Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United: Paul Pogba sparks stunning United fightback and deny City’s perfect title party

The two great football managers of modern Manchester shook hands cordially at the end of remarkable match that saw United spoil City’s dreams of winning the Premier League title in a derby showdown.

City needed victory to be confirmed as champions but Paul Pogba scored two goals in two minutes to overturn City’s first-half lead before Chris Smalling’s volley completed the dramatic turnaround.

Manchester City still made the more impressive start, and it was fitting that long-serving skipper Vincent Kompany netted the opener after 25 minutes with a virtual carbon copy of the famous header he scored six years ago against United.

The goal rocked the rivals and a revitalised City smelt blood. It was 2-0 just five minutes later as Guardiola’s men produced a move that summed up their free-flowing style. Raheem Sterling found Ilkay Gundogan with a clever reverse pass before the Germany international fooled Nemanja Matic with a round-the-world turn and toe-poked a cheeky effort into the bottom corner.

Outclassed United remained in contention after Raheem Sterling skied two golden chances over the bar with the goal at his mercy and Ilkay Gundogan headed straight at Spanish keeper David de Gea when unmarked eight yards out.

The France midfielder reduced the deficit with a cool finish after an outrageous chested pass by Ander Herrera and then two minutes later, Paul Pogba breezed past Nicholas Otamendi and flicked a header into the bottom corner via an Alexis Sanchez cross. These goals were Pogba’s first for United against a top-six team in the Premier League.

De Gea made a world-class one-handed save from Aguero who was introduced from the bench as City attacked furiously – but United held out and Guardiola’s title party must wait for another day.

Jose Mourinho was almost emotionless on the touchline, though, when United went 3-2 ahead in the 68th minute with a goal volleyed home from close range by Chris Smalling from an Alexis Sanchez free-kick with the home defence hopelessly out of position.

After the match Pep Guardiola embraced Paul Pogba in the centre circle before the France international ran to the away fans and clearly told them to ignore the speculation surrounding his future. As on pre-match, Pep Guardiola astonishingly claimed that he had been offered the chance to sign Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan in January by their super agent, Mino Raiola.

(Photo source:

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