José Mourinho hails 'phenomenal' Paul Pogba after Manchester United sink City

Pogba's brace brought United back into the game after early goals from Pep Guardiola's side

He also turned his mind quickly to Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final tie with Liverpool, which City trail 3-0 from the first-leg. "You score one goal and your confidence goes up".

Pogba has endured a desperately disappointing season having often been dropped by Mourinho for United's biggest games.

Defender Chris Smalling completed the turnaround after 69 minutes when he volleyed in from a free-kick to delay City's celebrations by at least another week. This has been the most testing period in their sensational season, and what they hoped would be two hugely significant home games within a short space of time look more likely to end in real disappointment now.

Pep Guardiola's men will become the first team in the league's 26-year history to wrap up the title with six games to spare if they beat United at the Etihad - a fitting end to a season of nearly total dominance in the league.

His second was a superbly angled header from a Sanchez cross and indeed it was the Chilean, as much as Pogba, who galvanised United in their comeback, providing the delivery into the area for Smalling's victor as well.

A City side that has lost just once in the league will seal the title earlier than any side in Premier League history unless Jose Mourinho´s side can throw a spanner in the works at the Etihad Stadium.

"Nobody believes but we have another game", said Guardiola after the defeat to Jurgen Klopp's men. They are four points clear of Liverpool in their quest to finish the best of the rest.

"That's why I congratulate Manchester City, because they are going to win the title and deserve to win the title".

Following the game, Smalling faced the Sky Sports cameras and revealed how Mourinho had addressed his troops during the break, spurring them on and sending them back out to battle.

There was to be no Premier League crowning glory for Manchester City after another dramatic derby.

I didn't want to lose against City.

City went into this derby with a 16-point lead so the triumph is a formality - but they and their fans wanted it now, a show of power and glory they could parade in front of their neighbours. "To lose against City and to see them celebrate, I couldn't let that happen".

Speaking after the match Mourinho praised his players for coming back from 2-0 down at half-time.

"After a second half like this, we have to do that all the time".

And as if someone had written the script for a Hollywood movie, Smalling made amends for his earlier mistake by volleying in the victor from a free-kick.