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Manchester City forward Phil Foden dropped to his knees and slid toward the away fans as he completed the scoring in the 191st Manchester derby.

Manchester United supporters just headed for the exit at Old Trafford.

This was another one-sided encounter between the city rivals, which only confirmed the ongoing dominance of Pep Guardiola’s defending Premier League champions.

A 3-0 win on Sunday did not do justice to City’s superiority in a game that required Andre Onana to keep Erling Haaland down to just two goals on a day when the Norwegian also provided the assist for Foden.

“It looks easy but it is not. It really, really is not,” said Guardiola. “(I have) a lot of respect for United for what they do, but we were at our best, especially in the second half.”

On a rainy Manchester day, it was an all too familiar outcome as City eased to victory against the club that was for so long the dominant force in English soccer, with a record 20 league titles.

It is now 10 years since United won its last league championship, while City has lifted the title seven times since being backed by Abu Dhabi’s ruling family in 2008. Guardiola has delivered five titles in six years and last season led the club to a treble of trophies — the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup.

Erik ten Hag was supposed to close the gap between the teams when hired in 2022, but after a humbling derby loss, it feels as though the distance is widening.

United has lost seven games in all competitions this season, with this latest defeat leaving it eight points off the Champions League places.

Ten Hag, however, tried to offer words of optimism to fans who have repeatedly booed during home games this season and jeered his decision to substitute striker Rasmus Hojlund in the second half against City.

“I think we are on the way up, the start was difficult but now we are on the way up,” said the Dutch coach. “When injuries are getting back we will be getting stronger. We have to be patient, but I am happy with some injuries coming back and then our side will be stronger.”

Those words sounded hollow as City controlled the game once Haaland scored a 26th-minute penalty, awarded after referee Paul Tierney reviewed the sideline monitor.

Onana denied Haaland a second before halftime, but was beaten when the Norwegian headed in four minutes after the break. Onana stopped Haaland again before the forward set up Foden in the 80th.

For many United fans, they had seen enough and quickly left their seats to make their way out of the stadium.

For those who remained, they were serenaded by City supporters chanting “Champions again, ole, ole, ole.”

There is a long way to go this season and City is two points behind Tottenham at the top of the standings and level on points with Arsenal. But after winning three titles in a row, a historic fourth in succession looks a distinct possibility.

Source: AP

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