Manchester City was at its imperious best as the team coasted to a 6-3 win over neighbours Manchester United in the new season’s first Manchester derby.
Erling Haaland notched up his third hattrick in as many home games and City academy graduate Phil Foden added three from his side to mark the first hattrick of his senior career.
It was only the third time in Premier League history that two players from the same team have scored hattricks.
While Anthony Martial’s quick brace towards the end of the game save some face for United, the scoreline belied City’s dominance throughout 90 minutes.
Going into the derby, there was quiet optimism building at United following a run of four straight league wins. But, the gulf in class between the two sides was starkly evident on Sunday.
Here is what the world had to say about the game:
Erling Haaland is on course to beat Alan Shearer's PL record of 260 goals on Saturday February 27 2027 [kick-off time TBC]
— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) October 2, 2022
In eight league games, Haaland has already scored 14 goals. If he stays fit and continues in the same fashion, Premier League records are going to tumble. Few players have taken the league by storm in the manner that he has.
Haaland’s performance earned him an elusive 10/10 rating from the French magazine L’Equipe, which also holds the annual Ballon D’Or award.
Equipe, not known for being generous in its marks/10, gives Haaland 10 today. Only 13 players in history of the sports newspaper have been given a 10. What happens when the best team in the world acquires the best goalscorer in the world. https://t.co/ZXEFCcCNXh
— tariq panja (@tariqpanja) October 2, 2022
If he continues the same way, the Norwegian will build a strong case for this prestigious award next year.
“Last season he could not play many games for Dortmund (Borussia Dortmund) because he was injured all the time. He arrived here and we have incredible physios – to them, he can play every 90 minutes,” said Pep Guardiola, City manager.
City legend and record goalscorer Sergio Aguero couldn’t contain his delight at his former team’s performance.
— Sergio Kun Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) October 2, 2022
Translation: What madness the City! Incredible Haaland and my favourite @PhilFoden Let’s go @ManCity! Manchester is blue
While Haaland and Foden grabbed the headlines, Jack Grealish too had arguably his best game in a City shirt following his big move from Aston Villa last summer.
Manchester is blue! 🔵 pic.twitter.com/WyiUf2wX4S
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) October 2, 2022
In Ruben Dias and Aymeric Laporte’s absence, Nathan Ake and Manuel Akanji were impressive at the heart of the defence and kept United at bay. The Dutch centre-back, in particular, was singled out for praise by Guardiola.
“We need a right foot and a left foot, and Nathan [Aké] I have confidence in him – all the actions in the first half he did it perfectly,” Guardiola said.
Great seeing Jack Grealish now settling in at #mcfc, expressing himself, taking players on, winning f-ks, creating space/chances & bringing something different to City's exceptional attack. Such a talent. He's 27, should be at his peak, delivering. Beginning to do that for City👏
— Henry Winter (@henrywinter) October 2, 2022
United manager Erik ten Hag didn’t hold back in his assessment of his team’s performance after the game.
“I will show the team tomorrow we could have been on the front foot. In the first goal, we won the ball and could have created a chance and gave it away. That is unacceptable. It’s quite simple, it’s a lack of belief. We get undisciplined at following rules and you get hammered, that’s happened today,” ten Hag said.
The United manager’s decision to not bring Cristiano Ronaldo on as a substitute yesterday was a big talking point from the game and the Portuguese cut a moody figure on the bench.
“I didn’t bring him on out of respect for his big career. And the other thing, there was then the advantage I could bring Antony Martial on. He needs the minutes but I don’t want to point it out like that.”
Manchester United legend and Sky Sports analyst Roy Keane saw the decision in a different light.
“I think United are showing disrespect to Ronaldo. He should have been let go before the transfer window. The manager held on to him. Ok, he said he wanted options. But you don’t hold on to Ronaldo to sit on the bench. He is one of the greatest players ever”
The decision to leave Brazilian midfielder Casemiro on the bench also had United fans scratching their heads.
McTominay has played well in recent games and I agree with Ten Hag picking players on form, but maybe it's time to get Casemiro in the team.
Man Utd have lacked a world-class DM and he's arguably the best. Play him until he picks form.
— UtdFaithfuls (@UtdFaithfuls) October 2, 2022
Brentford FC, who defeated United 4-0 earlier in the season, took to social media to pile onto United’s misery.
Brentford Man City
4-0 up at half-time
— Brentford FC (@BrentfordFC) October 2, 2022