Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany insisted there is no rift between himself and manager Manuel Pellegrini after returning to the starting XI to help the Premier League leaders to a 0-0 draw against rivals Manchester United.
Kompany started City’s previous two matches on the bench having gone against Pellegrini’s wishes to play in Belgium’s Euro 2012 qualifier against Israel – his first action after missing five club matches with a calf injury.
The City skipper was restored to play a full part in his 19th and, arguably, most forgettable Manchester derby – a turgid contest of few chances at Old Trafford on Sunday.
“Everyone knows how much this game means to me,” Kompany told Sky Sports. “I was disappointed to be left out of the team but it is all about opinions.
“There is no problem with me and the manager.”
City maintained their record of not conceding in the Premier League this season with Kompany on the field, keeping their first clean sheet for nine matches since the 29-year-old last completed 90 minutes at Crystal Palace on September 12.
“I don’t know how it looked from the outside but it didn’t feel like a dynamic derby,” he added. “Both teams looked defensively solid.”
United finished strongly, with substitute Jesse Lingard striking the crossbar before Chris Smalling drew a sharp save from Joe Hart.
The City goalkeeper was pleased by the dogged defensive display in front of him – where Kompany’s central-defensive partner Nicolas Otamendi in particular excelled – but he does not want to see his team forced into such an approach on a regular basis
“It’s a performance that I’m glad we have in the locker but I’d prefer it if we didn’t have to use it,” he said.
“We came wanting three points but respect to Manchester United, we had to defend well and limited them to two half-chances.
“We don’t want praise, we want points. We are back on top of the league now and we can hopefully kick on.”