In 188 editions of the Manchester derby there have only been four hat-tricks scored by Manchester City players. And two of them came on Sunday.
Erling Haaland and Phil Foden joined Francis Lee and Horace Barnes – in 1970 and 1921, no less – in City’s annals and this was certainly an event that will live long in the memory of all who were there, no matter on which side of the red and blue divide. For the visitors it will have been as painful as it was joyful for the victors, who were so comprehensively superior that the 6-3 scoreline very much flattered Manchester United.
They were 4-0 down at half-time and all that stopped it becoming ten was that the match was by then over and modern players need to conserve energy in this of all seasons. So City no longer floored the accelerator and Manchester United achieved a measure of respectability. Unless you saw the game, of course. Witnesses will confirm that this was a battering not a battle royal and United look as far behind their neighbours as they have at any time since they were in separate divisions.