Man City 0 Man United 0
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.