The Manchester Derby ends in a goalless draw
Manchester City were unable to break a sturdy United defence amidst the 84 minute Fellaini red card.
The Manchester derby, one of the greatest rivalries in world football and is a fixture in which a lot of history is involved.
With both teams motivated to win as both of them wanting to grab the 3rd spot in the league from Liverpool. United are currently at 5th position 2 points shy of Liverpool, who are placed in 3rd position in the league table. Whereas Manchester City is placed at the 4th position, just a point behind the 3rd placed Liverpool. So everything was up for grabs in the Etihad Stadium.
Mourinho gave the young forward, Marcus Rashford a start ahead of Wayne Rooney who was kept on the bench. Rooney is the highest goal scorer in the history of this fixture with 11 goals.
Rashford stretched the city defence and set up Herrera for a brilliant cross inside 2 minutes, But Pablo Zabaleta was quick to respond to the danger as he cleared the ball to safety.
Seven minutes later City had a definite chance to go ahead but Aguero’s diverted ball struck the outside of the woodwork. It was a brilliant piece of play from De Bruyne as he angled his low cross towards Aguero, but unfortunately, the chance came to nothing.
It was a clumsy piece of play from Bravo when he needlessly palmed Martial’s deflected cross and almost gave Mkhitaryan and United a gift. Although he produced a good block to Mkhitaryan’s shot.
Bravo was looking shaky from the beginning whereas De Gea was rock solid at the other end. His excellent diving effort to save Aguero’s well driven shot from 25-yards and again went down to his right to deny a low drive from Aleksandar Kolarov kept United in the game.
Fernandinho’s reckless tackle on Herrara was the only talking point in the 1st half and The Spanish midfielder will not be pleased with himself at half time as he failed to hit the target with a free header from an excellent free kick from Rashford.
City were more impressive in the 2nd half but where squandering a lot of chances especially De Bruyne and Aguero were unable to hit the target on numerous occasions. United were struggling to get out of their own half.
City kept on pushing forward and replaced injured Claudio Bravo with Willy Cabalellero 11 minutes from fulltime. But the main talking point came at the latter stages of the match when Fellaini caught Aguero twice in quick succession and could not control his anger and headbuted Aguero and was sent off by Martin Atkinson, the referee of this match.
City kept pushing as Gabriel Jesus came in for Sterling to bolster the attack in search of a late equaliser. It almost resulted in a positive move when Jesus’ tap in from Aguero’s cross gave them the lead. But it was correctly ruled out by the ref as he was in an offside position. The match ended in a goalless draw and the spoils were shared among the neighbours.
City failed to increase their points gap to 4 from their neighbours but still they will be confident about Europe next season as they have a comparatively easier draws to follow.