Pogba and Smalling the heroes as United delay the champagne in Manchester
Apr 08 2018 by Dustin Murphy
Liverpool's 3-0 defeat of City in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final on Wednesday took some gloss off their impending coronation, but Guardiola has come out fighting by taunting United with the claim he was given the chance to sign the club's record signing Paul Pogba in January. If they play their best side, it's hard to see United keeping them out. "But we have done everything to win the game", Guardiola said.
There's only one player who can turn the game back in Man City's favour now.
Pogba hasn't always made Mourinho's starting XI in big games this season, but the French worldwide is included in a physical three-man midfield alongside Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera. Meanwhile, Bailly replaces Lindelof as Chris Smalling's sidekick in the centre of defence.
"It's a little sad for fans and players, we will try to be in a good mood next Tuesday", he said.
Responding to an insulting tirade directed at him by Mino Raiola, Manchester City'sPep Guardiola chose his time carefully before issuing a response. The last time both United and City met, the Blue side of Manchester had picked up a 2-1 win at Old Trafford. They've been so dominant this season that they came in the first leg tie at Anfield, Liverpool's own backyard, as favourites.
His second-half performance will go some way to silencing his critics, and United will hope the goals give him confidence to kick on for the rest of the season.
Paul Pogba sparked United's recovery with two goals in three minutes early in the second half, with defender Chris Smalling grabbing the victor with a superb volley.
Five minutes later, it appeared all but in the bag as Pep Guardiola's men struck again in style, Sterling finding Ilkay Gundogan, who turned away from Ander Herera and finished low into the corner.
United rallied after the break, however, with Pogba scoring two goals in as many minutes to draw the scores level and stun the Etihad into silence.
Alexis Sanchez provided the assist for the equaliser, dropping deep to float over a pass his midfield team-mate met ahead of Nicolas Otamendi to head home.
David de Gea denied Aguero an equaliser with a stunning save with moments to go as the Red Devils held on to claim a famous victory in the Manchester derby.
The title is secure, even if they don't win at the weekend, while a place in the Champions League semis is slipping out of reach.