Boring stalemate underlines the Manchester derby
Unlike it happened last season on the same ground, Manchester United and Manchester City played to a largely uninspiring goalless draw to send the citizens back to the top of the table albeit on goals difference while the Red Devils slumped to fourth behind Westham who took Chelsea out in fine fashion.
Vincent Kompany was restored to the starting line up for the first time in six weeks and the big Belgian was instrumental as Anthony Martial troubled the visitors all afternoon long as the only United player that left marks on the boring affair. Much was expected from Raheem Sterling but he didn't come to the party. Kevin De Bryne endured a quiet afternoon as Marcos Rojo won almost every duel against him.
The absence of Sergio Aguero ensured the continued start of Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony, it's a better forgotten day for him as he couldn't muster any chance on or off goal. Yaya Toure labored fruitlessly in the middle having been handed the David Silva role with Fernando and Fernandinho sitting deep to cut the threats of the hosts. The hosts finished the first half with no attempt on goal despite the mazy runs of Anthony Martial.
The second half saw more impressive works from Louis Van Gaal's men but no clear cut chances until the dying stages. The ineffective Sterling was replaced with Jesus Navas while Juan Mata was replaced with Jese Lingard. The latter however came closest to scoring on the day after a sensational overboard pass from Martial fell to him and his beautiful lob beat Joe Hart but not the crossbar.
With seconds remaining, Chris Smalling found himself with a golden chance but his tame effort was beaten away by Hart as the Manchester derby ended in stalemate at Old Trafford for the first time in decades.