Manchester City used a barnstorming first half to ease past Manchester United 3-1 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semifinal at Old Trafford on Tuesday night (stream the replay on ESPN+ in the U.S.).
United beat City 2-1 when they last met in the Premier League on Dec. 7, but a repeat of that result looked unlikely from the outset with a nearly full strength XI from Pep Guardiola forcing the issue from the outset.
Bernardo Silva opened the scoring for the visitors with an unstoppable curling effort from 20 yards on 17 minutes that was in the back of the net before David De Gea had time to react.
Riyad Mahrez doubled the lead soon after the half-hour mark, pouncing on a Silva through ball on a counter-attack and rounding De Gea before tapping into an open net.
"We could have gone in four or five up at halftime, we had the chances. They pressed us higher in the second half, we got tired but overall we are happy," said Bernardo Silva.
"I enjoyed my role -- because it worked and we won. Pep wanted one more man in the middle."
City got their third from another counter-attack, this time Kevin De Bruyne forcing the issue and blasting a shot off De Gea that Andreas Pereira redirected into his own goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at half-time.
United looked more solid after the introduction of midfielder Nemanja Matic at the break and got a foothold in the tie through a 70th-minute goal from Marcus Rashford after De Gea made a brilliant save on a close-range Mahrez shot.
The goal enlivened the hosts, who kicked on in vain for another, with the tie set to be decided on Jan. 29 when Man United visit the Etihad (stream live at 2:45 p.m. ET on ESPN+) with a spot in the Wembley final on the line.
Despite the convincing win, Guardiola wouldn't hear talk of the tie being over ahead of the second leg.
"The last game, we could not control when we lost the ball and tonight we did it better," the City boss told the BBC. "We lost the ball in a position which is so dangerous [for the United goal]. We cannot forget which team we play. Tonight we can be more than satisfied to come here to Old Trafford and win.
"It is not over. We have one more game and we'll see what happens.
"Of course Manchester United can come back. Last year here they lost to PSG and they qualify (in the Champions League). They have the shirt which means history and pride."
Leicester City face Aston Villa in the first leg of the other semifinal on Wednesday (stream live at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN+ in the U.S.).