Manchester City returned to the top of the Premier League table after a dominant 3-1 derby victory over Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium.
Liverpool’s lunchtime 2-0 over Fulham at Anfield earlier in the day meant that nothing short of three points would see Coty regain their place at the summit.
And it was rarely in doubt after David Silva bundled the ball home in the twelfth minute.
Riyad Mahrez whipped in a dangerous and, although it just evaded the head of Sergio Agüero, Bernardo Silva sprinted down the blind-side of Luke Shaw to keep the ball alive.
The Portuguese international threw himself towards the ball to send it back across the six-yard box and although Agüero was hauled to the ground, the referee played a brilliant advantage and David Silva controlled the ball before firing past David De Gea.
Before opening the scoring, City had attempted 104 passes and had an accuracy rate of 92% whereas United only managed a measly five out of eleven; averaging less than one pass a minute.
Despite being unable to add to the scoreline before the break, City got the second goal their superiority thoroughly deserved when Agüero lashed his effort between de Gea and the near post within three minutes of the restart.
Travelling United, without the injured Paul Pogba, mounted only one serious attack but were given a lifeline just before the hour Ederson brought Romelu Lukaku down in the area mere seconds after the Belgian’s introduction from the bench.
It was the second time in a week, and consecutive league matches, in which City’s most expensive goalkeeper has handed his opponents a route back into the game; having felled Danny Ings in exactly the same manner just seven days prior.
The in-form Anthony Martial assumed the responsibilities and sent the Brazilian the wrong way from the spot.
Having come from three goals down to postpone City’s title celebrations last season, coupled with their recent form of coming from behind to win in four of their last six matches, United were well and truly back in the game.
But with just four minutes remaining, Bernardo Silva made his second assist of the game, floating the ball over the top of four Man Utd defenders to find Ilkay Gündogan’s run who put an end to a sensational 44-pass move by slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Incredibly, the build to the match-sealing goal took up a remarkable 2.3% of the whole match.
The top three, City, Liverpool and Chelsea remain unbeaten in the Premier League, Although Maurizio Sarri’s side slipped to third as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Everton at Stamford Bridge.
They do, however, remain very much in the title picture, as do fourth-placed Tottenham who are just five points behind the leaders.
Man of the Match – Bernardo Silva
Despite not finding the net himself, the Portuguese winger laid the ball on a plate for the two most important moments of the match; the opening and match-sealing strikes.
With Raheem Sterling and Riyad Mahrez both in tremendous form, it was the opportune time for Silva to put in a match-winning performance as he once more reinstated his importance to Pep Guardiola. After all, he was the Spaniard’s first City signing.
Attacking options will be key to City’s success this season and, on the evidence provided in 2018/19 so far, Bernardo Silva may well be one of the most important figures of the campaign,