How Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling ruined Manchester City’s party at the Etihad

Manchester City scored twice in the first-half of Sunday’s Manchester derby but wound up on the losing side thanks to a brace from Paul Pogba and a goal from Chris Smalling.

United ruined City’s party at the Etihad to exact their revenge after losing at home in December. A scuffle had broken out between Jose Mourinho and the City players but now the United manager got his own back on their own turf.

City needed only to win against United to seal the Premier League title, but they’ve now been made to wait a little longer. Sunday’s defeat was Pep Guardiola’s second in two games, having suffered a 3-0 loss to Liverpool in the Champions League.

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola

The game saw controversy early on, with a David Silva cross forcing Ashley Young to handball inside the area. He tried to use his head but the ball clearly hit his hand. City players were insistent, but no penalty was given.

In the 25th minute, Vincent Kompany headed home from a corner to put City ahead. Five minutes later saw Ilkay Gundogan and Raheem Sterling work an opening for the former to score City’s second.

City looked in control of the game at the break, but the match turned in the second-half when Paul Pogba scored back-to-back goals in the 53rd and 55th minute.

Pogba’s first came when Ander Herrera chested down a cross from Alexis to the Frenchman who lifted his effort above the onrushing Ederson.

Alexis Sanchez played a part in Pogba’s second too, lifting a diagonal aerial ball to Pogba who headed home to level the game. In a matter of two minutes, City’s dominance in the game had been shattered.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – APRIL 07: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his sides second goal during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Then, in the 69th minute, Chris Smalling completed their comeback, side-footing home from close range to put United 3-2 up.

Guardiola tried really to get back in the game by bringing on Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and Sergio Aguero, but the trio who were initially rested to be fresh for Tuesday’s Champions League clash failed to find an equaliser.

Aguero came close to winning a penalty after being taken down by Young, but the United defender was fortunate for a second time not to be penalised. The Argentine nearly scored from a close-range header too, but De Gea tipped his effort over the bar after fine work from Leroy Sane.

Manchester City next face Liverpool at the Etihad on Tuesday for the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final clash. They’ll be under enormous pressure given their recent dip in form.

Manchester United will be facing West Brom at Old Trafford on Sunday.

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Syed Mohsin

Syed Mohsin

A Journalism major whose primary interests is based on Sports, Books and Technology. Syyed is regarded an archeologist in this field as he's always keen on finding out whatever it is happening and why it is in these areas.