Premier League: Rampant United dent City title defence and Pellegrini prospects

Frank Dalleres
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Ashley Young

MANCHESTER City manager Manuel Pellegrini accepted blame but refused to discuss the growing threat of dismissal after suffering an emphatic derby defeat to resurgent Manchester United yesterday.

Faltering Premier League champions City took the lead through Sergio Aguero but were soon overrun by rampant United, shipping goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling. The win kept United one point behind second-placed Arsenal and boosted their European qualification hopes, while City, who have lost six in eight games, lie four points behind in fourth.

“I always think it is my responsibility – always,” said Pellegrini, who is facing a barren second season in charge. “I am not talking about my position. It is not important.”

United manager Louis van Gaal hailed his best day in charge, having recovered from a shaky start to his tenure to climb the table with six consecutive league wins.

“This afternoon is maybe the best feeling,” he said. “I can go to Mr Wing’s [restaurant] tonight, because you can do that when you win. When you lose, the fans say what is Mr Louis doing because he loses and goes to the best restaurant.”

Two simple Aguero finishes bookended a contest dominated by United, which they squared when Young swept home from close range while falling over, having seen an initial shot blocked. He then crossed for Fellaini to head home at the back post and after half-time Wayne Rooney released Mata to nutmeg Joe Hart, before Young delivered a free-kick for the unmarked Smalling.

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