That may well be the most amazing result in watching football for the past 40 odd years. To win 6-1 at Old Trafford is just astonishing.
The day started with an aggressive Roberto Mancini line-up. Rather than a 4-2-3-1 or an Inter style diamond, Mancini unveiled a fairly basic 4-4-2 with Barry and Toure in the middle and Milner and Silva on the outside. At least that was true when City were defending. When the team had the ball, Milner and Silva had license to wander and they did to great effect, yet both were immense on the defensive side of the ball helping to neutralize Young and Nani on the wings.
Normally this would have terrified me as the key to the City defence is pushing the opposition wide and preventing the attacks coming through the middle. Yet without Scholes or Carrick United seemed to be devoid of the killer pass. Barry and Toure closed down well, but there were still occasions when Rooney and later Hernandez had far too much space in front of the City back four. It was just this kind of space that led to United's consolation from Fletcher.
Mancini also offered a wrinkle up front where Balotelli played behind Aguero rather than the expected other way around. It allowed the Italian to drift into position, something he did to score the first with a beautifully placed pass into the far corner after good work from Milner.
The game turned within a minute of the half time restart when Evans was, as I noted in pre-match observations, turned easily by Balotelli. Evans was the last man, committed the foul and United were reduced to 10 men. Not an automatic victory for City at this point. However first Milner and then Richards became providers with great moves into the box on the right hand side as Evra and Ferdinand had absolute stinkers. Fletcher pulled one back and your final score was 3-1.
No really, it was. If we are honest with ourselves, that's the true result from this game. City played well, United were reduced to 10 men and Mancini's men shocked the footballing world with a win against their cross-town rivals.
Before we get to the final four minutes I want to take a moment to mention a name that I've yet to see in any of the game reports that I've read. Joleon Lescott. As regular readers know, I'm no fan of the former Everton defender, but he was rock solid at the back and got his positioning correct.
Which brings us back to City leading 3-1 over United and the youth of Ferguson's side. Playing youngsters is a double edged sword. They can and will show no fear which can lead to an 8-2 thumping of Arsenal. However when you substitute experienced depth in a squad for youth, days like this can occur. This game called out for a John O'Shea, Wes Brown or Paul Scholes to help steady their team or in fact start. Chris Smalling, Jonny Evans, Anderson (replaced at 66 minutes by Phil Jones) and Danny Welbeck were curious choices. Each by themselves maybe would have worked but combined, the inexperience created a perfect storm.
First Dzeko scored from a Barry header and Lescott pull back before it got... well silly. United just seemed to give up. Down 4-1 at home with a couple of minutes to go is no time to go on the attack. First Silva and then Dzeko once more scored on the counter attack to make it 6-1 and incredibly it could and should have been more.
Again, it still is only three points although the 10-goal swing in goal difference may yet come into play at the end of the year. But despite my protestations to the contrary this felt like something more. Call it a passing of the torch, regime change or what you will. You just don't go to Old Trafford and score six.
Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City... Unbelievable.