|1||Van der Sar|
from David Silva’s free-kick. Smalling then had to be alert to cut out Toure’s drilled cross after the Ivorian had found space inside the penalty area.
City weren’t sitting back and the visitors’ attacking approach appeared to catch the Reds off-guard. It was definitely uncharacteristic. Already this season, City had ground out goalless draws away from home against Tottenham and Arsenal. Here, though, the Blues showed plenty of ambition, with Zabaleta and Micah Richards flying down the flanks and Toure and Silva quick to join Tevez in attack.
In contrast, United rather probed and prodded in City’s half and the final ball was all too often misplaced or under-hit. The response from the Stretford End after 30 minutes was to cheer for Dimitar Berbatov’s introduction. Patience, like form, often goes out the window on derby day.
Darren Fletcher, the two-goal hero few remember from last season’s league game at Old Trafford, tried his best to get on the scoresheet when he met Giggs’ outswinging cross firmly from 15 yards. His effort, like Nani’s blast a minute later, was straight at Joe Hart, though, and the City goalkeeper fielded the ball easily.
Patrice Evra then survived a half-hearted claim for handball before Nani sent the Reds ahead with four minutes of the first half remaining. Edwin van der Sar’s long clearance fell to Giggs and the Welshman,