Man City 0 Man United 0

Edwin Van Der Sar

Man­chester City 0 Man­chester Uni­ted 0, The City of Man­chester Sta­dium, Eng­lish Pre­mier Lea­gue, Nov­ember 10, 2010. Man­chester United´s highly an­ti­cip­ated Pre­miership fix­ture ag­ainst neigh­bouring rivals Man­chester City at The City of Man­chester Sta­dium ended in a stale­mate 0-0 draw. Af­ter the fir­st goal­less draw in a Man­chester Der­by since a Lea­gue Di­vi­sion One fix­ture at Maine Road the 16th of Nov­ember 1991, The Reds were now the on­ly un­defeated te­am re­maining in the Pre­mier League.

The Nov­ember meet­ing be­tween Man­chester City and Man­chester Uni­ted at The City of Man­chester Sta­dium had be­en dubbed the biggest mat­ch of the 2010-11 cam­paign so far, but the some­what over-cooked and over-hyped der­by clash failed to live up ex­pect­a­tions. Dur­ing a bad-tempered af­fair at East­lands, ex-Eng­land in­ter­na­tion­al Paul Scho­les col­lec­ted his fifth book­ing shortly be­fore the breakl and, to top it all, Ra­fael da Silva was in­jured early in the sec­ond ha­lf and was re­placed by fel­low de­fender Wes Bro­wn. Man­chester Uni­ted had beaten New­castle Uni­ted, West Ham Uni­ted, Liver­pool, Sto­ke City, Spurs, and Wol­ves, and drawn to Ful­ham, Ever­ton, Bol­ton Wan­derers, Sun­der­land, and West Brom­wich Al­bion thus far in the sea­son, whi­le Man­chester City had over­come Liver­pool, Wi­gan Ath­let­ic, Chel­sea, New­castle Uni­ted, and Black­pool, drawn wi­th Spurs and Black­burn Rov­ers, and be­en de­feated by Sun­der­land, Ar­senal, and Wol­ves. Sick and tired of al­ways be­ing out­done by their more dis­tin­guished neigh­bours, The Cit­izens had spent £320 mil­lion on new play­ers fol­low­ing the Abu Dh­abi Group takeover in 2008 and they were not the un­der­dogs they nor­mally were com­ing in­to The Man­chester Der­by. But then ag­ain, Abu Dh­abi Group owned Man­chester City were not an as­so­ci­ation foot­ball club in the Anglo-Sax­on sense of the word. Rather, they were a group of over­paid footballers.

Un­for­tu­nately for Sir Al­ex Fer­guson, Ry­an Gig­gs missed his fir­st Man­chester Der­by for nine­teen years be­cause of a ham­string prob­lem. Bo­th Man­chester City and Man­chester Uni­ted could have sco­red dur­ing a mid­week en­counter that saw the pen­du­lum swing bo­th ways in an evenly con­tested mat­ch be­tween the two sides. Af­ter spend­ing sev­er­al years in the foot­balling doldrums, Man­chester City had now be­come a main threat to Man­chester United’s title hopes and the rivalry be­tween the two gi­ant clubs had rea­ched new heights af­ter Sheikh Man­sour had taken over at East­lands. At The City of Man­chester Sta­dium, Fer­guson’s men had just one de­cent scor­ing op­por­tun­ity dur­ing the fir­st ha­lf as at­tack minded de­fender Pat­rice Ev­ra shot at goal in the twenty-fir­st min­ute af­ter an ex­change wi­th mid­field dy­namo Ji-Sung Park, whi­le shot stop­per Ed­win van der Sar was put to the test once when he saved a free kick from for­mer Old Traf­ford front­man Car­los Tev­ez five min­utes pa­st the ha­lf-hour ma­rk. Man­chester Uni­ted raised their ga­me to­wards the end of the fir­st ha­lf, but as the tem­per­at­ure on the pitch rose too, Scho­les re­ceived a yel­low card just two min­utes ahead of the in­ter­val. And on­ly four min­utes in­to the sec­ond ha­lf, Ra­fael re­ceived a knock and the twenty-year-old de­fender was sub­sequently re­placed by Bro­wn. Then, af­ter fifty-sev­en min­utes of fierce play, Man­chester Uni­ted came clo­se when a dan­ger­ous cross from Bro­wn was met by Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov, but his vol­ley flew straight at Man­chester City and Three Li­ons goal­keeper Joe Hart. The Old Traf­ford club then lost Ev­ra in the sixty-ninth min­ute of the tussle due to a prob­lem wi­th his left leg, and Re­pub­lic of Ire­land in­ter­na­tion­al John O’Shea came on in his place. Spurred on by their bois­ter­ous sup­port­ers, City push­ed hard for a win­ning goal as the sta­dium clock ticked down, but they failed to break down a re­si­li­ent Uni­ted de­fence and the der­by ga­me fin­ished goalless.

And al­though The Man­chester Der­by proved to be some­thing of an anti-cli­max as Man­chester City man­ager Rob­erto Manci­ni urged The Sky Blues to mind the house rather than steam for­ward at every op­por­tun­ity, Man­chester Uni­ted nev­er­the­less seemed quite happy to get away wi­th a point and thus keep­ing their un­defeated Pre­mier Lea­gue re­cord in­tact. Sir Al­ex Fer­guson: “We know the kind of money Man­chester City are spend­ing; the club have bought an­oth­er five or six play­ers dur­ing the sum­mer and they will keep do­ing that un­til they win some­thing.” Man­chester City Te­am: Joe Hart, Jerome Boa­teng, Pablo Za­baleta, Vin­cent Kom­pany, Gar­eth Bar­ry, Ja­mes Mil­ner, Kolo Tou­re, Da­vid Silva, Nigel de Jong, Yaya Tou­re, Car­los Tev­ez. Sub­stitutes: Micah Richards, Alek­sandar Kolarov, Jo­leon Le­scott, Ad­am John­son, Patrick Vie­ira, Em­manuel Ad­e­bay­or, Shay Giv­en. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Ed­win van der Sar, Ra­fael, Ne­manja Vid­ic, Rio Fer­dinand, Pat­rice Ev­ra, Mi­chael Car­rick, Dar­ren Fletch­er, Ji-Sung Park, Nani, Paul Scho­les, Di­m­it­ar Ber­batov. Sub­stitutes: Gab­riel Ober­tan, Dar­ron Gib­son, Wes­ley Bro­wn, John O’Shea, Chris Small­ing, Javi­er Her­nandez, Ben Amos.


Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester City and Man­chester Uni­ted played out a thrill­ing 3-3 draw at Maine Road on the 6th of Nov­ember 1971. Uni­ted took the lead six min­utes ahead of the break thro­ugh Sam­my Mc­Ilroy and had their sec­ond goal on 46 min­utes when Bri­an Kidd fou­nd the net wi­th a clo­se ran­ge ef­fort. City hit back as Fran­cis Lee re­duced the de­fi­cit from the pen­alty spot in the 57th min­ute be­fore Co­lin Bell lev­elled the score wi­th a clev­er  fin­ish two min­utes pa­st the hour ma­rk. John As­ton then made it 3–2 to Man­chester Uni­ted a few mo­ments la­ter, on­ly for Mi­ke Sum­mer­bee to equal­ise for Man­chester City in the fi­nal min­ute of the tie.


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