Barclays Premier League
Manchester United vs. Manchester City
Venue: Old Trafford
Date: Sunday, 25 October 2015
Kick-off: 14:05 GMT
Manchester United drew 0-0 with rivals and neighbours Manchester City in the Barclays Premier League.
In a game that neither side seemed to want to lose rather than force the win, this result becomes just the second draw in the past 25 fixtures between the sides.
Substitute Jesse Lingard struck the bar late on, but clear cut chances were few and far between, with very few mistakes on show.
Juan Mata flicked the ball up against the arm of Fernandinho early on, but referee Mark Clattenburg did not award a free-kick, in what would have been in a dangerous area.
Raheem Sterling’s shot deflected wide as Fernandinho received a booking for a foul on Anthony Martial, who was beginning to use his pace to run at the City backline.
Wayne Rooney’s reverse pass then caught Martial off-guard who would have been offside anyway.
Mata was cautioned for bringing down Fernandinho, and Yaya Toure’s resulting free-kick was deflected wide.
The corner that followed was taken by Kevin De Bruyne, who found the head of Toure, but the ball dropped wide of David De Gea’s right-hand post.
Toure then scuffed an attempt wide after being picked out by De Bruyne’s clever pass, with City captain Vincent Kompany booked for taking out Martial, but the free-kick came to nothing, as half-time arrived at Old Trafford.
United began the second half the brighter of the two, with Ander Herrera’s shot deflecting wide.
There was then an appeal for a penalty, as Sterling seemed to bring down Herrera, only for another corner to be awarded instead.
The resulting corner, swung in by Mata, was met by Chris Smalling’s header, and any kind of touch from the melee inside the area would have led to a goal, but the ball dropped agonising wide of the post.
De Bruyne’s low cross was held, likewise Martial’s deflected cross was held at the other end.
Bastian Schweinsteiger then took on the low cross, which was cut out by Nicolas Otamendi, with the resulting corner looking like setting up a swift counter-attack for the visitors, only for Marcos Rojo’s intercepted tackle to almost play in Mata, but Joe Hart was quick off his line to clear the danger.
De Bruyne struck a free-kick into the United wall as substitute Jesus Navas’ attempt from range was held with ease.
Then came the best chance of the game, as Martial’s expertly timed dinked through ball was flicked goalwards by Lingard, but the cross crashed against the crossbar as City cleared their lines.
Substitute Marouane Fellaini then headed down Herrera’s deep free-kick, which found Smalling, but the ball was tipped behind by Hart.
The resulting corner made its way to Rooney who was lingering on the edge of the box, but his shot was blocked, as Morgan Schneiderlin picked up a booking for a foul on De Bruyne moments later, as the game ended goalless.
A fair result with both sides giving very little away, and having played in below freezing degrees just four days ago, plus travelling, whereas City were at home on Wednesday night in the Champions League, United can look at this as a reasonable point, even if they failed to make their home advantage on the afternoon count.
Old Trafford will also be the venue this coming Wednesday night, when Middlesbrough will arrive for a Capital One Cup fourth round tie.
United’s next league game falls on Saturday, where a trip to the capital to face Crystal Palace will be on the agenda, with a 3pm GMT kick-off time.
Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia (Darmian 81), Smalling, Jones, Rojo; Schneiderlin, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini 75); Mata (Lingard 67), Herrera, Martial; Rooney.
Subs: Romero, Blind, Darmian, Carrick, Lingard, Memphis, Fellaini.
Manager: Louis van Gaal
Manchester City: Hart; Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernando, Fernandinho; De Bruyne, Y. Toure (Demichelis 77), Sterling (Navas 55); Bony (Iheanacho 83).
Subs: Caballero, Zabaleta, Mangala, Otamendi, Navas, Roberts, Iheanacho.
Manager: Manuel Pellegrini