Jose Mourinho‘s men looked to be handing Man City the title on a platter with a gutless first half performance that saw them manage just one touch in their box and fall two goals behind.
But Man United were a different team in the second half, producing a remarkable 16-minute spell of spellbinding, fearless attacking football that saw the visitors – headed by Paul Pogba, who claimed two goals – spoil City’s party by claiming an historic win.
And Herrera, speaking after the game, noted that Carrick and Young – the two outfield players remaining from the Sir Alex Ferguson era – were the two most prominent voices in the dressing room at half time.
“Everyone [spoke out],” he said.
“Of course the oldest guys with the most experience – Ash, Mike was in the dressing room – they have the power in their words but everyone was talking.
“We didn’t talk too much about tactics, just about our pride and about the club – this club you can never underestimate it.”
“Our pride on the pitch and that our fans were going to have a difficult night if we got beaten.
“We did it for them and of course for us and our position but overall for them. I was thinking at half-time that it was going to be difficult for them if we got beaten so I’m happy for them.”
Pogba was quick to note after the game that the two runs he made into the City box for United’s opening pair of goals were largely a consequence of the work done with Carrick, who joins Mourinho’s staff for next season. It is no surprise to see such an astute footballing mind already having an impact on the attacking attitude of players.
Supporters did not expect a win ahead of the game; what they wanted, above all, was some fighting spirit – a sense of collective responsibility, to not just go gently into the night.
And it may have taken the haunting notion that United were 45 minutes away from, as Mourinho put it, looking like clowns as City celebrated the title, but supporters most certainly got that from their side.