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Man Utd news: Nemanja Matic makes admission ahead of crunch clash against Man City | Football | Sport


made the trip to City last term and they were rewarded with all three points.

At the time, City could have wrapped up the Premier League title in front of their supporters at the Etihad.

However, United delayed the Citizens’ celebrations when Jose Mourinho’s men responded after going 2-0 down to win 3-2 thanks to a double from Paul Pogba and a towering header from Chris Smalling.

United go into the showdown on Sunday (4.30pm) with morale in the camp high after their 2-1 win over Juventus in the Champions League group stages in midweek.

And Matic has reflected on the significance of United’s win over City last term.

Discussing his thoughts ahead of the game, Matic said: “I remember that at half-time we felt that it was very hard [for us] but the manager came inside, sat with us and said he was believing that we can turn the result around.

“He said that in the first 20 minutes, before they scored the first goal, that we were the better side and he asked for us to continue to play like that – the first 20 minutes.

“He said if we did that, we had a chance to score goals and get some points – that’s exactly what we did.

“Paul [Pogba] scored two goals, Chris [Smalling] scored too, and it was a great comeback.

“I think in that moment, our supporters felt very proud and I was also very happy to make them happy to not allow Man City to celebrate winning the Premier League title in front of us.”

Matic has had experience of playing in intense derbies both with Chelsea and Benfica.

And he has revealed what makes them so special for the players.

He added: “I think derbies are really special because it’s two local teams playing.

“The Manchester derby, for our supporters, is the most important game in the season.

“Always, a few days before the game, the people create that atmosphere that is special to them.

“We, as players, feel that it’s special because it’s special for our supporters and the club.”

United lie nine points behind table toppers City in seventh spot.



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