London: A consistently superior and calm Manchester City defeated crosstown rivals Manchester United 3-1 in their first derby this season at the former's home Etihad stadium.

It took a while for the teams to find their rhythm and the first half was largely lackluster on Sunday, with the squads together managing to fire only one shot on goal - that of David Silva in the 12th minute that put the home team, the defending English champions, on the board first, reports Efe.

Just after play resumed after the break, Sergio Aguero lined things up for a second tally for the Sky Blues and it looked like the host squad would have an easy time of it.

Ten minutes later, Anthony Martial finally got the Red Devils on the board on a penalty kick and then the excitement started to build.

United was missing the injured Paul Pogba, but they were feeling good after an unexpected Champions League road victory over Juventus last week, and Jose Mourinho's squad now scenting a possible comeback went on the probe for the equalizer, pressing forward toward the opposing area and fending off their rivals' counterattacks.

It was a riveting final half hour of play, although United was unable to draw equal - stymied as time ticked away by City's endless passing and, finally, by Ilkay Gundogan's final tally in the 86th minute that put the game out of reach after an extraordinarily lengthy set-up sequence.

As a result of the win, and the 32 points they now have in pocket, Pep Guardiola's team jumped two points ahead of Liverpool at the summit of the Premier League, while United is in eighth place with 20 points just before the international break.