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Form check: Group D rivals

City in top form, Plzen held, CSKA beaten

Ten days prior to hosting the big Champions League clash against Bayern, Manchester City hit peak form on Sunday afternoon with a fully merited 4-1 derby victory against bitter rivals Manchester United. Manuel Pellegrini’s men outclassed the Premier League champions on the day and are now up to third in the standings.

The 47,156 sell-out crowd at Etihad Stadium saw the Blues dominate the match in every area. The home team applied pressure from the start, never allowing United to get going before half-time and scoring a clutch of well-worked goals. Sergio Agüero (16) and Yaya Touré (45) put City in control before the break, Agüero completing his brace two minutes after the restart and Samir Nasri (50) continuing the rout. Wayne Rooney scored for the visitors from a direct free kick four minutes from time, but it was scant consolation for the demoralised Reds.

Viktoria Plzen on the slide

In the Czech Gambrinus Liga, champions Viktoria Plzen slipped further off the pace in the upper reaches of the table at the weekend. A 9,050 crowd at Viktoria’s Města Plzně stadium watched Dukla Prague hold Pavel Vrba’s men to a goalless draw on Saturday. Plzen remain undefeated nine games into the season, but after failing to win for the second league game in a row, they now lie four points adrift of leaders Sparta Prague.

CSKA surrender top spot

A first defeat of the season means Russian double winners CSKA Moscow have surrendered top spot in the Premier Liga. Leonid Slutsky’s team travelled to local rivals Spartak on Sunday, but fell to a clear-cut 3-0 reverse. The prestige win means Spartak  are now level on points with CSKA and go second, one place ahead of Bayern’s Champions League opponents on goal difference. The new league leaders after nine games are Zenit St. Petersburg, although they too are level on points with the two Moscow clubs.