Manchester United pulled an incredible second-half comeback out of the bag to beat rivals Manchester City 3-2, leaving them with an anxious wait for confirmation of the Premier League title in the following weeks after a nail-biting game at the Etihad. Pep Guardiola's side were coasting through games to the title until the upset, and they looked to be doing the same here, going into the break with a 2-0 lead, but United produced an extraordinary response with two-goals from Paul Pogba and Chris Smalling when play restarted.
The home side continued to dominate as play kicked off but United looked threatening when Pogba was fouled, but Alexis Sanchez wasted the free kick..
After half an hour, City took what seemed to be their first step towards victory when Vincent Kompany lost his marker to power home a header from a masterful corner by Sane. Five minutes later, it appeared all but a dead cert as Pep Guardiola's men struck again in fine style, as Ilkay Gundogan, who lost Ander Herera and finished low into the corner as Sterling found him with an intelligent ball.
Sterling found and missed two chances as City looked to put the outcome beyond doubt before half-time, compounded by Herrara going into the referee's book as United looked increasingly out of sorts. Jose Mourinho's side still struggled to cope with City's passing, only for Sterling to scuff his shot and the visitors' Romelu Lukaku was booked for a foul.
But after 53 minutes United were back in it with a masterful goal, as Sanchez picked out Herrera, who chested the ball down for Pogba to chip it home and within two minutes they had equalised it at 2-2. Again, the goal was a masterful piece of football, Sanchez involved again, as he volleyed a perfect cross for Pogba to head it past an outmatched Ederson.
City tried to claw back the lead as Fernandinho passed to David Silva, but he was unable to successfully find the net with his shot. Astonishingly, after 69 minutes United had pulled out in front, Sanchez yet again making a chance with a deep free kick from the left to Smalling, who slipped through Man City’s net to thump it past Ederson. Martin Atkinson waved away the adamant appeals, that City should have had a penalty when Young clattered into Aguero, who was instead booked for his reaction, before Fernandinho received a card for a foul on Jesse Lingard.
The game became increasingly heated and ragged as the minutes ticked away, with Pogba joining those booked, before Mourinho made a change, replacing Sanchez with Marcus Rashford. With five minutes of normal time left on the clock, Scott McTominay came on for Lingard as the United boss looked to park the bus and see the game out. Young made a crucial interception following Sterling’s run down the right as time ran out, with De Gea then making a confident claim as Fabian Delph swung in a final attempt at goal with cross from the left.
And with 89 minutes on the clock in the death of the game, the United keeper made a superb, crucial stop to bump a powerful Aguero header over the bar when it seemed like the game was going to end in a frustrating 3-3 draw, leaving Manchester City waiting on tenterhooks to claim the title, something they finally be able to do when they saw off Tottenham Hotspur the following week.