Rooney redeems Red Devils

PA Sport
Wayne Rooney (right)
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Wayne Rooney (right)

Manchester United held off a dramatic fightback from 10-man Manchester City to win an incredible FA Cup derby 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium.

United sensationally led 3-0 after a remarkable first half in which Wayne Rooney struck twice, Danny Welbeck added another and City captain Vincent Kompany was sent off.

City hit back after the break through Aleksandar Kolarov and Sergio Aguero but United, for whom Paul Scholes came out of retirement, held on to end City's cup defence at the first hurdle.

The game exploded into life as United took the lead against the run of play in the 10th minute. Antonio Valencia found space on the right as the visitors counter-attacked and delivered a cross for Rooney, who had laid the ball off to the winger, to power home a superb header off the underside of the bar.

City were then dealt an immediate blow to their hopes of making a quick replay as Kompany was sent off for a challenge on Nani. Kompany clearly won the ball but referee Chris Foy showed a straight red card for the offence of lunging forward with both feet.

United then took control after 30 minutes. Nani was denied shooting space on the edge of the box but he fed the ball wide to Patrice Evra, who crossed low. Samir Nasri attempted to clear but did not make firm contact and Welbeck hooked in his seventh goal of the season on the volley.

Things got worse for City as they conceded a penalty six minutes before half-time when Kolarov brought down Welbeck. Costel Pantilimon, playing in place of the rested Joe Hart, saved Rooney's spot-kick but was unable to deny the United forward as he followed up to head in the rebound.

It seemed the best City could achieve in the second half was damage limitation, but they gave themselves hope as Kolarov pulled one back after 48 minutes. Evra was booked for felling Micah Richards outside the area and Kolarov stepped up to bend a superb free-kick around the wall and into the net.

Scholes came off the bench to make an unexpected 677th United appearance when he replaced Nani just before the hour.

City got themselves right back into the game after 65 minutes as James Milner nicked the ball off Scholes following a throw-in and whipped the ball in for Aguero. The Argentinian shot straight at Anders Lindegaard but the Dane could only parry and Aguero blasted in the loose ball.

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