'Smalling literally can't defend' - Man Utd fans turn on defender after Man City horror show

The hapless centre-back bore the brunt of criticism after a first-half horror show took City to the brink of the Premier League title

Chris Smalling may have written himself into Manchester City history on Saturday, but it is not a place the United defender will particularly enjoy. 

Even without Kevin De Bruyne, Sergio Aguero and Gabriel Jesus, the champions-elect ran rampant at the Etihad Stadium in the first half of the Manchester derby. 

Smalling was at fault as Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan scored in quick succession, leaving United with a mountain to climb if they hoped to ruin City's title celebrations. 

The centre-back in particular was caught out in City's opener, losing track of Kompany and allowing the veteran to open the scoring.

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And while the Citizens were in a jubilant mood, the defender was singled out by his own fans as one of the prime culprits for what seems an imminent Premier League victory for Pep Guardiola's charges. 

Despite United's shocking first-half performance, two quick-fire goals from Paul Pogba early in the second half suddenly propelled the visitors back into the derby match.

And, incredibly, Smalling set himself up to be the hero of the match for United with the third goal of the half for the Red Devils.