Erling Haaland scored twice, while Phil Foden added a third goal for City, propelling them nine points clear of United just ten games into the Premier League season.
Not since the 2012/13 season, the final year of Alex Ferguson’s reign, have Manchester United finished above their local rivals in the Premier League.
The current situation suggests that this trend is likely to continue as the two clubs remain worlds apart, both on and off the pitch.
During the match, City’s traveling supporters taunted United’s fans, expressing hope that the Glazer family, United’s unpopular owners, would retain control of the club for another “10 more years.”
Earlier optimism among United fans that the Glazers would sell the club, which they have owned since 2005, seems to have been in vain, with billionaire Jim Ratcliffe likely to settle for a minority stake after a year of negotiations.
City’s rise to prominence in English football coincided with United’s decline under the Glazers.
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Mansour has significantly backed City’s success, but it is not merely financial support that has contributed to the two clubs’ contrasting fortunes.
United have outspent City in the transfer market recently but have seemingly wasted millions on underperforming talent.
Despite their struggles to score goals this season, United’s manager Erik ten Hag left expensive attacking players Antony and Mason Mount on the bench during the match.
In contrast, Manchester City boasts a well-oiled operation behind the scenes that complements their on-field success.
Pep Guardiola, who is now in his eighth season at City, is responsible for City’s sustained excellence.
After securing his seventh win at Old Trafford as City’s manager, he expressed his surprise at the turnaround in the clubs’ fortunes, saying, “I know what we have done. I didn’t expect it.
“I said many times we are in the same direction – the chairman, sporting director, manager and the players, we go there.
“When we lose or things aren’t going well, we don’t find blame for someone. We work out what we have to do better and find solutions.”
As for Manchester United, they face a season that is spiraling out of control, with Ten Hag tasked with finding solutions.
While Ten Hag received acclaim for his first season in charge, returning United to the Champions League and ending a six-year trophy drought, heavy investment in the summer transfer window has not translated into progress.
United’s current performance, with five defeats in the opening ten league games, marks their worst start since the 1986/87 season. They are also in danger of failing to advance in the Champions League.
The home crowd at Old Trafford expressed their discontent when Ten Hag substituted striker Rasmus Hojlund, booing him for the second time this season.
Thousands of fans left the stadium after Foden’s goal ten minutes from time, highlighting the growing frustration.
Former United midfielder Roy Keane commented, “It’s different levels. The United players are just short in every aspect, technically and tactically. It’s a long way back for this team.”
While the Glazers’ ownership has been a primary source of frustration for United supporters, questions are beginning to arise regarding Erik ten Hag’s management as United currently languish in eighth place, eight points behind the top four.
As Manchester City aims for yet another historic achievement – becoming the first side to win the English top flight for a fourth consecutive year – United faces a significant uphill battle to challenge their cross-town rivals.