Goals by Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan in the 25th and 31st minutes gave Manchester City a 2-0 lead at halftime, and the home side could have even been up by five goals, had Raheem Sterling and even Gundogan finished off their chances.
United will now turn their attention to Premier League strugglers West Bromwich Albion next weekend, as they look to secure the runners-up position in the league.
While Mourinho hopes that it does not pan out that way, he knows it is only a matter of time before their local rivals claim the prize their stunning form this season deserves.
United reduced City’s lead only to 13 points.
The positivity around the Etihad Stadium evaporated in a space of two minutes early in the second half thanks to two fantastic goals from Paul Pogba, who equalized for United and destroyed what looked like a celebration at halftime.
“It’s a little sad for fans and players, we will try to be in a good mood next Tuesday”, he said.
“If they won they are champions, for all the fans it would be like death”, said Pogba. They were made to rue those chances in the second half as United came storming back.
Mourinho believes either Guardiola or Raiola is lying but insists he is not interested in the ongoing feud between the pair, which has stemmed from the City manager’s time in charge of Barcelona.
However, inspired by Barcelona’s remarkable comeback from a 4-0 first-leg deficit to Paris Saint-Germain, Guardiola – a Champions League victor as both a player and a coach at Barcelona – insisted that a remarkable comeback is possible if City are clinical on the night.
City then started the second half in similar fashion as Gundogan clipped the post with a curling effort but Pogba’s quick double interrupted their rhythm and reversed the momentum.
Manchester United pulled one back in the 53rd minute with a wonderfully worked goal finished off by Pogba.
“They found their game, they found their actions, we’ve done everything to win the game”.
“[Alexis Sanchez] always tells me when you pass me the ball, ‘Just make the run, I see you.'” he told Thierry Henry on Sky Sports.
“It’s no problem. I don’t even think about it”. He knows and I know he had some performances not at the level of expectation we have from Paul’.