Glossop Advertiser - - Sports - James Rob­son

CITY may have lost the derby to their dead­li­est ri­vals and had to put the ti­tle cel­e­bra­tions on hold.

But this was a re­minder of what Pep Guardi­ola’s side can pro­duce when in full flow.

Okay, this was a painful, hum­bling evening for Guardi­ola.

Just as the vol­ume was set to be turned up for the ul­ti­mate party in­side the Eti­had, Jose Mour­inho came along and pulled the plug.

But the home side will know that on an­other day this had the po­ten­tial to be the most hu­mil­i­at­ing of matches for United.

An ut­terly wretched dis­play from ref­eree Mar­tin Atkin­son de­nied them two stonewall penal­ties, con­ceded by Ash­ley Young – first a bla­tant hand­ball and then a po­ten­tial leg-break­ing chal­lenge on Ser­gio Aguero.

Then there were the chances that went beg­ging.

Ra­heem Ster­ling twice fired over from close range when one-on-one with David de Gea in the first half.

Ilkay Gun­do­gan also planted a free header into the hands of the United goal­keeper be­fore the break.

The Ger­man then caught the out­side the bar when the score was still 2-0 in the sec­ond half.

And even after United mounted their in­cred­i­ble come­back, Aguero saw a header ac­ro­bat­i­cally pushed away by De Gea, and Ster­ling hit the post.

Goals from Vin­cent Kom­pany and Gun­do­gan only told part of the story.

It’s no ex­ag­ger­a­tion to sug­gest City could have been 5-0 up by half-time. How they weren’t, only they will know – and no doubt it will form the ba­sis of Guardi­ola’s post-match anal­y­sis.

It was ironic then that it was an old-fash­ioned set piece that opened the scor­ing after 25 min­utes, with a header that was all about Kom­pany’s will and power.

Gun­do­gan dou­bled City’s lead five min­utes later after a slick one-two with Ster­ling and a drag­back that left Ne­manja Matic for dead.

De Gea was left with no chance as the Ger­man an­swered his crit­ics after his dis­mal per­for­mance against Liver­pool and swept a shot into the bot­tom cor­ner.

City were sub­lime. United bam­boo­zled.

In that type of form, Guardi­ola’s side are un­stop­pable. United had no an­swer – and it was only City’s waste­ful­ness that kept the con­test alive.

But even after sur­viv­ing that on­slaught, not even the most ar­dent Red could have an­tic­i­pated what fol­lowed – Paul Pogba side- foot­ing past Eder­son eight min­utes into the break, and then head­ing home to level the scores to leave the Eti­had stunned.

When Chris Smalling met Alexis Sanchez’ in the 69th minute, it was a re­minder that any­thing can hap­pen in foot­ball.

Vin­cent Kom­pany cel­e­brates his goal

Ra­heem Ster­ling’s missed chances cost City dear

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