Chris Smalling’s sending off changed the game as a Sergio Aguero goal was enough to secure a win for Manchester City in the Manchester derby.
Two needless challenges from Smalling saw a dominant opening to the match for United disintegrate although City goalkeeper Joe Hart could have got into trouble when he confronted referee Michael Oliver, appearing to nudge heads with the official.
Oliver didn’t have his best game with City missing the chance to secure a potential first-half lead after they had two penalty appeals turned down, with the second likely to have seen Marcos Rojo also sent off for United had Oliver pointed to the penalty spot.
United worked hard throughout the game with Angel Di Maria going close in the second half but their frustrations were confounded when Rojo was stretchered off with what appeared to be a dislocated should injury.
City controlled the game thanks to their numerical advantage as they keep the pressure up on Chelsea at the top of the Premier League.