Man City assert their superiority as Jose Mourinho holds back Man United

Jesse Lingard celebrates against Manchester City

His absence comes as a major blow for Jose Mourinho's side, who start with Marcus Rashford in attack alongside Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard.

Working as co-commentator for this afternoon's Manchester derby, United legend Gary Neville was probably at his happiest reflecting on the build-up to City's third and decisive goal.

The distance between the two teams is already 12 points, an insurmountable obstacle for the Red Devils, and we are only in mid-November.

"It was very important to score the third goal because at 2-1 it is always a unsafe game", said Gundogan.

City are 12 points ahead of United and along with Liverpool, Chelsea and even Tottenham they look set for a title tussle. The team appeared to be headed toward a defeat before Juan Mata scored on a free kick inthe 86th minute.

Manchester United continued the theme of their season by conceding first at the Etihad Stadium, but unlike recent games, found themselves up against opponents not prepared to let them back into the game.

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Mourinho was also adamant that United did not put in a poor display at the Etihad, highlighting his team had gone into the match on the back of a more gruelling week than their hosts. The pressure is on City as they are expected to win.

Mourinho may leave it until the wire to make a decision on Pogba, and there have been suggestions that Mourinho has intentionally kept Pogba separate from the rest of the squad in an attempt to confuse Man City.

"In terms of watching them at this moment in time, [there is an] absolute gulf between the two teams in terms of performance levels".

That excuse about suffering from fatigue surfaced again and although United's four-game PL unbeaten run is over, Mourinho is adamant they're moving in the right direction.

"I think these big games are what you play for", Lingard told MUTV. "I was on the bench for that game and I was itching to get on", he said.

"So yes, for different reasons we missed Paul, but that is not an excuse to lose the game".