfilled their talent at one stage in the not-too-distant past.
But along with Fernandes he has been comfortably United’s best player this season, and put in another wonderful display this afternoon.
As well as nullifying City’s threat, he also showed his attacking ability himself, and was rewarded for a brilliant run with a goal at a crucial time after his fine strike beat Ederson shortly after half-time.
After his struggles under the likes of Jose Mourinho, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who would begrudge Shaw his current success, and here’s hoping it carries on for England at the European Championships.
Henderson takes full advantage of opportunity
With David de Gea on paternity leave, Dean Henderson was given a huge chance to make a big statement in the battle for the United No.1 jersey.
After keeping a clean sheet in his last four appearances in a row, the England shot-stopper was once again superb today, oozing confidence to his back four and calmly dealing with everything thrown at him by City.
De Gea is expected to be absent for a while longer, but the way things are going Solskjaer would be a fool to recall him to the starting 11, with Henderson barely putting a foot wrong every time he has been called upon this season.
And if he continues to shine in the next few weeks, it could be a long way back for De Gea.
City’s odd display
This was nothing like the ruthless, relentless City we have got used to for the last few months.
As good as United were, Pep Guardiola’s side just didn’t look at it, and never seemed to recover from the Red Devils’ stunning start.
After such a remarkable run of victories it is difficult to criticise City too much, and they should still win the league comfortably.
But it will be intriguing to see if this plants any seeds of doubt in the team as they chase an unprecedented quadruple.
Most, however, would simply write it off as one of those days, and you fear for Southampton’s defence when City are next in action on Wednesday as they look to unleash their fury.
De Bruyne human after all
We have waxed lyrical about Kevin De Bruyne and his sensational performances for City on numerous occasions recently.
This afternoon he suffered a rare off day, however, to show that even the very best can stink the place out now and again.
Time and time again the Belgian playmaker’s attempted passes went astray, and he seemed to give the ball away much more often than doing anything useful with it.
De Bruyne is still regaining full fitness after an injury layoff, and has not yet hit his stride again since returning.
And while City have more than enough quality to cope with his loss of form, it is still an unusual sight to see De Bruyne playing quite so poorly.