Manchester United skipper Wayne Rooney has revealed the tactic employed by the Red Devils during their win over arch rivals Manchester City.
After four consecutive losses at Old Trafford against the Etihad Stadium outfit, Louis van Gaal's team were eager to arrest the slide and they did so on 12 April, when they demolished a hapless City 4-2 with goals from Ashley Young, Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Chris Smalling.
United dominated Manuel Pellegrini's team, especially in the midfield, where the big Belgian Fellaini, refused to let Yaya Toure settle and won almost every battle the duo entered.
Rooney revealed after the game that it was a tactic that they had looked at ahead of the clash, and admitted that they decided to take advantage of the City midfielders' unwillingness to track runners from the middle of the park.
"We know some of the City players are not the best at getting back and defending and tracking runners and we felt we could make them pay for that," Rooney said, as quoted by the Guardian.
The England skipper also reserved special praise for Fellaini, who, after a difficult start to his United career, has turned it around and is currently one of United's most important players.
He has played a major role during their victories over Tottenham and Liverpool and most recently City, and the manager is delighted that the player has stepped up and taken responsibility.
"He's getting used in the right way. He's a handful for defenders to mark. As you can see we like to try to play out from the back but, if teams are pressing us, it is an option for us and he's probably the best in world football at bringing the ball down, getting us out of that pressure and getting us further down the pitch. So the manager is using him in the right way and he is repaying the manager with goals and good performances," the former Everton player added.
"In fairness to Felli he kept his head down, worked hard and he's come through that tough period and is showing what he was doing at Everton and why Manchester United bought him. He is a quality player, he is a different option for us and happily it is starting to show on the pitch," Rooney concluded.