Premier League: Manchester clubs engage in a tough, yet frustrating fight as derby ends in a goalless draw
First Published Dec 13, 2020, 12:09 PM IST
This was Manchester United’s second draw of the season in 11 games, along with six wins and three loses, as they drop to the eighth spot in the table. For Manchester City, it was their fourth draw in 11 matches, along with five wins and two loses, as they drop to ninth.
What was expected to be a nail-biting contest eventually turned out to be so, as Manchester United were held to a frustrating and goalless draw to city rivals Manchester City, at Old Trafford, on Saturday. The draw pushed both the teams down to the eighth and ninth spot, respectively.
The match started on a composed note for both the sides in the opening half. However, it was City, who came up with the most promising attack during the half, after Riyad Mahrez had an excellent one-on-one chance from the right flank, only to shoot it at David de Gea’s legs. In contrast, Kevin de Bruyne shot the rebound over, as the deadlock stayed at half-time.
The second half was no different, as both the teams continued with the same approach. Although United were awarded a penalty in the 47th minute, it was overturned by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR), who adjudge Marcus Rashford offside prior.
However, United upped their ante in the final 15 minutes, coming up with three attacks, as has been the case for them in the past few matches. Nonetheless, despite promising chances, United failed to find the net. At the same time, City too tested United’s defence throughout, which was unable to budge, as the referee blew the full-time whistle to share the honours.
Following the game, United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expressed his delight at the overall performance of his team. “It’s a tight game. Two good teams. We beat them a few times last season, but those were different games and we counter-attacked. Today was the most we’ve been in the game as in possession-wise and control. We kept them away from our box more than we’ve done in those games [last season], but they had a few big moments,” he said.
“We could have won it. I’m very happy with the attitude, the spirit and the recovery made from Tuesday night. It was a big blow and a big setback, of course. David has made a fantastic save from [Riyad] Mahrez, Harry made two great blocks from [Raheem] Sterling and [Kevin] De Bruyne, I think it was. It was great and I have to say, the defending was great. We stood up. We stuck together as a team. We did really well. They didn’t create too many moments and, of course, we wanted to score ourselves,” added Solskjaer.
“The glass is always half-full with me. That’s just the way you have to look at it. In my time against Man City, that’s the best performance we’ve had. Not the best result, but it’s the best performance. I think so, yeah,” Solskjaer concluded.
City manager Pep Guardiola, too, gave a similar response, as he said, “It’s a good point. I would like to win, but okay, it’s Old Trafford, we cannot forget. They are so fast upfront. It’s Manchester United. Most parts of the game we were good. We lacked chances to score, but we were good,” he said.
“We struggle to score so we have to be solid, control the game and not concede counter-attacks. I am so proud. This team will kill you. They are so fast, so good, so strong at set-pieces. Coming here to Old Trafford, this is quite good. I know the expectation for Manchester City is so high and we accept this, but being solid is good,” concluded Guardiola.