In yet another massive game, Manchester United have chosen to start by sitting back, and it's paid off with a couple of impressive counter-attacking goals. While their first had a bit more to do with an error by Joe Hart than the Red Devils' brilliance, the second was an excellent one, and they've very much earned a 2-0 halftime lead over Manchester City.
The home side dominated possession in the early going and looked like the much more likely side to score in the first 15 minutes. Mario Balotelli had the half's first chance after five minutes with a direct free kick that was saved by David De Gea, and the Italian had another excellent chance in the 11th minute that he skied well over the crossbar.
United went ahead in the 16th minute on a counter started by David De Gea, who replaced Anders Lindegaard in net for this match. His throw out to Antonio Valencia caught City a bit off guard, and United eventually worked the ball to Ashley Young. He found Wayne Rooney, who mishit an effort from 12 yards. Fortunately for him, his mishit took the ball right to the far post, and Hart was left stunned. He stood still and watched as the ball slowly dribbled into the net, putting the Red Devils up.
Things quickly got worse for City. Vincent Kompany had to come off injured in the 21st minute, and was replaced by Kolo Toure. Though City's new central defender was not at fault for Rooney's second, it's not hard to let one's mind drift to whether or not Kompany would have closed down Rooney on a 28th minute cross by Rafael, which Toure was slow to do. Rooney's finish was a confident one, and Roberto Mancini has a lot of work to do in the locker room to get his side back in the game.