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Manchester derby: Man City 0-0 Man United

Manchester City and Manchester United only 1 point apart on EPL Table after Manchester Derby draw

Manchester City hosted Manchester United in the most important Manchester Derby in years with a 0-0 result. With only a point difference between the clubs, both titan Manchester sides are in a close race to earn a top four finish and to secure a place in next season’s prestigious Champions League Tournament in 2017-18. No goals were scored in the match. Credit for clean sheets goes to Man Utd No. 1 goalie David de Gea, and to Man City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo. Neither side seemed determined to open up a four-point gap on their opponents, however Man City perhaps will feel more confident of securing a return to European football's top table the Champions League next season due to a comparatively easier run-in against less powerful clubs than Man Utd will face. However teams fighting to avoid relegation can offer surprises as they fight for their life to stay up in the Premier League and avoid relegation.

A surprisingly emotional, and out-of-control Marouane Fellaini was sent off with a red card late in the match for a determined head butt against Sergio Aguero who went down to the ground. A couple of weeks ago Fellaini served as Man United’s captain. However Manchester United was able to hold on defensively with only 10 men for a 0-0 draw against local arch-rivals and noisy neighbors Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday. Only nineteen seconds after being booked for a foul on City’s top superstar striker Argentine Sergio Aguero, Fellaini butted the City striker after another clash and was shown a straight red card by referee Martin Atkinson in the 84th minute. Manchester United was without injured top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic who is in the United States for knee surgery. Led by manager Jose Mourinho, United produced a strong defensive performance that is Mourinho's specialty, and the Red Devils were able to play a tight match until the closing minutes extending their unbeaten run to an amazing record breaking 24 matches, their longest winning streak in a single top-flight season.

The hard-fought match ended in a scoreless draw that does not secure either side's hopes of claiming a top four spot and securing a place in next season's UEFA Champions League, with fourth placed Manchester City remaining one point and one position clear of fifth-placed Manchester United. Pep Guardiola's Man City side maintained dominant possession throughout most of the match and could have taken the lead in the ninth minute through a close miss by Sergio Kun Aguero as he struck the upright close in. Aguero could only divert Kevin De Bruyne's low cross onto the outside of the upright from inside the six-yard box. Aguero netted in each of his last six outings. United’s Ander Herrera shared the midfield with Michael Carrick due to Paul Pogba's being out with injury. The best chance to score a goal in the derby came when Herrera failed to steer his header on target.

Although aggressive in the first half, Mourinho's side chose not to maintain their counter-attacking threat in the second half seeming willing to settle for one point. City on the other hand tried hard to earn three points by scoring a goal but were unable to score against the stoic United defence. David Silva missed the clash due to injury incurred in last weekend's FA Cup semi-final defeat. Claudio Bravo who was a spectator and his end of the pitch was quiet for much of the second half, kept a clean sheet , redeeming himself after his horror debut at Old Trafford last September. Bravo was taken from the field on a stretcher with a left calf injury in the 79th minute in the dramatic closing minutes of the game. After Fellaini's dismissal, sub Gabriel Jesus took advantage of having only 10 men against him and almost marked his first appearance since February 13th with a stoppage-time winner. Jesus was celebrating when he saw the offside flag raised.

Mourinho chose Marcus Rashford to lead the line and left Man Utd Captain Wayne Rooney, the highest-scoring player in the history of this fixture, on the bench for some reason. Rooney scored in United’s last game upon his return from injury. The young forward’s speed stretched the City defense. Man City goalie Bravo almost gifted United a goal when he palmed Anthony Martial's deflected, cross towards the penalty spot, before recovering to block Henrikh Mkhitaryan's effort. Bravo had a fairly quiet game at one end, while David de Gea was accurate at the other end with his amazing diving save to deny Aguero's curling 25-yard strike before keeping out a low drive from Aleksandar Kolarov. Pep Guardiola's side remained on top in the second half however Kevin De Bruyne and Kun Aguero were unable to score with efforts from outside the box before the hour mark. City continued to push and Guardiola replaced the injured Bravo with Willy Caballero 11 minutes from time. Fellaini's acting out moment of madness handed City an increased chance for a late equalizer, but Jesus's tap-in from a cross by Kun Aguero was ruled out.

Man United boss Jose Mourinho is disappointed with the slow "cautious" recoveries of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones. The two defenders missed United's last seven matches in all competitions, Smalling with a knee injury and Jones with a broken toe. Mourinho asked the England internationals to "be brave" and make themselves available for Thursday's Manchester Derby clash with Manchester City but confirmed on Wednesday that neither would be ready to compete. The lengthy recoveries of the two defender has led to speculation that both could be sold in the next transfer window. But when asked if they would be at Old Trafford next season, Mourinho said, "Of course they have. I hope this season. "It's not just about them. It's about the philosophy and mentality around them. Cautious. Cautious. Cautious. Just a cautious approach,” said Mourinho. "It's a profile; it's the philosophy of work. Just that."

The injuries to Jones and Smalling, coupled with the injuries of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Marcos Rojo, Juan Mata and Paul Pogba, left United with an injury crisis for the Manchester Derby at Etihad Stadium. However Mourinho stated that the players at his disposal are showing in training that they are determined to fight for results in a crucial stage of the season. "I think the fact that we are fighting for important things still is a good motivation to keep people together, to make people make an extra effort," said Mourinho, whose club travels to Swansea City on Sunday and Celta Vigo in the Europa League Semi-final first leg next week. "Wednesday's training session started at 3pm,” remarked Mourinho. “I was here at 10:30 am and when I arrived some players were already here, taking care of little details and taking care of their recovery. That is motivation. I think maybe opponents they look at us with different eyes because we don't have Zlatan and Paul and Marcos and Mata and Jones and Smalling. Maybe they look at us with different eyes but I think they are not stupid, they are not naive, and they know that we are going to give them a fight."

Manchester Derby Squads

Manchester City
Bravo; Zabaleta, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov; Fernandinho, Touré; Sterling, De Bruyne, Sané; Aguero Subs: Cabellero, Sagna. Fernando, Navas, Gabriel Jesus, Garcia.

Manchester United
De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini; Martial, Rashford, Mkhitaryan Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah. Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Manchester Derby Stats

  • Most wins: Manchester United (72)
  • Most player appearances: Ryan Giggs (36)
  • Top scorer: Wayne Rooney (11)
  • First meeting: 12 November 1881; West Gorton 0–3 Newton Heath
  • Most recent meeting: 27 April 2017; Premier League; Manchester City 0-0 Manchester United
  • Previous meeting: 26 October 2016; EFL Cup; Fourth round; United 1–0 City
  • Teams: Manchester City; Manchester United

Manchester United Tickets

In their battle for a top four Premier League finish and for the Europa League title, Manchester United face some tough opponents in the weeks ahead including Arsenal, Spurs, Swans, Selta de Vigo, Southampton, and Crystal Palace. Top legal, guaranteed Man United football tickets are for sale now online securely from the 1st4FootballTickets.com extensive marketplace! Be there to support your team!

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Manchester City Tickets

Manchester City have five more Premier League fixtures to play in their fight for a top four spot and a berth in next campaign’s Champions League. Man City will face Middlesbrough, Crystal Palace, Leicester City, West Brom, and Watford in City’s final matches of this season. Buy guaranteed tickets for Manchester City games now securely online from 1st4FootballTickets.com.

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