Juan Mata gave Manchester United a seemingly unassailable 3-1 lead in the derby against Manchester City with just over twenty minutes to go at Old Trafford, but the Spaniard’s effort should have been chalked off.
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The midfielder was played in by captain Wayne Rooney, but looked well offside. Nevertheless, the flag stayed down and allowed Mata to slide the ball under Joe Hart, and give Louis van Gaal’s men a two-goal lead heading into the final stages.
The goal came in the middle of a fairly quiet second-half, which had followed the most frenetic half that either have probably played this season.
Sergio Aguero had given the away side the lead within the first ten minutes. But United responded quickly, firstly through Ashley Young and then Marouane Fellaini.
Incidentally all three of United’s goalscorers spent the early part of the season with question marks lingering over their futures, but all have mirrored the resurgence of their team.
The same can’t be said for Manuel Pellegrini, who had to listen to 70,000 fans telling him that he was to be sacked in the morning.
Is it curtains for the Chilean?