Manchester City recorded their third consecutive victory over Manchester United with a comfortable 3-0 win at Old Trafford. It was a performance that further demonstrated the growing gulf between the two sides as David Moyes' United tenure goes from bad to worse.
United have gone from a side that won the title by 11 points last May to one languishing in seventh place, having lost 10 of its 31 matches this season. It's an appalling record and one that brings into question Moyes' suitability for the job.
Much like their recent 3-0 defeat to Liverpool—a result that saw large sections of their support finally lose patience with their manager—it was the ease with which the away side won that was most remarkable.
Insane that Arsenal are the only team in the top nine Manchester United have beaten at home this season. P8, W1, D2, L5.— James Maw (@JamesMawFFT) March 25, 2014
Right from the off, City were more inventive and moved the ball quicker than United, and Edin Dzeko scored inside a minute from close range after Samir Nasri had hit the post.
Dzeko brought a good save from David de Gea later in the half, as City's dominance over their rivals was laid bare once more. Their pace and power was proving too much for United, as time and again they tore the home side apart with their passing and movement.
Silva was central to everything City did, leaving many in the away end agreeing the Spaniard is the finest player ever to pull on a Blues shirt.
It could have been worse for United when Marouane Fellaini somehow avoided a red card for an elbow on Pablo Zabaleta right in front of referee Michael Oliver. Quite how he stayed on the field after such a blatant and reckless foul was a mystery to almost every observer.
Dzeko scored his second of the night not long after the restart with a wonderful first-time finish after losing Rio Ferdinand at a corner. The Bosnian's double capped his best performance of the season, full of running and exceptional holdup play that brought City's willing runners from midfield into the game.
And Yaya Toure, fresh from his hat-trick at the weekend in a win over Fulham, added a third with consummate ease, indicative of his side's performance on a memorable night for the away supporters.
City are now just three points behind leaders Chelsea with two games in hand and travel to Arsenal on Saturday in fine form. In the most exciting title race for some time, it's arguably City who look the strongest at this stage.
Pellegrini's rotation policy appears to be bearing fruit right at the stage of the season they need it to. With Sergio Aguero set to return, the signs are ominous for their title rivals.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.