Paul Pogba injury threw us in derby, says Mourinho

Inside the Man City dressing room

Inside the Man City dressing room

Mourinho was without French midfielder Paul Pogba, sidelined with injury, and while the United boss did not want to use that absence as an excuse, he said the need to play Marouane Fellaini had limited his later options.

"A kid [Luke Shaw] that made a mistake for the first goal is playing so, so, so, so well and last season he was playing one match every three months and in this moment he is playing every game for 90 minutes".

City looked like they could cut through United at will down their left, with Benjamin Mendy, Sterling and David Silva combining well to make life hard for makeshift right-back Ashley Young.

With City 3-1 up in the final minutes, Sterling had the ball deep in the United half on the left wing but, rather than take the ball to the corner flag or keep possession, the England forward produced some fancy-footwork stepovers. Aguero took his goal beautifully, playing a one-two with Mahrez before smashing the ball past David de Gea into the roof of the net.

Sterling should have made it three shortly after, but after controlling Fernandinho's clever through-ball, he perhaps waited too long, and the chance was gone.

Yet, just as City threatened to run riot, their momentum was halted when with his first involvement since coming on as a substitute Romelu Lukaku was upended by Ederson for a United penalty, which Martial slotted in to score for the fifth straight league game. Last season [against United], we lost here.

And City claimed a third to record the winning margin that their performance deserved when Ilkay Gundogan scored four minutes from full-time.

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In contrast, Dunne pointed to City's most regular central pairing, and suggested John Stones and Aymeric Laporte could go on to dominate in a style different to that seen before.

The result ensured City climbed back above Liverpool - who beat Fulham 2-0 at Anfield - into top spot in the Premier League.

Guardiola later said he was unhappy with his side - "the first half was not so good" - for failing to press home its advantage, but early in the second half came a second goal.

For the City clash, instead Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho opted for a starting front-line of Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, and Jesse Lingard.

"I think we've always got to have a mind of the feeling for the supporters about the importance of each match".

"I don't like to lose and speak about this player that was not (here), I don't like that very much but he is important for us in many aspects", Mourinho said of Pogba.

The last global break of the year means no game now for fortnight with the champions resuming a week on Saturday away to West Ham United.

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