Premier League Live Blog: Vincent Kompany Leads Manchester City to Deserved 1-0 Win Over Manchester United

Premier League Live Blog: Vincent Kompany Leads Manchester City to Deserved 1-0 Win Over Manchester UnitedFinal, 1-0 Manchester City: City has emerged victorious in the biggest game the City of Manchester has ever seen. Mancini's men have drawn level at the top of the league, and the 2011-12 championship is theirs to win or lose.

Club captain Kompany was the leader at the front and the back for City. He scored the winning goal and marshalled a defense that was superb throughout the game. He is widely recognized as the best defender in the Premier League, and his performance in this game befits his reputation.

United's concentration let the team down at a key moment at the end of the first half. Kompany capitalized and sent his team into the locker room with a halftime lead.

Ferguson's team lacked the quality to break down City's defense in the second half. Rooney and Nani did not provide enough menace in the United attack. Park was anonymous, and Welbeck was missing a bit of sharpness to notch the tying goal.

That's all for now, and thanks for joining us. Let's discuss this one on Twitter @NESNsoccer and Facebook. Be sure to keep an eye out for news, fan reactions, analysis and opinion that is on the way on NESN.com.

95th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Smalling slipped and fell into Hart, who is limping around the goal mouth.

But it looks like the game is over.

93rd minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Nasri is leaving the game, and Milner takes his place.

The former Arsenal winger turned in one of his best efforts in a City shirt.

92nd minute, 1-0 Manchester City: We're deep into extra time, and United is struggling to maintain possession as it searches for the equalizer.

87th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: United is committing men forward, but City remains dangerous on the counterattack.

De Gea made a great save on an effort from Clichy. The young goalkeeper batted it away, but it fell to a City player. United was able to sustain its defense.

82nd minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Young replaces Nani on the United wing, while Richards has come on for Silva.

He will likely move to his right back position, which would push Zabaleta forward into the midfield.

82nd minute, 1-0 Manchster City: Toure is City's main threat in the second half.

The marauding midfielder drove forward 30 yards and unleashed a shot that went agonizingly wide of goal.

78th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Valencia has now come on for Scholes.

Carrick immediately retaliates with a foul on Nasri, and he goes into the referee's book.

76th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: As expected, the fireworks have begun.

De Jong was booked for a foul on Welbeck, and Ferguson was furious about something.

The United manager then had words with Mancini, and the two bosses had to be seperated.

72nd minute, 1-0 Manchester City: The game is opening up, as De Jong's inclusion has freed up Toure to start bombing forward.

The Ivorian midfielder whisteled a shot just wide of de Gea's goal.

70th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Jones has been booked for a studs-up challenge on Barry.

68th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: De Jong is entering the game in place of Tevez, who departs to lukewarm applause.

Back in September, Mancini vowed Tevez would never play for him again. The Argentine was in the game when Mancini needed him most.

65th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: The addition of Welbeck seems to have emboldened United.

City's midfield is pushed back toward its defense, as United sends men forward in increasing numbers.

60th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: United looks like it is lacking a bit of belief. As City passes the ball through the midfield, United players aren't pressuring and chasing the ball.

Giggs is running harder than any of his teammates. The United legend is 38 years old.

58th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Welbeck has come on for Park, as Ferguson opts for another striker.

55th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: City has the early advantage in the second half.

It has been better in possession and more composed in defense in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

United will have to make a change soon. Welbeck is warming up. Park is likely to come off.

53rd minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Toure is the second City player to go into the referees' book.

He blocked Giggs as the United player was attempting to dribble.

47th minute, 1-0 Manchester City: The late goal was a blow to United, as it was a steadfast in defense. But we will discover the character of this group in the second half.

Halftime, 1-0 Manchester City: A game that was a defensive and tactical duel was turned on its head just moments before halftime. Kompany's goal — his third of the season — rewarded its team for its dominance for most of the first half.

Nasri, Tevez, Aguero and Silva have linked together well, but the goal was unexpected since United was so focused in defense.

45th (plus one) minute, 1-0 Manchester City: Kompany has given City a lead with a thundering headed goal.

Silva delivered the corner kick right to the City captain's head. Kompany out-jumped Smalling, and de Gea had no chance to stop it.

40th minute, 0-0: United will be content with a draw, and it's defending very well at the moment.

United is keeping its shape, and its players are tackling and clearing like they spent all week focusing on those aspects of the game.

36th minute, 0-0: City opens up United's defense and, once again, Nasri is the creator.

He found Aguero with a clever pass to the spot, but Ferdinand intervened at the last moment.

City has been the better team for the last 20 minutes.

30th minute, 0-0: City has had the better of play over the last 10 minutes, and the hosts now have United on the back foot.

Nasri's passing and dribbling have caused problems on the left side of the United defense, but the visitors remain sturdy in the center.

25th minute, 0-0: City is slowly improving in this game. Nasri and Silva are seeing more of the ball, and it nearly leads to a City goal.

Silva played a cross into the area that Rooney failed to clear. It fell to a City player, who sent it over the top of the defense to Aguero.

But the Argentine marksman skied his shot.

19th minute, 0-0: Kompany has been cautioned for a tackle on Rooney in the center circle.

The City captain will have little margin for error over the next 70-plus minutes.

16th minute, 0-0: Nasri and Tevez combine on the right side to created the host's first bit of danger in the game.

Nasri skipped past challenges from Scholes and Giggs before sending Tevez into the area with a through ball.

Tevez tried to hit a low cross across the face of goal, but Jones intercepted and cleared it.

Ninth minute, 0-0: Giggs, Scholes and Carrick are at the heart of United's early advantage.

The midfield trio has been composed with the ball, using it to pin City back in the final third.

But City has been able to turn away United's crosses and through balls into the area, and Hart hasn't been seriously threatened.

Fifth minute, 0-0: United has the early advantage in possession and territory, but City has come to life in the last minute or two.

Second minute, 0-0: City lazily defends a corner, and United comes close to scoring an early goal.

Smalling kept Hart from reaching a cross, and the clearance came to Carrick at the spot. He shot on the half-volley, and it hit Kompany in the face (and possibly hands).

Pregame: City's starting 11 should be taken as no less than a statement of intent. Roberto Mancini has selected a powerful and balanced team as he attempts to wrest the title from United's grasp.

United is hoping the experience of its veterans will see it through this test. There is no room for Young or Valencia in the midfield. Carrick, Giggs and Scholes will man the center.

Welbeck also drops to the bench, as Sir Alex Ferguson opts for Park instead.

2:30 p.m.: Here are the lineups:

Manchester City

 Joe Hart (25), goalkeeper
Pablo Zabaleta (5), right back
Joleon Lescott (6), center back
Vincent Kompany (4), center back
Gael Clichy (22), left back
Gareth Barry (18), midfielder
Yay Toure (42), midfielder
David Silva (21), midfielder
Samir Nasri (19), midfielder
Carlos Tevez (32), striker
Sergio Aguero (16), striker

Substitutes

Costel Pantilimon (30), goalkeeper
Micah Richards (2), defender
Aleksandar Kolarov (13), defender
Nigel De Jong (34), midfielder
James Milner (7), midfielder
Mario Balotelli (45), striker
Edin Dzeko (10), striker

Manchester United

David de Gea (1), goalkeeper
Phil Jones (4), right back
Chris Smalling (12), center back
Rio Ferdinand (5), center back
Patrice Evra (3), left back
Michael Carrick (16), midfielder
Paul Scholes (22), midfielder
Ryan Giggs (11), midfielder
Park Ji-Sung (13), forward
Nani (17), forward
Wayne Rooney (10), striker

Substitutes

Ben Amos (40), goalkeeper
Rafael Da Silva (21), defender
Antonio Valencia (25), midfielder
Ashley Young (18), midfielder
Dimitar Berbatov (9), striker
Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez (14), striker
Danny Welbeck (19), striker

11 a.m. ET: At the end of the day, there can only be one. Manchester City and Manchester United will meet in the biggest game of the Premier League season. The team that prevails will be in pole position to call itself the 2011-12 champion.

The eyes of the soccer world will be firmly fixed on the contest. City's Etihad Stadium will be packed with 47,000 screaming fans, while another 400 million will watch from various locations around the world.

This strangest of seasons has had too many twists to count. Manchester City led the way for eight months, only to slip up as winter gave way to spring. It looked like United would stroll to the trophy, but the defending champion has faltered of late.

City trails its more illustrious neighbor by three points but has the edge in goal differential. Monday's Manchester derby could be the biggest ever.

City has found its groove now that Carlos Tevez has returned to the fold. The former United star will partner with Sergio Aguero in the attack. But United defenders Rio Ferdinand and Johnny Evans look to contain the potent Argentine duo.

United duo Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck have also clicked, while Nani is nearing his menacing best on the wings. If Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick can control the tempo in the midfield, United could knock its attack-minded opponent off balance.

Join us right here for our coverage of the Manchester derby, starting at 2 p.m.

Have a question for Marcus Kwesi O'Mard? Send it to him via Twitter at @NESNsoccer, NESN Soccer's Facebook page or send it here. He will pick a few questions to answer every week for his mailbag.

Yardbarker

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 186,115 other followers