Premier League: Manchester City v Manchester United full time report

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Premier League: Manchester City v Manchester United full time report
Man City 0 Man Utd 0
Caution reigned at Eastlands as City and United played out a disappointing Manchester derby.
Chances were at a premium as the two teams cancelled each other out, although Carlos Tévez did see Edwin van der Sar push away his first half free kick.
United had most of the possession, with Dimitar Berbatov seeing Joe Hart make a comfortable save from his acrobatic effort.
Eastlands was buzzing ahead of what had been billed as the biggest Manchester derby in decades, and although it was hosts City who settled quicker – with their skipper and former United striker Tévez to the fore – it was a low key opening.
Indeed, 20 minutes had passed before either side carved out an opening, with good United pressure on the edge of the penalty area resulting in Patrice Evra shooting straight at Hart.
Both sides were being overly cautious, leading to a spectacle that was low on entertainment, but City finally showed signs of some attacking intent after the half hour mark, with Vincent Kompany heading a corner wide. Despite that it was dull, with both sides seeming to be more concerned about losing the game than attempting to win it.
At a push it was City who were being the more adventurous, and Tévez saw a free kick pushed away by van der Sar, before a marauding Yaya Touré saw his run halted by Nemanja Vidic.
The half time whistle was a blessing, with the only real entertainment before it coming in the form of a heated exchange between Tévez and United right back Rafael, old friends who are now enemies.
Perhaps one of the reasons for the disappointing levels of passion in the contest was the lack of local players on show, but United introduced Manchester-born Wes Brown early in the second period, as an injured Rafael limped off.
Brown was soon in the action, and his cross from the right was acrobatically volleyed straight at Hart by Berbatov, but goalmouth action was still at a premium as both sides played out what had become a midfield battle. United’s Evra limped off to be replaced by John O’Shea.
The latter stages of the game saw yet more caution from both sides, but City’s Pablo Zabaleta almost stole the points after cutting inside and firing over.
Eastlands seemed scared that United would score a late winner – as they did on three occasions against their City rivals last season – but while the visitors did have plenty of the ball, they weren’t committing many men forward. Michael Carrick soon set hearts fluttering though, but his effort from the edge of the box was deflected comfortably wide.
It said a lot for the match that that was one of the higher points, as both sides trudged off happy with a draw.
The 157th Manchester derby won’t live long in the memory.



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