As Manuel Pellegrini and David Moyes concluded their first Manchester derby as manager of their new clubs, it was the Chilean who came out on top, breaking his duck against Manchester United FC in style.
The new Manchester City FC boss had faced the Red Devils four times previously with Villarreal CF in the UEFA Champions League campaigns of 2005/06 and 2008/09, drawing all four games 0-0. However, it took just 16 minutes for Sergio Agüero to turn in a first goal for a Pellegrini side against United, while the final 4-1 scoreline provided a first win.
"It was a great win against Manchester United and no one believed that 4-1 was possible before the game," said the 60-year-old. "It's an important game for the team. And for the fans they will be happy for the month now. Winning a derby is a big match and we must continue improving. Every day we are improving."
With both clubs coming off the back of their first match in this season's UEFA Champions League, the squad strength of City could prove vital according to Pellegrini. "I think we have a squad with two important players in each position because we have a lot of matches. With less players in the squad it's difficult to arrive in March without problems."
Meanwhile, for Moyes it was an unhappy start to his Manchester derby career. Despite having lost just one of his final six trips to City as Everton FC manager – winning four of those – it was a disappointing reunion with Pellegrini, whose Yellow Submarine eliminated the Toffees in the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
"We didn't play well enough to win," said the Scot, 50. "Manchester City played well and deserved the victory. We conceded poor goals. We needed to get closer in the second half but they got away and scored more goals. We never got a grip of the game and could never really stop them. We hoped to stem that tide in the second half. We got better as the game went on but it was too late."
Moyes admits it has been a tough start to the campaign, but is backing his players to respond. "The start to the season could be a lot better. We did say it could be difficult. If ever there was a group of players I would expect [a reaction from after losing] that is Manchester United players. They react and that is what they will do. Every manager has bad days and bad results. I am no different."
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