United made a spectacular start. They struck after less than two minutes when Wayne Rooney ran on to a ball from Patrice Evra, danced between Kolo Toure and De Jong and guided his shot past Shay Given.
But then came the turning point, when Ben Foster just about ended any hope of becoming England's keeper, when he failed to make a simple clearance, allowed Tevez to tackle him and looked on in horror as his former team-mate played the ball into the path of Barry to convert an easy 16th-minute equaliser.
FOSTER- 4 - Shocking mistake for the first equaliser as he was caught in two minds. Was shaky throughout and Sir Alex Ferguson must have worries about his bottle for the big occasion.
O'SHEA- 6 - Reasonable showing. Didn't stand out on the ball or off it.
VIDIC - 6 - Not a great deal for him to do. Cut down Wright-Phillips when he was through on goal to get himself in the referee's notepad.
FERDINAND - 4 - Unbelievable mistake for Bellamy's second goal. How a man of his experience could do such a thing is remarkable.
EVRA- 7 - Pounced on Richards for the opening goal and was rarely turned by Wright-Phillips.
PARK- 6 - Started off brightly but failed to build on it. Never troubled Bridge and was understandably taken off.
ANDERSON- 6 - Decent showing from the Brazilian, but his manager will not have been happy with his failure to track Barry's run for the leveller.
FLETCHER- 9 - COMBINED MAN OF THE MATCH -Ghosted in to force the second goal and nodded in the winner as he charged past a dumbstruck Toure. Stood up well to the compact challenge posed by City's midfield.
GIGGS- 9 - COMBINED MAN OF THE MATCH- His lack of pace was countered by Richards but used his outstanding technique to glide past him. Showed his class to set up Fletcher and played the pass of the match for the winner.
ROONEY - 8 - Was too sharp for City as he got the champions off to the best possible start. Gave the visiting backline a tough time as they failed to stamp out his influence.
BERBATOV - 7 - Linked up well with Rooney and was caught in a personal battle with Given to find the back of the net.
OWEN- 8 - What a way to break your Old Trafford duck. Stole the headlines with his late shot past Given, that moment alone re-pays Ferguson's faith.
VALENCIA- 6 - A more dynamic option than Park, he helped the Red tide gain momentum in the second half.