Gary Neville raves about ‘responsible’ Man United star

The Man United legend was delighted to see Chris Smalling score the winner in last weeekend's derby

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Man United legend Gary Neville Photo: Screen grab

Gary Neville singled out Chris Smalling for praise after the defender’s winner in Manchester United’s 3-2 victory at Manchester City last weekend.

The England international has struggled to impress Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese coach’s appointment to prompt speculation surrounding his long-term future at the Old Trafford outfit.

Smalling made a nervous start to Saturday evening’s derby and allowed Vincent Kompany to outmuscle him to break the deadlock with a thunderous header in the first half at The Etihad.

Kompany’s opener was similar to the Manchester City captain’s winner in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United back in 2012 when he escaped Smalling to score what proved a vital goal in the title race.

Ilkay Gundogan made it 2-0 to the hosts on Saturday evening before Paul Pogba scored two goals in quick succession in the second half to restore parity before Smalling went from zero to hero.

The England centre-half produced a composed finish from a set-piece to bag the winner and silence his critics in emphatic fashion.

Former Manchester United defender Neville was delighted for Smalling after a difficult season for the England star.

“He is a diligent, responsible professional,” Neville told his Sky Sports podcast.

“It was a difficult moment for him. What a turnaround for him. Pogba and Smalling would have had most voices against. The second half it came round. It can turn.”

Manchester United are in second place in the Premier League table but 13 points behind Manchester City in the title race.

MORE: Latest Manchester United news and views

MORE: Football transfer rumours and gossip

MORE:

MORE: The latest football transfer news

MORE: Meet the Premier League's most stylish footballers

MORE: Do you know the top Muslim footballers in the Premier League?

MORE: Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house

MORE: Man United latest news

MORE: Arsenal latest news

MORE: Chelsea latest news

MORE: Liverpool latest news

The Sport Review
Arsene Wenger explains his decision to leave Arsenal
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Cristiano Ronaldo’s stunning house in Madrid
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2018: Can you guess how much each Arsenal player earns?
The Sport Review
Top 50 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea FC, Liverpool FC and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Take a tour of Arsenal star Mesut Ozil’s £10m London house with us
The Sport Review
Gary Neville sends message to Arsenal fans after Arsene Wenger steps down
The Sport Review
Arsenal handed big injury boost ahead of Atletico Madrid first leg
The Sport Review
Liverpool FC boss Jurgen Klopp pays classy tribute to Arsene Wenger