A thrilling encounter between the two Manchester big guns ended 2-3 at the Etihad Stadium. Pep Guardiola’s men dominated the opening half by opening up a 2-0 scoreline. Vincent Kompany broke the deadlock in the 25th minute with an open header from David Silva’s corner kick. 1-0
Ilkay Gundogan made it 2-0 just 5 minutes later with a brilliant individual effort. Raheem Sterling set him up through 2 of United’s defenders and the German rounded off to slot in the ball, far from De Gea’s reach.
Other than the two goals, City had a plethora of scoring opportunities and could have easily ended the contest by making it 4-0 or 5-0. Sterling had a couple of howlers.
United were not even in the picture in the first 45 but came on in the second half to delve out punishment.
Herrera did brilliantly to take Kompany out of the equation and lay Pogba off inside the penalty box, who opened the United scoring by thumping the ball over Ederson. 1-2
Just minutes later, he made it 2-2 with an open header from Sanchez’s lobbed pass. Nobody among the City defence picked out the 25-year-old as he guided it in with his head.
And Smalling brought City back from the edges of glory with another open volley in front of the six-yard box. A classic story of how opportunity, if not taken comes back to bite hurt you ten-fold.
The Citizens tried to salvage a point and even came close from Gundogan’s efforts only to be denied by the woodwork. The match ended 2-3 after 90 minutes and City registered their first home loss after 419 days.
Here is how the Manchester United players were rated on the night.
David De Gea – 7/10
Helpless for almost every one of City’s chances including the two goals but came alive in the dying minutes to give his team the three points. Made an astounding save from Jesus’ point-blank header.
Eric Bailly – 6/10
Better of the two in defence but not the best night for him. Struggled to hold off the City attack.
Chris Smalling – 6/10
Woeful marking on Vincent Kompany and otherwise questionable defensively. But he redeemed himself by scoring the winner.
Antonio Valencia – 6/10
He did well against the pacey Leroy Sane but lost possession far too easily on some occasions. A decent shift.
Ashley Young – 5/10
His deliveries were off tonight and was sometimes well beaten by Raheem Sterling.
Ander Herrera – 6/10
He dropped deep to help out the United backline and even had a crucial interception to one of Silva’s scrumptious cross.
Nemanja Matic – 5/10
Sloppy on a few occasions and far too submissive on the other. But did manage to find his feet after his team got going in the second half.
Paul Pogba – 8/10
The irony of the situation is all tied to the Frenchman himself. The man with the blue hair destroyed the Blues within a span of just 2 minutes out of the 90. After facing heavy criticism from all corners of the earth, being left out of the squad for a young Scott McTominay and being linked with the opposition themselves, Pogba had his say with a brace tonight. Scored after 20 weeks and was the most animated on the pitch tonight. A mixed shift overall but ultimately Man Of The Match-worthy. Booked.
Jesse Lingard – 6/10
Not the most eye-catching with the ball but a tireless runner nevertheless. He was a pest in the City defence with his off-the-ball movement.
Alexis Sanchez – 7/10
Almost invisible in the first half but looked revitalized in the second. Broke clear off the City defence and crossed a pin-point ball towards the opposition box which eventually helped Pogba to the first goal.
Romelu Lukaku – 5/10
Was in brilliant form, scoring 4in the last 5 but not even a sniff of that tonight. Almost irrelevant with his lazy touches.
Marcus Rashford – NA
Scott McTominay – NA
Victor Lindelof – NA