Saturday, 24 October 2015

Man United VS Man City


Scorers: None | 25 October 2015 | Old Trafford |
Attendance: 75,329
- Van Gaal: The way we played gives hope for the
- Smalling: We can take confidence from this game
- Boss confirms injury for Antonio Valencia

It was intense, physical and highly competitive but,
in the end, the 170th Manchester derby finished in
stalemate on Sunday as United and City frustrated
each other at Old Trafford, where substitute Jesse
Lingard almost stole the show when he hit the bar
late on.
This fixture has provided fans with goals galore in
recent history, as well as the odd moment of
greatness, but the latest meeting could not live up
to form. The result leaves City top of the Barclays
Premier League on goal difference ahead of
Arsenal, with United placed fourth behind West
Juan Mata was brought back into the team for
Lingard and the Spaniard, playing on the right flank,
unsuccessfully appealed for an early penalty when
Fernandino almost handled the ball. City then
created a decent chance of their own through
Raheem Sterling, the ex-Liverpool man whose shot
was deflected wide of David De Gea’s goal to a
chorus of ironic cheers from the home fans.
Wayne Rooney temporarily left the action on 22
minutes with blood pouring from his head and the
birthday boy appeared to have the wound stapled
by the physio following a collision with Vincent
Kompany, the recalled City captain who clearly had
a point to prove to Manuel Pellegrini. It was just
one example of a highly physical first half, filled
with tough tackles and questionable challenges.
In truth, the opening 45 minutes did not feature
more than a handful of half-chances, with the best
falling to Yaya Toure when he headed wide from
Kevin De Bruyne’s corner. Despite a lack of clear-
cut openings, this was an absorbing first half that
still promised much for the second period.
Possession: United 58% City 42%
Shots: United 0 City 4
On target: United 0 City 0
Corners: United 1 City 3
United traditionally attack the Stretford End in the
second halves of matches but, on this occasion,
due to City winning the coin toss before kick-off,
the Reds were forced to head towards the East
Stand. Louis van Gaal’s men almost broke the
deadlock when Ander Herrera’s shot was deflected
wide on 49 minutes before Sterling survived
another penalty appeal following a clumsy
challenge on Herrera. Chris Smalling then nodded
agonisingly wide of the far post from the resulting
corner kick with Morgan Schneiderlin unable to
connect on the stretch.
There was much more urgency to United’s
attacking play in the second half and the Reds
pressed forward in numbers whenever possible,
mostly down the left wing through the pace of
Anthony Martial, although scoring opportunities
were still at a premium against a well-organised
City defence. The answer, van Gaal hoped, might
arrive from the substitutes' bench as Lingard and
Marouane Fellaini entered the fray in place of Mata
and Bastian Schweinsteiger as the clock ticked on
at Old Trafford.
Academy graduate Lingard, the only local lad
involved in this fixture, almost stole the show in
sublime fashion when he latched onto Martial’s
exquisitely lofted pass to clip an acrobatic shot
over the helpless Joe Hart and onto the crossbar,
much to the exasperation of the Reds supporters.
Smalling then brought a fine save out of the
England no.1 with a low shot that proved to be the
final opportunity of Sunday's stalemate.
Possession: United 59% City 41%
Shots: United 6 City 6
On target: United 1 City 1
Corners: United 6 City 4
United: De Gea, Valencia (Darmian 81'), Jones,
Smalling, Rojo, Schweinsteiger (Fellaini 74'),
Schneiderlin, Herrera, Mata (Lingard 66'), Rooney,
Subs not used: Romero, Blind, Carrick, Memphis.
Booked: Mata, Schneiderlin
City: Hart, Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov,
Fernando, Fernandinho, Toure (Demichelis 77'),
Sterling (Navas 55'), De Bruyne, Bony (Iheanacho
Subs not used: Caballero, Zabaleta, Mangala,
Booked: Fernandinho, Kompany
Louis van Gaal: "The fans have seen the way we
have played and it was a very controlled game
from Manchester United. They are also
disappointed, like me, because you have to win
against these kind of teams, also for the fans, but
the way we have played gives hope for the future."
Chris Smalling: "We probably edged it overall with
the chances we had in the second half. Towards
the end, you could tell that, for the last 20-30
minutes, they were hanging on and bringing on
defenders, so it was on us to really push forward
and we did. On another day, the chances we had
might have gone in."


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