It would have been a great honor for Manchester City to celebrate their Premier League title in front of their city rival Manchester United. They have already planned for the after party before Manchester derby and the half-time result did suggest that. Manchester City were leading 2-0 from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan’s first-half strike but Paul Pogba inspired Manchester United ruined City’s title celebration plan.
Pogba strikes twice in 97 seconds time-interval to put City on backfoot. The much-criticized French midfielder once again reminds the world of his talent and skill. He brought his A-game when Manchester United really needed a spark. It looked all lost and it seems United will be clapping for their noisy neighbors’ Premier League title victory, Pogba turned the game in United’s favor. Chris Smalling added a cherry on top with his 69th-minute volley to give a headache to City’s manager Pep Guardiola.
— Andrew Burgess #FBPE (@AndrewBurgess_) April 7, 2018
City will be really disappointed to lose the Manchester derby 3-2, after 2-0 lead from the first-half. They could have joined Bundesliga’s Bayern Munich to clinch the title in the very same week. Earlier Bayern Munich, former Pep Guardiola team celebrated their 6th consecutive Bundesliga title, and it would have been a proud moment for Guardiola if he has managed to win Premier League in the very same week.
But, he was denied by his oldest nemesis. Although Mourinho doesn’t hold a very good record against the Spaniard, today’s victory will certainly add to his resume. He hasn’t only delayed City’s title celebration; he has opened a door for himself. The gap is now reduced to 13 points between them and City will travel to Wembley to face Tottenham Hotspur next week. The gap can be reduced to 10 there.
It could be a turning point in Guardiola’s best running campaign. They have already lost 3-0 to Liverpool in Uefa Champions League quarterfinals first-leg. And with tired legs who almost played for 100 minutes for a negative result against United, it gives little clue of considering them as favorite to move forward in the tournament.
Citizens’ chase for treble is lost for me now. They have only chance to be optimistic about winning Premier League title although they can’t take it as surety. We saw Liverpool losing the title in 2013/14 when they had five points lead with three games to play. The 13 points gap is too large to catch up with only 18 to grab, but it still gives United a chance to give their all just like today.