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September 21, 2009

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Last-gasp Owen goal breaks City heart in cracking derby

SUBSTITUTE Michael Owen struck in the sixth minute of injury time to earn Manchester United a 4-3 English Premier League win over Manchester City in one of the most dramatic derbies for years yesterday.

Three times United led - through Wayne Rooney and two Darren Fletcher headers - but three times City fought back with a goal from Gareth Barry and two from Craig Bellamy, his second coming in the 90th minute, before Owen decided it.

"All the goals were mistakes which is disappointing," said United midfielder Fletcher.

The win took United to 15 points - alongside Chelsea, which was hosting Tottenham Hotspur later. City, which had won its first four league games, remains on 12, alongside Spurs and Liverpool, which won 3-2 at West Ham United on Saturday.

Yesterday's Manchester derby between the champion and a big-spending City side with great expectations was one of the most-eagerly-awaited for years and it more than lived up to its billing.

While Wayne Rooney had got United off to the best possible start with a goal inside two minutes, goalkeeper Ben Foster committed the first calamity to allow City striker Carlos Tevez, returning to Old Trafford following his offseason move from United, to set up Gareth Barry's equalizer.

Fletcher headed United briefly back in front at the start of the second half, but Tevez provided the ball for Bellamy to make it 2-2.

Bellamy was on target again after Fletcher nodded in another in the 80th, but Owen chose the perfect time to score his first goal for United at Old Trafford and vindicate manager Alex Ferguson's gamble on the 29-year-old forward.

In Spain, champion Barcelona turned on the style to hammer Atletico Madrid 5-2 and consolidate its position at the top on Saturday.

Barca maintained its 100 percent record to stay top with nine points ahead of Real Mallorca on seven, after the islanders cruised to a 4-0 victory over Tenerife.

Sevilla won 2-0 at Osasuna with goals from Alvaro Negredo and Frederic Kanoute, while Espanyol dragged itself off the foot of the table with 3-2 victory at Deportivo La Coruna.


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