Before Kick-off Manchester United had only won once in last ten away matches against top 6 rivals, even failed to score in eight games. 2-0 down at half-time and losing the premier league title to their biggest rival.
A Match of two halves
Manchester City started the game brilliantly, as everyone expected, but they could only score two goals. Raheem Sterling should have put Man City out of sight in the 1st half. But he missed a hat-trick of chances, including easy tap-in as well. City Captain Vincent Kompany even said in his post-match interview
City Captain Vincent Kompany even said in his post-match interview: it should have been 5-0 or 6-0 at halftime.
For Manchester United, everything was going wrong at half-time, “They were all over the place in 1st half” Gary Neville quoted saying in the commentary. United legend even questioned positioning of entire back four for allowing space to man city players.
Pep Guardiola: “In the last two games we’ve had moments and the opposition has scored goals. Congratulations to United. We’re now going to stand up and be brave and focus on Tuesday.”
And in all fairness, hardly anyone expected the reaction from Jose Mourinho’s team after poor 1st half performance. But Paul Pogba had other ideas, especially after city manager Pep Guardiola questioned France international’s transfer fee.
How did Manchester United come out with a 3-2 comeback win?
Pogba’s recent form wasn’t good enough, and ongoing speculation did not help eighter. But Manchester United up their game right from the start of the 2nd half. Back to back corners then pogba’s left footed shot from outside the box saved by city goal-keeper Ederson, but City were on back foot for the first time in Manchester derby.
Manchester United needed an early goal to stopped Man City winning the premier league title in this match. It did not take long for United to score, brilliant chest controlled pass by Ander Herrera sent pogba one on one with Ederson and Pogba finished it superbly.
Alexis Sanchez was quite in the first half but he was heavily involved in united’s 1st goal. Soon after 2-1 Former Arsenal man found pogba with clever through ball over the top of city defence, who tried playing an off-side trap, it was 2-2 as pogba’s header gave no chance to city goal-keeper Ederson.
Pogba: “After the second half like this, we have to do that all the time. If we did we would be up there with City, and maybe even in front.”
Pep Guardiola and City fans were shocked, in the space of 97 seconds, from the comfortable 2-0 lead to 2-2 at Etihad Stadium against their biggest rival.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2018
Mourinho’s team looked more like an old Manchester United team, going for it the win after the equalizer. Guardiola’s team discomposed for the first at home by their opponent after a long time.
With one eye on champions league game on Tuesday night, Guardiola looked more than happy with a point and glad to wait another day for the title. But Mourinho and Manchester United had other ideas, they kept pressing Man City, and eventually, city defence split off, and Chris Smalling scored from Alexi Sanchez’s cross following a set-piece.
Liverpool legend Danny Murphy even joked in BBC match of the day that Manchester United were 50-1 at halftime to win this match.
Mourinho “I think mathematically we need six points to stay in the top four and this win is part of that tonight.”
Man City: Ederson 5, Danilo 5, Vincent Kompany 7, Otamendi 5, Fabian Delph 6, Fernandinho 5, Ilkay Gundogan 7, Bernardo Silva 7, David Silva, Raheem Sterling 5, Leroy Sane 6. Subs: De Bruyne 6, Gabriel Jesus 5, Sergio Aguero 6.
Manchester United: David De Gea 8, Antonio Valencia 6, Eric Bailly 6, Chris Smalling 7, Ashley Young 6, Nemanja Matic 7, Paul Pogba 9, Ander Herrera 8, Jesse Lingard 8, Alexis Sanchez 8, Romelu Lukaku 7. Subs: Marcus Rashford 7, Scott McTominay 6, Victor Lindelof 5.