Well that was a thing. Manchester United hosted Manchester City at Old Trafford, and, one suspects, everyone was expecting a closely fought game, perhaps a draw. And that's kind of what we got. Only the score finished 6-1 in favour of Manchester City after goals from Mario Balotelli, Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Darren Fletcher, Edin Dzeko, David Silva and Edin Dzeko. Find me someone who was predicting a five-goal margin of victory and I'll find you someone who regrets not putting money on it.
Anyway, the first half gave us little indication of the drama that was to come. United were in control of the game but couldn't do much against City's defence, which was keeping them out admirably, but the visitors were barely able to touch the ball and when Balotelli's opener came, it was very much against the run of play. James Milner scampered down the right and then cut the ball back to the top of the box. Balotelli lay in wait, and stroked a first-time shot past a helpless David de Gea to make it 1-0.
That's how it would stay through halftime, but Johnny Evans was clearly bored of a tight match and decided to go ahead and get himself sent off immediately after the restart when he denied Balotelli a clear goalscoring opportunity with a foul at the top of the box. It didn't take long before City struck again, with Milner again providing Balotelli an assist, driving a low cross across the face of goal after some fine work by David Silva to set the Italian up for his second.
United's defending was appalling after the red card (and it wasn't great before Evans was sent off either) and it didn't come as much of a surprise when the third arrived through Sergio Aguero after Micah Richards found himself in space down the right. The right back slid the ball across the top of the six yard box, and Aguero slammed home. By this point, David de Gea was having a distinctly bad day.
It only got slightly better when he saved from substitute Edin Dzeko, and when Darren Fletcher made it 3-1 late on (with a fantastic long range goal, it must be said) things weren't looking too calamitous. And then, disaster. The defence went to sleep on a free kick, allowing both Joleon Lescott and Dzeko free reign at the back post. The ball eventually went in off Dzeko's knee. City weren't finished at 4-1, though, netting twice in stoppage time through David Silva and then Dzeko again, both racing clear of a flagging United back line to clip past de Gea, who's probably feeling pretty annoyed right now.
Sir Alex Ferguson is probably even more annoyed. City go five points clear at the top of the table with a legendary win, and they've now scored more goals this season than they managed in the 06/07 campaign. Goodness me. Title favourites?