MANCHESTER CITY 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 3
Premier League | Etihad Stadium| Attendance: 54,259 | Scorers: Kompany 25 mins, Gundogan 30mins; Pogba 53mins , 55mins, Smalling 69mins
Manchester United breathtakingly wrecked neighbors Manchester City’s plans to wrap up the Premier League title on derby day by producing an astonishing comeback at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United produced an incredible second-half comeback to leave rivals Manchester City waiting for confirmation of the Premier League title after a thrilling game at the Etihad Stadium.
Pep Guardiola’s side seemed to be cruising to the crown as they went in at the break with a 2-0 lead, but United produced a staggering response led by two-goal Paul Pogba.
City produced the first threat with five minutes gone when Leroy Sane found David Silva, whose low cross seemed to hit the grounded Ashley Young on the hand only for penalty appeals to be waved away.
The home side were controlling the opening stages but United offered some threat when Pogba was fouled on the left only for Alexis Sanchez to waste the free kick.
Back came City and, after 21 minutes, David Silva got onto the end of a loose ball after good work from Raheem Sterling but sent his effort high and wide.
That was a warning for an increasingly stretched United, whose keeper David De Gea soon had to make a good save to prevent Bernardo Silva from opening the scoring.
But after 25 minutes City took what seemed to be their first step towards confirming the title when captain Vincent Kompany rose unmarked to thump home a header from Sane’s corner.
Five minutes later, it appeared to be all but in the bag as Pep Guardiola’s men struck again in style, Sterling finding Ilkay Gundogan, who turned past Ander Herera and finished into the corner.
Sterling twice fired over from good positions as City looked to put the outcome beyond doubt before half-time, Herrara going into the referee’s book as United became increasingly ragged.
Sane crossed low as Jose Mourinho’s side again struggled to cope with City’s passing, only for Sterling to scuff a shot into the hands of De Gea, while Gundogan headed at the keeper before Romelu Lukaku, working off scraps, was booked for a foul.
Lukaku made a strong run into the City area in the opening moments of the second half only for his attempted cross to be cut out, the corner coming off Kompany and running across the area with nobody able to get a touch.
United were on the front foot as they tried to find a route back into the game and Pogba tried his luck from just outside the box but Ederson saved.
Back came City, and good work from Sterling engineered a shooting chance for Gundogan, who lifted his effort over the bar.
But after 53 minutes United were back in the game with a high-quality goal, Sanchez picking out Herrera, who chested the ball down for Pogba to clip home — and within two minutes they had made it 2-2.
Again the goal was excellent and again Sanchez was involved, flighting a perfect cross for Pogba to send a fine header past Ederson and into the corner.
The home side, who had seemed to be cruising to the title, had a chance to re-establish the lead when Fernandinho flighted a pass to Silva inside the area but, after bringing the ball down, he was unable to steer it beyond De Gea.
Jesse Lingard fired wide from the edge of the area as City’s first-half composure deserted them, but the home side came forward again and Gundogan whipped a 65th-minuyte free kick over the bar after Silva had been fouled on the edge of the area.
Astonishingly, after 69 minutes United were in front and Sanchez was again the provider as his deep free kick from the left was met by Chris Smalling, who escaped his markers to thump an emphatic finish past Ederson.
Guardiola reacted by ringing the changes, bringing on Kevin De Bruyne for Silva and Gabriel Jesus for Bernardo Silva in what had become a stunned atmosphere at the Etihad Stadium.
A third change soon followed as Sergio Aguero entered the fray, coming on for Gundogan as the game entered its final 15 minutes.
City were adamant that they should have had a penalty when Young made a clattering challenge on Aguero inside the area but referee Martin Atkinson waved away the appeals, Aguero booked for his reaction, before Fernandinho also received a yellow card for a foul on Lingard.
The game was beginning to come to the boil, Pogba joining the list of those in the book, before Mourinho opted to make a change as he replaced Sanchez with Marcus Rashford.
With five minutes of normal time remaining, Scott McTominay came on for Lingard as Mourinho looked to see the game out.
Young made a crucial interception as Sterling looked to have got away down the right with time running out, and the De Gea made a confident claim as Fabian Delph swung in a cross from the left.
And with 89 minutes gone, the United keeper made a superb stop to tip an Aguero header over the bar when the City substitute had seemed certain to make it 3-3.
Sterling’s touch to a header down cannoned off the post and was scrambled away as the home side came even closer to an equaliser — but, with Danilo and Gabriel Jesus also going into the book – they were unable to find one.
Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling made sure Manchester was Red on Saturday following a stirring comeback from United in the derby.
The Blues had drawn first blood and taken a seemingly commanding 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan, but Jose Mourinho’s men stormed back after the break thanks to a brace from Pogba and then an excellent finish from Smalling to make the final score 3-2.
The result delayed City’s title celebrations and ensured the Reds further strengthened the grip on second spot ahead of Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur.
City: Ederson; Danilo, Kompany (c), Otamendi, Delph, B. Silva (Jesus 72), D. Silva (De Bruyne 72), Fernandinho, Gundogan (Aguero 75), Sane; Sterling.
Substitutes not used: Bravo, Walker, Laporte, Toure.
Booked: Sterling, Fernandinho, Aguero, Danilo, Kompany, Jesus.
United: De Gea; Valencia (c), Bailly, Smalling, Young; Matic, Pogba, Herrera (Lindelof 90); Lingard (McTominay 84), Alexis (Rashford 82), Lukaku.
Substitutes not used: J Pereira, Rojo, Mata, Martial.
Booked: Herrera, Pogba, Lukaku.
Up Man U!
WHAT’S NEXT FOR UNITED?
The Reds are back at Old Trafford next Sunday 15 April for a Premier League game against West Bromwich Albion (KO 16:00 BST). The Baggies are currently bottom of the division, staring relegation in the face and are currently without a permanent manager after sacking Alan Pardew.