Manchester City 0 Manchester United 0
What a drab affair, so much at stake but so few goal scoring chances!
After implying that his starting eleven might be a bit of a scratch eleven because of illness and injury, it was a remarkably strong United side that started. Both Nani and Berbatov started after missing the victory over Wolves with the midfield quartet of Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick and Nani looking very strong.
As for the other lot, a certain Carlos Tevez did shake off his injury problems to start!
United - Van der Sar, Rafael, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Fletcher, Scholes, Carrick, Nani, Berbatov, Park
Subs - Amos, Brown, Smalling, O`Shea, Hernandez, Obertan, Gibson
City started the better of the two sides but without creating any clear-cut chances. United, to be honest, were looking a little lethargic. Slowly United started to match City but the game was being played in an atmosphere where both teams were keeping it tight and not taking any risks.
The first real opening though fell United`s way but, from sixteen yards out, Evra drove his shot straight at Joe Hart after the home defence had been cut open. City came close when Van der Sar had to claw away a free kick, from Tevez, that looked destined for the top corner.
Scholes became the first player into the book for a series of fouls, the booking, his fifth of the season means he`ll miss the trip to Villa Park this weekend. Half time came and we had to admit it hadn`t been, so far, the most attractive of derby games.
Half Time - Manchester City 0 Manchester United 0
The keep it tight theory continued in the second half as both sides defended deep and in numbers. Sir Alex introduced Brown instead of Rafael. A rare shot on target saw a Berbatov volley saved by Hart whilst Tevez repeated the folly by firing straight at Van der Sar.
After so much pre-match build up the action could quite possibly be described as the most unattractive local derby for years for the supporters. Sir Alex tried to increase the tempo by sending on Hernandez but it really was turning into a fixture devoid of the sort of action we`d longed for.
City could have wrapped it up but Zabaleta fired wide, it was that sort of game. With the realization that time was running out and this was a game that could be won Hernandez saw an effort blocked by Toure.