Jose Mourinho and co. will be celebrating tonight, and not just because it’s a Friday night.
The Manchester derby on September 10 will be without one of its main stars after Sergio Aguero was handed a three-match ban by the Football Association.
Aguero was punished for elbowing Winston Reid in City’s 3-1 win against West Ham on Sunday. City appealed the FA’s violent conduct charge but their hopes of having Aguero for the first derby of the season were dashed on Friday.
While the blue half of Manchester is agonising, the red half is partying. Per Opta, Aguero has scored seven Premier League goals against United, three more than any other City player.
It’s a real let off for Mourinho, then. Aguero has been a pain in United’s side and had made an electrifying start to the season with five goals in his first four matches.
Now, United will be preparing to for, in all likelihood, Kelechi Iheanacho. The 19-year-old is a promising talent but it’s still a significant drop off in talent, and one that could change the outcome of the game.
Needless to say, United fans are rather chuffed with the news of Aguero’s ban.
Along with the derby, the Argentinian will miss City’s league game against Bournemouth and EFL Cup match against Swansea after the FA rejected his appeal.
The altercation with Reid was missed by referee Andre Marriner - something City protested - but the FA decided to take retrospective action.
An FA statement read: “The club denied the charge and submitted further that if it was to be found proven, the standard punishment would be clearly excessive.
"On finding the charge proven at a hearing today [Friday 2 September 2016], an Independent Regulatory Commission went on to reject the club’s further claim to decrease the three-match ban."
100 per cent
Aguero won’t be at Old Trafford but the Manchester derby remains a highly-anticipated fixture. It will see Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola go head-to-head for the first time in the Premier League.
Something has to give, with United and City both holding 100 per cent records after three fixtures.
No doubt the odds on a United win became a lot lower with today’s news.
Who will win the Manchester derby? Give us your thoughts in the comments section below!