MANCHESTER, England — Vincent Kompany’s thumping header gave Manchester City an important 1-0 derby win against Manchester United on Monday to overtake its rival atop the Premier League with just two games remaining.
In what had been billed as the biggest Manchester derby ever, Kompany connected with David Silva’s corner to score the decisive goal in first-half stoppage time at Etihad Stadium. City then held on for a potentially title-deciding victory as it now leads United on goal difference and once again has matters in its own hands, having erased an eight-point deficit in a couple of weeks.
“Absolutely buzzing. … We’ve been waiting for this moment,” Kompany said. “It’s far from over, and we know that, but just to give our fans two wins over Manchester United this season – we have to finish it off.”
City still has a tough job to do as it next visits fifth-place Newcastle United and then plays host to relegation-threatened Queens Park Rangers to finish off the season, while United finishes against Swansea at home and then on the road at Sunderland.
“It’s great to win tonight, but Newcastle is now our focus,” City goalkeeper Joe Hart said.
After leading the Premier League for most of the season, City trailed United by eight points earlier this month, but two more wins should now be enough to claim a first league title since 1968.
As the crosstown rivals have been locked in a two-way fight for the title for most of the season, this game had been hyped up as the most important ever played between the two sides. The entertainment level, however, was not nearly as high as the stakes.
Uncharacteristically, United failed to create clear chances and Hart had surprisingly little to do in the City goal.
Five minutes of stoppage time was not enough for United to find a trademark equalizer, and City’s fans erupted in celebration.