Rating the Manchester United Players in Thrilling Win over City
In front of a watching Tom Cruise, Manchester United delivered a Hollywood ending to beat their city rivals in a thrilling 3-2 win at the Etihad.
Two first-half goals from Wayne Rooney were overturned by Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta. But deep into injury time, a deflected Robin van Persie free kick sent the away support into delirium.
The priceless victory sends the team in red six points clear at the summit of the Premier League table.
Here are the complete player ratings on a scale of 1-10 for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.
David De Gea: 8
It was a fantastic game for David de Gea who was unlucky to concede two goals on the day.
The wiry shot-stopper made some stunning saves in the build-up to Yaya Toure's equaliser, and later made a Peter Schmeichel-esque save with his shoulder to prevent David Silva from scoring.
The Spanish keeper looked comfortable punching from corners and never let the ball slip out of his fingers when making diving stops—a worthy inclusion in the place of Anders Lindegaard.
Brazilian full-back Rafael had a quality, if unspectacular game Sunday afternoon.
It was his assist that provided Wayne Rooney with his second strike, sending in a terrific low cross for the forward to finish.
He perhaps struggled late on in the face of some overwhelming Manchester City pressure, but couldn't be faulted for either goal.
Jonny Evans: 7
Manchester United's injury woes reared their ugly head once again as Jonny Evans limped off early in the second half.
The Northern Irishman had been terrific up until that point, keeping the likes of Mario Balotelli and Sergio Aguero under wraps in now typical fashion.
If he is to miss a string of games, he will be sorely missed in a faltering back line.
Rio Ferdinand: 7
An improved display by Rio Ferdinand, whose experience at the back was given the nod over a benched Chris Smalling.
The veteran made several crucial interceptions during the game, but struggled to contain the tricky Sergio Aguero, who regularly got the better of him whenever one-on-one.
His game will be best remembered though for a late incident in which he was hit by a flying object thrown by an idiotic fan in the stands.
Patrice Evra: 8
Patrice Evra was mightily impressive during Sunday's derby and deserves praise for his contribution.
The Frenchman is far from being his side's most reliable defender, but against City his tackling and positioning was much improved from recent games.
He was also unlucky not to win a penalty having been tripped by Kolo Toure.
Antonio Valencia: 6
It was a frustrating return to the first team for Antonio Valencia, who often got himself into good positions, but failed to deliver a final product.
He combined well with Rafael on the right flank a couple of times in the first half, but drifted out of the game in the second.
The Ecuadorian winger can be forgiven for his rusty performance, though, considering his recent spell on the sidelines injured.
Michael Carrick: 7
This was quite possibly Michael Carrick's best performance of the season.
His understated impact on the game was mostly felt during the first half, when Manchester United dominated the midfield with him as the team's rudder.
Although it remains to be seen if he is the answer long term, against City he did his job in usual modest style and cannot really be faulted.
Tom Cleverley: 6
Tom Cleverley was not at his best Sunday, but was still a necessary component of the team alongside a deep-lying Michael Carrick.
Like Valencia, the Englishman was a surprise inclusion in the starting lineup, having thought to be a doubt for the game with a calf injury.
Cleverley has been at his best this season when operating in a three-man midfield, typically in the diamond formation.
Ashley Young: 7
Ashley Young provided an important width to the game for United at the Etihad, picked on the left flank for a side that needed him to deliver.
Although there were still the frustrating moments that he regularly provides, Young was one of the better players in a packed midfield.
The Englishman grabbed an assist for Rooney's first, and was unlucky not to score himself having been flagged for offside with the ball in the net.
Wayne Rooney: 9
Cometh the hour, cometh Wayne Rooney.
Manchester United's talisman and best player was mesmerizing yet again Sunday, scoring two and generally keeping his side ticking for most of the game.
He has been immense since making the move to attacking midfield, and somewhat frighteningly for future opposition, will only improve.
Robin Van Persie: 8
Robin van Persie keeps on breaking hearts.
This time it was the Manchester City faithful who had to look on helplessly as the Dutchman scored a late winner to give his new(ish) team a vital win.
If Manchester United paid £24 million for his services in the summer, his goal against the Blues was surely worth at least half that.
Chris Smalling: 7
Put under siege immediately after having come on, the young central defender nevertheless dealt with the wave of blue attacks well in the time given him.
Phil Jones: 7
The versatile Jones was rugged and uncompromising during his brief cameo Sunday, delighting the away support with some late manhandling of Carlos Tevez.
Danny Welbeck: 7
The forward had little time to impact the game, but still didn't put a foot wrong in the waning moments of the game. Brilliantly won the ball in the build-up to van Persie's winner.
How would you rate the United players against City? Who was your man of the match?