NEWS
12/10/2017 10:03 EST | Updated 12/10/2017 10:24 EST

Man City wins derby, EPL title race turning into procession

MANCHESTER, England — Surely nothing can stop Manchester City now.

The race for the Premier League title is turning into a procession after City beat fierce rival Manchester United 2-1 on Sunday, extending its lead to 11 points in a record-breaking start to the season.

This 14th straight victory for City is a record run in a single top-flight season. No team has ever had this many points — 46 — after 16 games in the Premier League. To put City's form into context, 46 points would have secured eighth place in the league last season.

It's only early December.

Pep Guardiola's team is doing it in style, too. Having already beaten Liverpool 5-0 and overwhelmed Chelsea in a 1-0 win at Stamford Bridge, City came to Old Trafford to play the other member of the current top four and had 65 per cent possession and almost twice the number of shots.

For most of the first half and in the final stages of the second half, United was overrun in a stadium where it hadn't lost in any competition since September 2016 — against City, 41 home games ago.

Given its eye-catching style of play, the irony was that City's two goals couldn't have been scrappier. Both came from defensive mistakes from United striker Romelu Lukaku at set pieces, with David Silva (in the 43rd) and Nicolas Otamendi (in the 54th) the gleeful recipients with close-range finishes.

Marcus Rashford equalized in first-half injury time, also benefiting from a defensive mistake from Otamendi, and United manager Jose Mourinho was left to bemoan the failure of Michael Oliver to award a penalty for what he thought was a trip by Otamendi on Ander Herrera. Instead, Herrera was booked for simulation.

"We can speak about anything you want," Mourinho said, "bring any football theory, bring any stats, ball possession, you can bring anything you want. But like last season, there is a huge penalty (not awarded) in a crucial moment of the game."

Guardiola, unsurprisingly, saw it differently.

"We won," Guardiola said, "because we were better."

And in a nod to his critics, Guardiola added: "I am happy because so many people say you cannot win in England playing like this."

In the other neighbourly rivalry on derby day in the Premier League, Wayne Rooney converted a penalty to earn Everton a 1-1 draw at Merseyside rival Liverpool. Arsenal scored in the 88th minute to salvage a 1-1 draw at Southampton in the day's other game.

Both fourth-place Liverpool and fifth-place Arsenal can only realistically think about second place now, which says a lot considering the Premier League hasn't even reached the busy festive period yet.

That is the standard being set by City.

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Steve Douglas is at www.twitter.com/sdouglas80