Runaway Premier League leaders City opened up an eye-watering double-digit lead over rivals United after Nicolas Otamendi fired Pep Guardiola’s men to derby victory.
The much-anticipated 175th Manchester derby was comfortably the biggest game of the Premier League season, such was the need for Jose Mourinho’s Reds to claw back their swashbuckling rivals.
But the gap between table-topping City and second-placed United grew to 11 points on Sunday as City triumphed 2-1 at Old Trafford, where Otamendi volleyed home a second-half winner after Marcus Rashford had cancelled out David Silva’s opener.
“My first reaction is I feel sorry for referee Michael Oliver because he had a very good match but unfortunately he made an important mistake,” Mourinho told the BBC.
“The result was made with a big penalty not given [on Ander Herrera]. That would have been 2-2 with 20 minutes to go
“Michael was unlucky because it was a clear penalty.”
When asked if the title race is now over, Mourinho stated: “Probably, yes.
“Manchester City are a very good team and they are protected by the luck, and the gods of football are behind them.”
The Portuguese boss told Match of the Day : “Like last season, we had a penalty with City – Bravo on Rooney. This season is the same. But Michael was unlucky as it was a clear penalty.
“Two bad goals. Not what you expect to concede. City have good qualities. They have a huge percentage of ball but their creation we kept control of.
“We did enough to win the game? It depends on your perspective. They had more of the ball and apparently more control because they kept the ball more than us. But I think the players fought enough. Without any analysing the match is made of incidents and the penalty was a big incident.”