Abril 24, 2018

United laid down marker with comeback against City, says Chris Smalling

09 Abril 2018, 04:31 | Gerardo Tarin

Paul Pogba Sure Man City fans will make themselves heard Credit Getty

Paul Pogba at training

"For the fans it is tough and maybe we are going to get more credit if we are able to win the Premier League and people will say how tough it is to win", Guardiola said after the game.

The former United defender still has concerns over an inconsistent figure, but was delighted to see Pogba show what he is capable of in a talismanic two-goal showing at the Etihad Stadium which saw the Red Devils deny their noisy neighbours a Premier League title party.

The sense was compounded by that very bad first half.

"Now's the time for experienced players to take over and take charge".

Manchester United's performances under Jose Mourinho can be hard to watch sometimes but he really got his team pumped up for the derby to be fair.well, for the second-half at least. However, he improved in the second half and put in some crucial challenges although was lucky not to concede a penalty.

Rio Ferdinand felt Manchester United's incredible comeback victory over rivals City showed the team care about playing for the shirt and could handle the intense pressure of the occasion.

The Citizens were left stunned, and could have had an equaliser, were it not for a combination of poor finishing from Raheem Sterling, and a stunning save from David de Gea.

However, the £89 million man stepped up and answered his critics in the second half by scoring two brilliant goals in quick succession and instigating a shock comeback that prevented City from winning the title in a dream scenario.

But Paul Pogba had other ideas.

The blitz started in the 53rd minute. Ninety seconds later Pogba had a second, a header of some beauty, as he hung in the air before flicking the ball past the helpless Ederson again. "I know, he knows, everyone knows, he had some performances not at the level of expectations we have for Paul". He brings arrogance, confidence and belief.

A source close to the Manchester United boss told the Daily Star: 'Some guy threw it at him and he told the boy to take it. Chris Smalling grabbed a memorable 69th-minute victor because of the unstoppable momentum Pogba had created for United.

After being unable to keep the Magpies airborne in the Premier League just a few months after leaving Real Madrid, the Spaniard loyally dropped into the Championship and engineered an instant return to top-flight football.

City go into the game 3-0 down from the first leg and on this showing do not look as though they have enough to turn it around.

Hopefully for United fans, yesterday's momentous result marks a much-needed modification to Mourinho's stale approach.

"I was thinking at half time that it was going to be hard for them if we got beaten, so I'm happy for them". A vital step away from the gritty, dogged, defensive rigidity deployed against top sides, which, rightly or wrongly, defines him.

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