Manchester United fight back delays Manchester City’s title celebrations


Manchester City’s Premier League title celebrations were put on hold as Manchester United produced a stunning comeback to win their derby clash 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday (Sunday NZ time).

A win for City would have clinched the title but instead their first home defeat in the league this season leaves Pep Guardiola’s side with a 13 point lead with six games remaining.

City left several regular starters on the bench ahead of Tuesday’s (Wednesday NZ time) Champions League quarter-final second leg against Liverpool.

Nonetheless, they were 2-0 up within half an hour thanks to a Vincent Kompany header from a corner and a clever finish from Ilkay Guendogan.

But two goals from Paul Pogba in the 53rd and 55th minutes brought United level before Chris Smalling, left unmarked in the box, grabbed the winner in the 69th minute – side-footing home a floated free kick from Alexis Sanchez.

City felt they should have had a penalty when substitute Sergio Aguero went down under a challenge from Ashley Young.

They also came close to an equaliser when David de Gea made a brilliant save to keep out a header from Aguero and Raheem Sterling hit the post.

Earlier in the day Everton and Liverpool served up a goalless, and surprisingly bloodless, affair in the 231st Merseyside derby with Juergen Klopp’s Reds missing their chance to jump into second place in the Premier League.

Tottenham Hotspur then won 2-1 with a double from the in-form Christian Eriksen at Stoke City to join third-placed Liverpool on 67 points and take closer order in the three-way battle for the runners-up spot.

Harry Kane made his return for Spurs after nearly a month out with injury but it was Eriksen who orchestrated the victory with two goals in 11 second-half minutes, taking his goal tally to five in three games in all competitions.

Kane claimed the final touch — and a 25th league goal of the season — from the Dane’s 63rd minute freekick but replays showed the ball had gone straight in.

It meant Spurs now have an advantage over Klopp’s side, as they also have a game in hand.

At the other end of the table, bottom club West Bromwich Albion’s plight only worsened as Swansea City came from behind to draw 1-1 and keep the seemingly- doomed Baggies 10 points from safety with just five games left.

Brighton and Huddersfield saw Socceroos duo Aaron Mooy come face to face at the Amex Stadium where the sides played out a 1-1 draw.

Burnley maintained their unlikely push for European football, coming from behind with two goals from Sam Vokes and Jack Cork in three second-half minutes to win 2-1 at Watford.

It secured their fourth straight league victory, the first time they have achieved the feat in the top flight since 1968, and saw them close to within two points of sixth-placed Arsenal.

Leicester City’s Europa League ambitions, though, were jolted by a 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle United, who earned a third consecutive league win with goals from Jonjo Shelvey and Ayoze Perez.

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