"Of course they are frustrated because they wanted to do it today, but I congratulate them for the title because they are going to win and deservedly", he added. What did work very well for the Red Devils, however, was the change in mindset in the second half.
The Red Devils were abysmal in the first period but two goals from Paul Pogba followed by Smalling's victor spared their blushes.
In the end, United held out for the victory, making a statement and denying City the satisfaction of beating their archrivals for the title. We saw the absolute worst of the former Juventus man during the opening 45 minutes, when he was lazy, disinterested and careless.
He did that, and then some.
"It's hard to make this run in a two, because you have to stay and you have to control". He showed why the Red Devils broke the bank for him almost two years ago, in what could be a watershed performance for the Frenchman. He worked hard, he battled and he created all three goals.
Smalling has now scored three times against City in Manchester derbies. Pep Guardiola's men are still the favourites to be the league champions, and getting that a win with six games to go is just a formality.
Manchester City collapsed to Manchester United to lose 3-2 and missed out on sealing the English Premier League in record time on Saturday. "And that I offer players not to him but to Manchester City", Raiola said.
Arsenal 3-2 Southampton: Charlie Austin's return to contention has given Southampton some yearned-for firepower in attack - he's scored in each of his four Premier League matches against Arsenal - but encouraging performances from the Saints may come too late for Mark Hughes.
Speaking of Anfield, one team with a definite interest in this tie were Liverpool.
"In the first-half we tried to do what we've done all season, but maybe it's not enough to win at Champions League level". The bottom line is that it probably meant more to United's players than City's. Guardiola threw on Aguero, Jesus and De Bruyne in an attempt to prevent just a second league defeat of the season.
Guardiola admitted that City had only themselves to blame for throwing away the two-goal lead. Despite forming a formidable partnership with Fernandinho in the middle, Gundogan struggled in the second half before being taken off.
Eriksen opened the scoring with a clinical finish and then whipped in a free-kick that looped straight into the net for the victor despite Kane's claims he got a touch.
Some have suggested that should City, as expected, be knocked out on Tuesday, the European failure coupled with not being able to win the league against United would see their season peter out somewhat. Raheem Sterling was playing in the False No.9 role but it looked like a tactical masterstroke with United's centre-halves seemingly unable able to cope with him playing in front, rather than right up against them. I needed more from my wingers to come inside and give more solutions to our midfield players.