Make the run and I'll find you: Alexis Sanchez to Paul Pogba before Manchester derby comeback

Posted By: Aveek Chakraborty
Paul Pogba of Manchester United is overjoyed after scoring his sides equaliser against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium

Bengaluru, April 9: Manchester United's derby hero Paul Pogba has suggested his link-up play with Alexis Sanchez and the brilliant pass of the Chilean for his second goal against Manchester City was premeditated. United recovered from two goals down at the end of the first half to win 3-2 at the Etihad Stadium last Saturday.

In a match where a Manchester City win meant Pep Guardiola's side would clinch the Premier League title, United saw City take the lead with a thumping header from captain Vincent Kompany. The lead soon expanded to 2-0 when midfielder Ilkay Gundogan stunned David de Gea and the Manchester United defense with a clever finish to the bottom corner.

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At half-time, United were riled up and Pogba, who was silent in the first 45 minutes, got United off the mark with a beautiful header off Ander Herrera’s chested lay-up. The Red Devils equalised, thanks to Pogba again. This time, the Frenchman converted from a cross by Sanchez before Chris Smalling completed United’s incredible comeback in the 69th minute off Sanchez's set-piece delivery.

The Chilean, who has been struggling since his move from Arsenal, showed a side to his game and had a hand in all of United's three goals. This is the also the second time Sanchez provided two assists in a single Premier League game.

And following the victory, Man of the Match Pogba revealed what Sanchez said to him before he scored twice in the Manchester derby.

Pogba told Sky Sports: "I know they like to attack so we had to get forward. I know when he has the ball, he likes to play. I saw the space and I just went. Luckily, I was there.

"We lifted because we were 2-0 down – one goal and obviously your confidence goes up. Before the game, he said 'I see you all the time, just make the run and I will find you'."

Pogba also hailed the impact of veteran midfielder Michael Carrick and suggested the midfielder's advice during the half-time also helped him improve his performance.

"After the game, Michael Carrick showed me a video, it helped me a lot with this," the Frenchman continued. "Every time after training he talks to me. It’s hard to make this run when you play in a two because you have to stay, when we have three I can go forward. I didn’t want to lose against City, last year I still have it in my mind. If City win against United, they are champions and the fans are dead. To see them celebrate in their own stadium, I couldn’t let that happen."

United are currently still 13 points adrift of leaders Manchester City but winning the tie now could give them a big advantage over third- and fourth-placed Liverpool and Spurs. United are in pole position to finish second in the Premier League this term with a four-point lead over Liverpool and Spurs and still six games left to play.

Story first published: Monday, April 9, 2018, 18:18 [IST]
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