A double from Kevin De Bruyne. A double from Riyad Mahrez. The double completed by City over United in this season’s Manchester derbies in the Premier League.
The 4-1 victory on Sunday restored City’s six-point lead over Liverpool in their quest to defend the title and pick up the trophy for a sixth time in a decade.
United are languishing 22 points behind City and now no longer even in the fourth and final Champions League place.
“They showed what kind of top quality team they have,” United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said.
It was being outclassed at home and losing 2-0 to City in the derby in November that precipitated the firing of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The final blow was losing to Watford — the team that was beaten 3-2 in Sunday’s other game that allowed Arsenal to dislodge United from fourth.
Sunday’s game produced only City’s second home derby win in the league in the past seven attempts.
United did have to cope without Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane and Luke Shaw through injury or illness on Sunday but that doesn’t fully account for how ineffective they were.
It took City only five minutes to go in front when De Bruyne connected with the cutback from Bernardo Silva and shot through Harry Maguire’s legs and past goalkeeper David de Gea.
There was a glimmer of hope when Paul Pogba released Jadon Sancho and the young gun took on Kyle Walker before bending the ball into the net in the 22nd minute.
City took only six minutes to regain the lead when a moment of dazzling individual brilliance by Phil Foden, flicking the ball over Victor Lindelof, resulted in De Bruyne finding the net from close range with a bit of good fortune.
“They tried to press us and they played well in the first half,” De Bruyne said.
“In the second half we found more opportunities.”
It was Mahrez’s turn to contribute the goals after the break at the Etihad Stadium — starting with an assist from De Bruyne.
Mahrez connected with a corner from the Belgium playmaker with a half-volley that slightly deflected off Maguire before nestling in the net in the 68th.
There was initially an offside reprieve for United in the 90th but then the VAR review did allow Mahrez’s strike to count, compounding the misery for United.
At Vicarage Road, a cut-back from Bukayo Saka set up Martin Odegaard to slot in the opener in the fifth minute.
Although Watford levelled though Cucho Hernandez’s acrobatic volley, Saka restored the lead in the 30th after a one-two with Alexandre Lacazette.
Gabriel Martinelli’s curling shot at the start of the second half extended the lead for Arsenal, who endured a nervy end after Moussa Sissoko’s goal in the 87th but Watford couldn’t muster a comeback and remain next-from-last in the standings.