Alan Smith scored the first goal of his comeback from his leg injury as Manchester United beat City in the reserve team derby on Thursday.
Smith, who has been put on a personal fitness programme in an attempt to secure a first-team return, chipped home an instinctive 30-yard shot in the second-half after a poor Joe Hart clearance landed at his feet.
The effort completed a 2-0 win for the Red Devils, who will hope for a similar result against the same opposition in the Premiership at Old Trafford on Saturday.
There was even more good news for Sir Alex Ferguson as Korean midfielder Park Ji-sung completed the opening 45 minutes of his return from a three-month absence following ankle surgery.
Another first-team star, Kieran Richardson, opened the scoring for the hosts with a superb free-kick before the interval.