Manchester United knocked holders Manchester City out of the FA Cup with a 3-2 third-round win in an incident-packed derby at Eastlands on Sunday.
Wayne Rooney scored twice, netting either side of the controversial sending off of City captain Vincent Kompany, with Danny Welbeck also on target to make it 3-0 before the break for the visitors.
However, City pulled a goal back early in the second half when Aleksandar Kolarov bent a free-kick round the wall from the edge of the box.
Ten-man City then struck again when Sergio Aguero made it 3-2 in the 65th minute following a mistake by 37-year-old United substitute Paul Scholes, summoned out of retirement by manager Sir Alex Ferguson following an injury crisis.
Premier League leaders City, three points in front of champions United at the top of the table, then pressed for an equalizer, with Kolarov going close from a second free-kick in stoppage-time, but Ferguson’s men held on.
“I think we made them [City] better than they were,” Ferguson told ITV. “We were just so careless in the second half.”
United were later handed another difficult tie in the fourth round, a trip to bitter rivals Liverpool, where the fallout from the Luis Suarez-Patrice Evra race row will dominate the buildup.
City boss Roberto Mancini, clearly unhappy with the red card shown to Kompany by referee Chris Foy, praised his team’s character after going 3-0 down.
“It’s best that we talk about the game and not the referee. I am happy, because I think we played a fantastic performance, the players did well in the second half,” Mancini said.
Rooney gave United the lead against the run of the play in the 10th minute when, after spreading play wide to Antonio Valencia, he powered in a header off the crossbar from the winger’s cross.
Two minutes later, City were down to 10 men. Kompany appeared to win the ball cleanly from Nani, who played on, after sliding in on a wet pitch, but the City defender had gone in two-footed and Foy produced a red card.
Welbeck made it 2-0 with a brilliant volley from the edge of the box in the 30th minute and 10 minutes later he forced a penalty after he was brought down in the box by Kolarov.
Rooney’s spot-kick was well saved by Costel Pantilimon, only for the England striker to head in from the rebound as United looked to avenge their 6-1 league defeat by City at Old Trafford in October.
Elsewhere, Chelsea beat Portsmouth 4-0 in a repeat of the 2010 FA Cup final which the London side also won.
Juan Mata gave Chelsea the lead early in the second half at Stamford Bridge, before the hosts scored three goals in the final five minutes, Ramires netting twice, before Frank Lampard found the back of the net against 2008 FA Cup winners Pompey.
Sunderland continued their revival under Martin O’Neill with a 2-0 win at second-tier Peterborough United, managed by Darren Ferguson — son of Sir Alex.
Sebastian Larsson broke the deadlock early in the second half with a curling free-kick, before James McClean’s header sealed the victory.
McClean might have been a Peterborough player had not former Sunderland boss Steve Bruce snatched him from under Ferguson junior’s nose last summer.
“He has played three on the trot now and he’s been brilliant,” O’Neill said.
Meanwhile, Sheffield Wednesday, second in the third-tier of English soccer, caused something of an upset with a 1-0 win over West Ham United, level on points with second-tier leaders Southampton, after striker Chris O’Grady scored two minutes from time.