But United reduced their arrears just before the break as Zlatan Ibrahimovic took advantage of a clanger from debutant City keeper Claudio Bravo in a frantic end to the half at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola’s visitors thoroughly deserved to go in ahead as United looked all at sea – with Wayne Rooney so frustrated he shoved the City boss in an attempt to get the ball back.
United boss Jose Mourinho is renowned for his early substitutions and will surely shuffle his pack
De Bruyne netted his first Prem goal of the season in the 15th minute as Guardiola’ side profited from nothing more than a simple long ball.
Aleksandar Kolarov thumped upfield from the near the corner flag at the City end and Iheanacho flicked on, allowing De Bruyne to poke the ball past a static Blind and race through on goal and give David De Gea the eyes before slotting to his left.
If the goal was not typical of the kid of football Guardiola is trying to ingrain at City, plenty else was.
And it was a more flowing move that brought about City’s second, as they worked the ball to De Bruyne on the right flank and Blind played Iheanacho onside with the Belgian’s shot coming back off the post for the Nigerian striker to slot home a simple finish.
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United then pulled a goal back three minutes before half-time as Bravo dropped a simple catch after colliding with John Stonesbravo and Ibra sliced in at the near post from 15 yards out.
Zlatan had a two chances at the end of a frantic half to draw United level, with Bravo’s mistake looking like it had shattered his confidence.