On Wednesday evening, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United will aim to spoil the party for Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City in the Premier League and not many are giving them a cat in hell’s chance, but there’s a past performance they can use to benefit them despite it coming from the Jose Mourinho era.
What is it?
Just over 12 months ago, an in-form United side ventured to the Etihad Stadium to face a team with a chance of securing a first Premier League title under Guardiola.
Up until that point in the 2017/2018 season, the Citizens were yet to lose a match in the league and what better way would there have been to secure a title than by beating your fierce local rivals?
However, a determined Man United showed up on the night and stormed to a shock victory courtesy of a Paul Pogba double and Chris Smalling strike, coming from two goals down at half-time.
How can United draw inspiration from this classic match?
Although it would only delay City’s title parade for a little while further, this triumph was significant in the hearts of all at the Old Trafford club – a very happy memory that can be used as inspiration for tonight.
The manager and some of the players may be different from that evening, but there are a number of similarities in the way that Solskjaer’s men will be approaching this contest.
The idea of keeping hope alive is perhaps the biggest one of them as three points would see the club remain firmly in the hunt for the top four, like it kept their incredibly slim dreams of catching City alive last season.
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Pogba and Smalling, both scorers and inspired performers on the other side of Manchester in early April 2018, are likely to line up and lead their teammates once again.
There’s also the fact that both matchups are taking place late in the day, however, there is a big edge that the Red Devils have that they didn’t before – home advantage.
They need to get The Theatre of Dreams rocking with the fans right behind the players and, if those stars can keep the time they hurt a seemingly impregnable Man City outfit fresh in their minds, who knows what could happen in the latest instalment of the Manchester Derby.