Sunday, April 21, 2024

Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City: Three Things We Learned

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The latest installment of the Manchester derby failed to really ignite on Saturday afternoon as the sides eked out a 0-0 draw at Old Trafford.

In what was a low-key meeting of the two rivals, clear cut chances were really at a premium, with both sides claiming a point.

Here are three things we learned from Old Trafford:

Dire derby

For all of the build-up in the media prior to kick-off, the game itself really struggled to roar into life. The game itself really was poor, with opportunities not forthcoming from either side. As a matter of fact, throughout the duration of the game, there were just four shots on target between the two sides and even half of those came in stoppage time.

The main problem really was a lack of creativity and bravery from each team. It almost felt like both sets of players were so anxious of losing the game, that they didn’t quite do enough to win it. There was only very limited clear cut chances that in the end were not taken.

Considering the attacking quality that both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola possess within their respective squads, the forward momentum of the game was hugely disappointing.

Fernandes the most likely spark

To one man’s credit though, he actually did try to make things happen and that man was the seemingly irrepressible Bruno Fernandes. For a long time since his move from Sporting CP, the Portuguese midfielder has been the star man in the Manchester United line-up and that was indicated by yet another Premier League Player of the Month award this week. He continued that excellent form at Old Trafford against City, too.

Fernandes actually had more shots throughout the game than anyone else with four, whilst only Kevin De Bruyne produced more key passes throughout the meeting to his three. It really does highlight Fernandes’ quality that even in a game that was starved of any inspiration whatsoever, he still stood out.

More substitutions needed?

At the current time, it seems bizarre that both Solskjaer and Guardiola are campaigning for the five substitutions rule to be reintroduced in the Premier League. The reason for that is that the two managers only made one change each to their teams during the game. The Manchester City boss withdrew Riyad Mahrez for Feran Torres, whilst Solskjaer introduced Anthony Martial in place of Mason Greenwood.

In a game that needed an injection of something special, it was certainly a surprise to see neither manager elect not to make any more substitutions throughout the 90 minutes, especially with their European commitments in mid-week.

Whether both Solskjaer or Guardiola continue their campaigns for more substitutions remains to be seen but the evidence suggests at the moment that they are simply not needed.

Match Report

Manchester United: De Gea (6); Shaw (6), Lindelof (6), Maguire (7), Wan-Bissaka (7); Fred (6), McTominay (6), Pogba (6), Fernandes (7); Greenwood (5) (Martial (6), 74′), Rashford (6).

Manchester City: Ederson (6), Cancelo (7), Dias (7), Stones (6), Walker (6); Fernandinho (7), Rodri (6), De Bruyne (6); Sterling (5), Mahrez (5) (Torres (), 67′), Jesus (6).

Goals: N/A

Referee: Chris Kavanagh

Yellow Cards: Maguire (79′), Fernandinho (87′)

Red Cards: N/A


Daniel Orme

Daniel is a football journalism graduate from the University of Derby. He has been freelance writing for approximately six years now and brings considerable experience. A season ticket holder at local club Leicester City, he witnessed the Foxes miraculously lifting the Premier League trophy in the 2015/16 campaign.



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