Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Manchester United 0 Manchester City 0

Saturday 12 December 2020 19:39

The 183rd Manchester derby ended in a 0-0 stalemate at Old Trafford as United and City struggled to spark life into the local encounter, in a stadium badly missing fans.

Chances were few and far between as United looked to fight back from the European exit in Germany last Tuesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made two changes to the side beaten by RB Leipzig in the Champions League, bringing Paul Pogba and Fred in for Alex Telles and Nemanja Matic.

It wasn’t a day for strikers with both defences dominant in a match that won’t be ranked among the many classics seen here in yesteryear.

After four consecutive Premier League wins for the Reds, it will be a disappointment United couldn't keep that run going but at least the unbeaten sequence has been stretched. 


It was a pretty tame opening half to the derby as both teams played neat passing movements without producing much action in the danger areas.

The Reds were the first to create something of note in the final third when Luke Shaw's 11th-minute corner was glanced to the far post by Victor Lindelof. Scott McTominay, who scored a sensational second goal against the Blues last March, wildly greeted by the Old Trafford faithful towards the end of that 2-0 win, was a fraction away from connecting as he slid in to try to nudge home.

The Shaw set-piece factor almost succeeded again, in the 31st minute, when his corner, this time, was met by Harry Maguire. Unfortunately, the skipper headed just over.

In between those moments, City had registered several threats with Raheem Sterling, Gabriel Jesus and John Stones causing problems in our box.

There were a few missed heartbeats in the Reds' ranks as the Blues broke at speed in the 35th minute, only for Riyad Mahrez to squander the opportunity at the end of the move, after being played in by Kevin De Bruyne, with David De Gea saving with his feet from the former Leicester man.

United were having some joy from corners and the next one, a Bruno Fernandes delivery, was met by Lindelof. The Swede’s 40th-minute effort was just too high to trouble City keeper Ederson.


United looked like we had an early boost in the 47th minute, when Rashford was adjudged to have been fouled in the area by Kyle Walker by referee Chris Kavanagh.

However, the VAR review revealed Rashford was offside in the build-up to the incident and the spot-kick was overturned.

City began to get a grip of the derby after the let-off but the Reds held firm with Maguire blocking brilliantly from De Bruyne to deny the Belgian a chance, even if there may have been an offside.

The Reds needed to turn the tide and Solskjaer sent on Anthony Martial in the 74th minute to replace Mason Greenwood, for our first and only change of the evening.

Manchester derbies are normally feisty affairs but it wasn’t until the 79th minute that a yellow card was warranted. It was Maguire who was the recipient but the Reds defended De Bruyne’s free kick and the danger passed.

United did break out from the Blues pressure and Fernandes had a chance for some late drama but, with two minutes of normal time to play, our Portuguese midfielder hit a tame shot that was comfortably gathered by City keeper Ederson. Bruno then had another crack just before stoppage time but his shot whizzed past the far post at the Stretford End, as it finished goalless.

Talking points from the derby


We round up the discussion topics after a tense draw with Manchester City.


United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw; Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes; Greenwood (Martial 74), Rashford.

Subs not used: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Mata, Matic, van de Beek.

Booked: Maguire.

City: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Stones, Cancelo; Rodri, Fernandinho; Mahrez (Torres 66), De Bruyne, Sterling; Jesus.

Subs not used: Steffen, Mendy, Gundogan, Laporte, Silva, Foden.

Booked: Fernandinho.