Man City collapses to United, delaying EPL title party

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Man City collapses to United, delaying EPL title party
Manchester United's Paul Pogba reacts after scoring his side's second goal during the English Premier League soccer match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, England, Saturday April 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Manchester City collapsed to Manchester United to lose 3-2 and missed out on sealing the English Premier League in record time on Saturday.

City shredded United apart in the first half, with Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan scoring in a six-minute span.

But the celebrations inside Etihad Stadium were premature.

United, which didn’t manage a shot on target in the first half, netted three times after the break.

Inevitably, the goals that drew United level both came from Paul Pogba — a day after City manager Pep Guardiola claimed he was offered the chance to sign the Frenchman in the January transfer window.

And Chris Smalling, so fragile in the United defense in the first half, came through with the winner in the 69th minute when he was left unmarked to meet Alexis Sanchez’s free kick.

For City, which had previously lost only once in the league this season at Liverpool, it was a first home defeat since December 2016.

United reduced City’s lead only to 13 points. But with six games remaining to complete the job, it seems inevitable City will win the title for the third time since 2012. It will happen next weekend only if City wins at Tottenham on Saturday, and United loses to West Bromwich Albion.