Manchester Derby: Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City
MANCHESTER DERBY – MANCHESTER UNITED & MANCHESTER CITY DRAW 0-0
The 170th Manchester Derby at Old Trafford on Sunday was expected to be a memorable and thrilling edition of the beautiful game for Manchester fans from both clubs to savor.
A much anticipated Manchester Derby between two of the league’s top title contenders served up and billed as a not-to-be-missed defensive Master Class fixture, was played before a sell-out crowd at Old Trafford.
The highly touted match should have shown up the excellence of the two titan clubs, Man Utd and Man City, but instead revealed major limitations of each side.
Partly due to the defensive dominance of both clubs and the brilliance of goalies Joe Hart and David de Gea whom each earned a clean sheet, the lackluster Manchester Derby between the noisy neighbors ended in a 0-0 draw with only two shots on goal – amazingly the first at 82 minutes.
A win for Man Utd would have leapfrogged the superclub in the Premierhip standings.
However instead the point earned by each club sent Manchester City back atop the England Premier League table on goal difference with 22 points tied with Arsenal, followed by West Ham in third, and Manchester United in fourth with 20 points each.
There were eight footballers who experienced the exciting energy and electric atmosphere of the Manchester Derby for the first time.
The first half of the Premiership flagship clash lived up to the expectations of most supporters, however after the break, it appeared that the players had gone out on strike.
The goalless result was surprising when you consider that the last 10 Manchester derbies had produced 41 goals.
After the match Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal remarked that he believed United midfielder Ander Herrera should have been awarded a second-half penalty that may have been a game changer.
Thirty-year-old United Captain Wayne Rooney who is England's all-time record goal-scorer failed to score the day after his birthday. Roo’s goal last weekend in Man Utd’s 3-0 win against Everton was only his second Premiership goal to date this season.
Rooney received a bloody head injury in the first half, but continued to play to the end.
David Silva and Sergio “Kun” Aguero were both out with injury.
The first half of the Manchester Derby was "the best 45 minutes I have seen anywhere in the Premier League this season," said sports reporter Gary Neville after the game.
Neville continued, "When a team nullifies the other, pays attention to detail of every one of the others' strengths, you have to say that is a quality football match."
A notable change in strategy by Man City boss Manuel Pellegrini was to use superstar striker Yaya Toure in the midfield for only the second time this campaign. Also notable was that City’s center-backs played two-against-one against Wayne Rooney. Also Marcos Rojo tightly handled Belgium Kevin De Bruyne, with some ferocious tackles.
Perhaps the 0-0 finish was indicative of a perfectly balanced football match, with defenses and attacks even to such an extent no player could score a goal.
Buy English Premier League football tickets including Manchester United tickets, Manchester City tickets, Arsenal tickets, Liverpool tickets, Chelsea tickets and Tottenham Hotspur tickets now online at LiveFootballTickets.com to watch the Premier League giant sides compete for silverware in the 2015 – 2016 campaign.
MANCHESTER DERBY SQUADS
De Gea, Valencia (Darmian), Jones, Smalling, Rojo, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini), Schneiderlin, Herrera, Mata (Lingard), Rooney, Martial
Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure (Demichelis), Sterling (Navas), De Bruyne, Bony (Iheanacho)