In April, Manchester City beat Manchester United 1-0 at the Etihad in a performance of such control it seemed as though the balance of power in English football might have taken a decisive shift in City's favor. It's dangerous always to place too much emphasis on one game, but so dominant was City, so moribund United, that it felt like looking at the future and the past: City was powerful and fresh; United, with three thirtysomethings in midfield and Ryan Giggs chugging back, looked merely a ghost of the team it had been four years earlier.

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