Wayne Rooney responded to recent speculation he is set to leave Old Trafford by scoring twice to help Manchester United defeat 10-man Manchester City 3-2 in a thrilling FA Cup third round encounter.
The drama started before kick-off when the Red Devils announced Paul Scholes was coming out of retirement to play until the end of the season and was named on the bench by Sir Alex Ferguson.
It was very much a game of two halves as United shot into a 3-0 lead at the interval, but a second-half revival from Roberto Mancini's men meant that in the closing stages the visitors were hanging on to prevent the unlikeliest of comebacks by their local rivals.
United shot into an early lead when Rooney laid off for Antonio Valencia before surging into the box to meet the Ecuadorian's cross with his head - the ball going in off the underside of the crossbar inside the opening ten minutes.
City's poor start was compounded even further just moments later when captain Vincent Kompany was sent off for an adjudged two-footed tackle on Nani by referee Chris Foy, leaving the holders to play over an hour with just ten men.
Danny Welbeck doubled the lead with an acrobatic effort before Rooney was on target again from a rebound after his penalty was saved by City's stand-in goalkeeper Costel Pantilimon.
Mancini made two changes at the break, introducing Pablo Zabaleta and Stefan Savic in place of Adam Johnson and David Silva, and the decision proved to be a good one, as a spirited Citizens side wasted no time in clawing their way back into the game.
Alexander Kolarov's pinpoint 48th minute free-kick gave City the impetus to push on, before Sergio Aguero took advantage of Anders Lindegaard's handling error with 25 minutes left on the clock.
The introduction of Scholes did little to ease United's jitters late on, and at 2-3 City had penalty appeals turned down when Phil Jones appeared to have handled in the box.
But United held on to confirm their place in the fourth round draw, and at the final whistle both sets of supporters gave their team a standing ovation, such was the passion and determination on show at the Etihad Stadium.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: http://gms.to/writeforgms