Erling Haaland and Phil Foden both struck hat tricks as Manchester City sent another ominous warning to the rest of the Premier League with a 6-3 embarrassment of rivals Manchester United at the Etihad on Sunday afternoon.
City were quickly into their work as Erling Haaland had a header cleared away from goal but only as far as Kevin De Bruyne. The Belgian, however, and Bernardo Silva were both denied from close range as Scott McTominay and David de Gea made important blocks.
The hosts took the lead inside ten minutes as Foden made it 1-0. The England international started the move from the right and moved into the box untracked to divert Silva's cross in at the near post.
United were overrun by City's superior quality throughout the first half, only registering two shots on target through Christian Eriksen's unthreatening scuff and Bruno Fernandes' ambitious long shot, and Pep Guardiola's side were quickly 3-0 up as Haaland began to make inroads.
The Norwegian monster netted twice in four minutes, with both assists coming from De Bruyne.
He first headed in from a corner, the ball crossing the line despite Tyrell Malacia's last-ditch effort, before the former Borussia Dortmund forward stretched to meet De Bruyne's cross at the back post.
Haaland turned provider as City made it 4-0 before half time. It was Foden who grabbed his second as the hosts broke with purpose, Haaland clipping to the 22-year-old to strike in similar fashion to the third strike.
City allowed United more of the ball at the start of the second half and that tactic cost them a goal as Antony reduced the arrears in spectacular fashion.
The Brazilian collected Eriksen's cross-field pass and cut inside to fire a venomous strike from outside the area into the bottom corner beyond the outstretched Ederson.
That strike mattered little, however, as Haaland converted substitute Sergio Gomez's cross to make it 5-1, becoming the first player to score a Premier League hat trick in three successive home games.
United's pain was compounded when City grabbed a sixth, with Foden joining Haaland in the hat trick club by finishing off his teammate's pass.
City let their dominant authority slip somewhat in the second half as a sloppy save from Ederson bounced into substitute Antony Martial's path to pull another back. And when Joao Cancelo brought the Frenchman down in the area and he converted into the top corner, it seemed like United had salvaged some kind of respect from the showing.
However, City's superior quality was evident through the main part of the game and this 6-3 win took them within a point of current Premier League leaders Arsenal. Man Utd are down in sixth.
Manchester City vs Manchester United - player ratings
1. Manchester City (4-3-3)
GK: Ederson - 5/10 - A few comfortable saves to make and was well beaten by Antony's stirke. Saved Fred's strike into Martial's path for 6-2.
RB: Kyle Walker - 5/10 - Pulled up lame just before half time and had to be substituted.
CB: Manuel Akanji - 7/10 - Looked confident, stepping into midfield to make interceptions frequently, and kept United's forward options quiet.
CB: Nathan Ake - 6/10 - Swept up well and was solid enough, but Ake obviously wasn't the protagonist here.
LB: Joao Cancelo - 7/10 - Would have expected Cancelo to be among the goals and assists but his defensive work was more impressive. Did later give away a penalty.
CM: Kevin De Bruyne - 9/10 - Was afforded time and space by United's midfielders. He made them pay, setting up Haaland twice.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan - 8/10 - Sat deeper in Rodri's absence. Clipped the post with a curling free kick. Broke up play occasionally but didn't need to be the authoritative defensive presence some might have expected.
CM: Bernardo Silva - 8/10 - Lovely ball across goal to set up Foden. Knitted play together nicely alongside City's midfielders and attackers.
RW: Phil Foden - 10/10 - Started an attack on the right and finished it off by getting into the box to finish Silva's pass. Another two goals showed his ruthless
ST: Erling Haaland - 10/10 - Initially quiet but came alive when required to finish off two De Bruyne assists. Got his hat trick in the second half and set up Foden for his. The guy is a cheat code and United simply had no answer.
LW: Jack Grealish - 7/10 - Got Dalot booked early on and made a few darting runs that threatened United's backline with the space he was provided.
SUB: Sergio Gomez (41' for Walker) - 6/10 - Allowed Antony a little too much time and space to shimmy and shoot for United's goal. Set up Haaland for the fifth home goal.
SUB: Aymeric Laporte (75' for Gundogan) - 5/10
SUB: Cole Palmer (75' for Grealish) - 5/10 -
SUB: Riyad Mahrez (75' for Foden) - 5/10 -
SUB: Julian Alvarez (75' for De Bruyne) - 5/10
Manager: Pep Guardiola - 7/10 - Might have been worried without Rodri in midfield but his forward selection paid dividends. Won't have been happy with conceding three in the second half.
2. Manchester United (4-2-3-1)
GK: David de Gea - 3/10 - Probably wondering how many more games he has to keep putting up with this.
RB: Diogo Dalot - 2/10 - Booked early on for a boot on Grealish. Grealish then enjoyed a nice day out, with Dalot unable to offer any of his recent attacking threat.
CB: Raphael Varane - 4/10 - Unable to hold off the swarms of attacks in front of him and suffered an injury in the first half, ending his afternoon prematurely.
CB: Lisandro Martinez - 2/10 - It doesn't really matter how tall Martinez is. Like Varane, was overwhelmed and chasing shadows.
LB: Tyrell Malacia - 3/10 - Was played into trouble and had to bring down Foden and take a yellow card.
CM: Scott McTominay - 4/10 - A couple of good blocks in quick succession in the early stages. It's tough to hack the opposition all game.
CM: Christian Eriksen - 4/10 - Lost Foden before the first goal. Struggled to match the dizzying runs of City's midfield. Linked play a little better in the second half when United did get forward and provided the assist for Antony's strike.
RW: Antony - 5/10 - Made no impact whatsoever until he struck home a beauty of a strike from distance.
AM: Bruno Fernandes - N/A - Got in some quality moaning. Got booked for dissent.
LW: Jadon Sancho - 2/10 - Couldn't make the impact he did in the same fixture last season, when he netted.
ST: Marcus Rashford - 2/10 - Little to no impact up front and played a few of his teammates into trouble in bad areas.
SUB: Victor Lindelof (40' for Varane) - 4/10 - "Yeah, cheers for bringing me on, gaffer!"
SUB: Luke Shaw (46' for Malacia) - 5/10 - Kept the ball in play before Martial netted his first.
SUB: Anthony Martial (59' for Rashford) - 7/10 - Took advantage of City's slipping standards in the second half to head in first and fire home a penalty second.
SUB: Casemiro (59' for McTominay) - 5/10
SUB: Fred (70' for Sancho) - 5/10
Manager: Erik ten Hag - 2/10 - Was made to pay for playing Eriksen in deep midfield as City swarmed United's box. Isn't the only United manager to get smashed in a Manchester derby, but it will be a chastening experience.