With a place in the top four on the line, Manchester United traveled across the city to the Etihad Stadium looking to stretch their unbeaten run to 24 games and seal a vital point or three to aid their push for Champions League football next season. They achieved it, thanks in part to the lack of clinical finishing from Manchester City.
In a passionate, if tame, clash between the two sides, the best opportunity of the game fell to Sergio Aguero only ten minutes in, as he failed to find the back of the net from Kevin De Bruyne’s smart cut back cross, watching his sidefooted effort rebound off the post with David de Gea helpless in goal.
Some worrying goalkeeping from Claudio Bravo at the other end almost presented United with a chance, but the Red Devils clearly had no plans to get forward in numbers and rarely threatened, with their best opportunity falling to Ander Herrera at a set piece. City failed to find much of a way through either with Aguero, De Bruyne and co. largely restrained to long distance shots.
The sending off of Marouane Fellaini provided a spark in the final stages as the Belgian tripped and then headbutted Aguero as he lost his head in the heat of the moment, much to the anger of Jose Mourinho, though he did defend his player post-match.
That opened the door for City to find a late winner as they looked to pile on the pressure and try to create a moment of magic in the final few minutes of the tie, though they could not quite find a way through as it was Aguero once again involved as he couldn’t quite stretch far enough to get a strong connection on a far post cross after Gabriel Jesus had a goal ruled out for offside on his return from injury.
A point apiece will do the job for both sides, though Pep Guardiola will feel that his team could, and probably should, have come away with more, as the two clubs share the spoils with a draw and a win each in the three Manchester derbies played in all competitions this season.
Read on over the next few pages to see what we can take from the game…