Manchester is blue! ... Dominant City go 11 points clear after derby delight

December 11, 2017
Manchester City's Nicolas Otamendi (centre) celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, England, yesterday. CIty won 2-1.

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Surely nothing can stop Manchester City now. The race for the Premier League title is turning into a procession after City beat fierce rivals Manchester United 2-1 yesterday, extending their lead to 11 points in a record-breaking start to the season.

This 14th straight victory for City is a record run in a single top-flight season. No team has ever had this many points - 46 - after 16 games in the Premier League. To put City's form into context, 46 points would have secured eighth place in the league last season.

It's only early December.

Pep Guardiola's team is doing it in style, too. Having already beaten Liverpool 5-0 and overwhelmed Chelsea in a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, City came to Old Trafford to play the other member of the current top four and had 65 percent possession and almost twice the number of shots.

For most of the first half and in the final stages of the second half, United were overrun in a stadium where they hadn't lost in any competition since September 2016 - against City, 41 home games ago.

Given their eye-catching style of play, the irony was that City's two goals couldn't have been scrappier. Both came from defensive mistakes from United striker Romelu Lukaku at set pieces, with David Silva (in the 43rd) and Nicolas Otamendi (in the 54th) the gleeful recipients with close-range finishes.

Marcus Rashford equalised in first-half injury time, also benefiting from a defensive mistake from Otamendi.

"I am happy because so many people say you cannot win in England playing like this," said Guardiola.

In the other neighbourly rivalry on derby day in the Premier League, Wayne Rooney converted a penalty to earn Everton a 1-1 draw at Merseyside rivals Liverpool. Arsenal scored in the 88th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw at Southampton in the day's other game.

Both fourth-place Liverpool and fifth-place Arsenal can only realistically think about second place now, which says a lot considering the Premier League hasn't even reached the busy festive period yet.

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