The victory leaves City 12 points behind the league leaders and it looks unlikely that the Citizens will be able to catch their neighbours at the top of the table.
The first half was relatively quiet and it was a surprisingly tame affair. Clear-cut chances were lacking.
The most notable one was Rafael clipping the bar, after Robin Van Persie had found the Brazilian full-back in the penalty area.
City came out the brighter team in the second half and took just six minutes to break the deadlock. Samir Nasri teed-up James Milner, despite being under pressure the England international struck a powerful effort that beat David de Gea with the help of a slight deflection.
The home side equalised eight minutes later. Robin van Persie swung in a free-kick and Phil Jones headed towards goal only for City captain Vincent Kompany to head unwittingly into his own goal.
The expected onslaught from United for an equaliser never arrived and City introduced striker Sergio Aguero for Samir Nasri. The decision paid dividends in the 78th minute. The little Argentina international picked the ball up just inside the area, rode three challenges and fired powerfully past David de Gea in the United goal.
United pushed forward looking for an equaliser, but never really created any clear-cut chances on goal. In the end a deserved three points for the reigning champions.
It seems that everybody at Manchester City has now accepted that Manchester United will win the Premier League title this season.
However, the victory restored some of the pride in the City camp. City boss Roberto Mancini has vowed that his team will come back stronger next season and no doubt there will be major moves in the transfer market at the Etihad Stadium this summer.
What areas of the pitch does Manchester City need to strengthen this summer?
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It's been great seeing Messi and Neymar play together. Hopefully they'
Genius starts with "G" and finishes with "S"...................... So
Lets hope these two greats of the game get a chance to play to gather.
hi. a lot of football expertss expected west bromwich albion to go dow
RVP are you being serious?? A blip in leauge form and a poor finish fo