LONDON: Manchester City underlined their status as Premier League title favourites and top dogs locally after sweeping aside 3-0 with astonishing ease at Old Trafford.
Edin Dzeko scored after only 42 seconds to put City ahead and struck again after half-time before Yaya Toure rounded off another miserable night for United manager David Moyes.
This was the first time United had conceded a first-minute goal at Old Trafford in the Premier League era.
Manuel Pellegrini’s team, who were virtually unplayable in the opening phase of the match, are three points off the top of the table with two games in hand on Chelsea. United were perhaps fortunate to escape a heavier beating in front of their own fans.
United’s Wayne Rooney said later: “It’s not good enough. We can’t lose six homes games in a season and we have to put that right, and make this a place which teams fear again.
“The fans were great again [and] as a team, we need them to be strong and to understand there has been a big change at the club. We have to step up and start giving the fans something to cheer about with some good performances and wins.”
City’s win was their third in a row since being knocked out of the Champions League by Barcelona.
Arsenal’s awful week continued as a stoppage-time own goal by Mathieu Flamini meant they shared a 2-2 home draw with relegation-threatened Swansea.
The Gunners appeared to be suffering a hangover from Saturday’s six-goal thrashing at Chelsea as they fell behind to Wilfried Bony’s 11th-minute header.
Two late goals from substitute Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud turned the game around but then the ball ricocheted off Flamini and into his own net with no time for a further response.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: “This result hurts us a lot but the spirit we put in and the effort we put in was great and we have to take it on the chin.
“Sometimes when you lose big like we did at Chelsea, the next game most of the time you get a draw. We have not too much room to come back into it, but we have to get some players back. It is difficult to fight with half the team out.”
Wenger confirmed defender Laurent Koscielny would be out “for a while” with a calf problem, while midfield trio Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil are not yet ready to a return.
Fifth-placed Everton closed up behind Arsenal after a 3-0 win at Newcastle. Ross Barkley scored a superb first-half opening goal after running from inside his own half.
Romelu Lukaku and Leon Osman netted after half-time to keep Everton, who have a game in hand over Arsenal, in the hunt for a Champions League place.