7 April 2018
A remarkable second-half fightback from Man United to come from two goals down to win the Manchester derby means that Man City must wait to secure the Premier League title.
City were by far the better team in the first half. Bernardo Silva came close to scoring, but he couldn’t poke the ball past David de Gea.
City took the lead in the 25th minute through captain Vincent Kompany with a header from a corner. Leroy Sané took the corner, with Kompany getting ahead of Chris Smalling to head in. Smalling was pulling Kompany’s shirt but, Kompany still managed to score.
City doubled their lead in the 30th minute through Ilkay Gündogan. Raheem Sterling passed the ball to Gündogan, who turned past the defender before finishing into the corner.
Sterling should’ve added more goals in the first half. He twice fired over the bar from very good positions. Gündogan also had a good chance with a header straight at de Gea after being set up by Fernandinho.
In the second half, Gündogan came close again, this time striking against the outside of the right-hand post. United were starting to improve since the break.
In the 53rd minute, Paul Pogba pulled a goal back. Alexis Sanchez made some space for himself before finding Ander Herrera, who chested the ball to Pogba, who fired past Ederson.
Two minutes later the score was level due to another goal by Pogba. Sanchez was involved again, this time finding Pogba with a delightful pass over top, with Pogba heading in.
In the 69th minute the comeback was complete due to Smalling scoring. From a Sanchez free-kick he crossed it over the top to Smalling who volleyed past de Gea. It was very poor defending from City.
City had an appeal for a penalty when Ashley Young went high with a challenge on Sergio Aguero. But, the referee waved their appeal away.
Aguero thought he had scored with a header, but de Gea pulled off another spectacular save to deny him. Sterling once again came close in the last few minutes with the ball deflecting off him against the post, with de Gea reacting to kick the ball away.
In the end United held on to postpone City’s title celebrations. They still remain 13 points clear at the top with six games remaining.
It wasn’t just the scoreline which changed in the second half, it was Pogba’s performance. In the first half he struggled to have any effect and his hair was the only thing getting noticed.
But, in the second half he was much improved scoring two goals and having a much bigger effect on the game. He helped United get back into the game.
Next up for United is a home game against West Brom. Hopefully we can continue our winning form and make City wait another week to win the title.