United fightback a warning shot to City, says Smalling
- Author: Leroy Wright Apr 08, 2018,
Apr 08, 2018, 21:39
They were already playing well, and once we got the goals we knew we were mentally strong enough to see the game out.
And City should have had a penalty when Ashley Young somehow escaped without punishment from a knee-high lunge on Aguero inside the area that sparked an bad-tempered finale. Again it was Pogba, who had been poor in the first half, who did the damage, rising to meet a deep Sanchez cross and angling his header into the bottom corner.
"I think there's no better feeling than to score that victor in a derby and obviously make up for the first goal, which was my mistake", the defender said.
However, Pep turned down deals for the pair - with Neville suggesting that was a good move for both parties, as Pogba would be miles off first-team football in the blue half of Manchester.
This was the only the second time City has lost in the league this season. "I would not speak to him about players; I would speak to Manchester City".
"He played well against Swansea, he produced some very good work in training, and along with Nemanja Matic and Ander Herrera he was phenomenal against City", the United manager said. Pep Guardiola's men entered the game with a win away from clinching the league title but the Paul Pogba-led United delayed their triumph.
And Chris Smalling, so fragile in the United defense in the first half, came through with the victor in the 69th minute when he was left unmarked to meet Alexis Sanchez's free kick.
The principal attacking threats - Gabriel Jesus and Sergio Aguero - were left on the bench for more than 70 minutes.
He was ineffective in the first-half as City players took utmost advantage of his immobility.
Minutes after the second half began, Pogba began his day of domination, taking a ball after a brilliant bit of United teamwork and slammed it home, making it 2-1 at minute 53.
And it was the team's longest-serving player who came through with the opener. In the derby captain Vincent Kompany gave City the best possible start when he headed the opening goal after 25 minutes. The Portuguese would feel that he squandered a glorious chance in the first half when his tame effort failed to cause De Gea any problems whatsoever.
"It's about making sure that we can stand up tall against our rivals", Smalling told MUTV, having also beaten Liverpool and Chelsea over the last six weeks. My biggest thought after this game is 'how do Manchester City recover for Tuesday night to even given them a chance against Liverpool?'