And thanks to a wonder goal from Sergio Aguero, City left with the three points in hand and the confidence that they are capable of pushing their Red Devil opponents. What's more, they showed that they will no doubt be a force to be reckoned with in the title race next season as they chase United.
City were strong right across the park, and they deserved the result that they achieved on the night. But who were the real standout performers for Roberto Mancini's men?
Read on and find out player grades for every City player against United.
Joe Hart: 5/10
The England international wasn't asked to do a whole lot against Manchester United in the first half, with City's defense doing much of the work for him at the back.
He was caught out on Van Persie's free kick early in the second half, with his positioning and reluctancy to immediately go for the ball allowing Jones to get on the end of the free kick—Hart was left flailing for air three or four yards out from goal.
Pablo Zabaleta: 7.5/10
With much of the game played down City's left, Zabaleta wasn't asked to do a whole lot early in this one, but he was found to be wanting the first time that Ashley Young did get in space to run at him.
The Argentinian was very strong getting forward throughout the night—he caused constant problems for Untied out on the right flank with his pace dribbling forward and crossing ability.
Vincent Kompany: 7/10
Very strong at the back as usual from Kompany—particularly in the air. He didn't give away anything really, and he was unlucky to get credited with the own goal.
Matija Nastasic: 8.5/10
Seeming to slot very well into the City defensive unit, Nastasic again showed his form with a dominant performance on the night up against Robin van Persie.
Nastasic gave the Dutchman very little space to operate and was very good at shutting him down, as well as neutralizing the link-up play between he and Wayne Rooney in midfield—something not that many defenders have been able to do effectively this season.
Best of the defenders on the night.
Gaël Clichy: 7/10
Relatively quiet night on the left flank, despite much of City's attack being directed down that side. A couple of good runs and crosses failed to make much of an impact, and he gave far too much space to Danny Welbeck and Rafael Da Silva going forward.
The defender did make an excellent one-on-one tackle as the last man to deny Welbeck a clean run at Hart in the opening minutes, which could have changed this one dramatically.
Gareth Barry: 7/10
A relatively quiet first half saw him in great positions but without the ball.
His second half was mostly defined by capitalizing on a turnover from Ryan Giggs, where he was able to get forward and pick out City players in the middle. Ultimately, that would lead to James Milner's strike giving City the lead against the home side.
Yaya Toure: 7.5/10
Forced to do more defensive work than usual, but he was still very strong and physical in midfield. Toure shut down Rooney very well tracking back, and found his back superbly when going forward.
Samir Nasri: 6/10
Chimed in throughout the left on the night, but he could not find his mark with any of his crosses or link-up play throughout the night. Drifted in from the left at times to help out Tevez, but never quite found his space and role in the lineup with David Silva often filling his lanes.
James Milner: 8/10
James Milner just gets the job done and he did relatively the same again in this one. That was until his goal, anyway, where he completely changed the nature of the game—even if it did take a deflection, it was still a superb strike that deserved a goal.
Perhaps guilty of playing a little too high at times and not dropping back to help out Toure in defense, Milner still got through plenty of work at the back.
David Silva: 8/10
Played more as an attacking midfielder, Silva was very good at moving throughout the middle of the park and creating attacking opportunities as a result.
He struggled to really get going with Tevez at the top of the attack, but Silva still found good chances throughout the night and was never really bettered by any United defenders.
Carlos Tevez: 7/10
Tevez played as a lone striker and spent most of the night looking very frustrated at the top of the attack as Phil Jones covered him pretty well throughout this one.
Without a Sergio Aguero or Edin Dzeko to bounce off early, Tevez didn't have a lot of space and wasn't able to produce with his same effectiveness as a result.
Still capable of beating a man one-on-one and creating an attacking chance, which was seen throughout the night, but he was never really a huge threat.
Sergio Aguero: 9/10
Introduced for Samir Nasri after 70 minutes, Sergio Aguero left his mark on the game instantly—netting an absolute stunner of a goal to give City the three points. Aguero's mazy run beat four or five defenders and then he finished beautifully in the top corner of the net to seal the win.
Fantastic goal and one that City deserved to win because of.
Joleon Lescott: N/A
Introduced for David Silva with only a handful of minutes left.
Javi Garcia: N/A
Introduced for Carlos Tevez with only a handful of minutes left.
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