The Manchester Derby never disappoints, and this is once again a very heated affair. The winner could potentially claim the top spot in the Barclay’s Premier League.
United Line Up:
Valencia, Smalling, Jones, Rojo
Mata, Herrera, Martial
City Line Up:
Sagna, Kompany, Otamendi, Kolarov
De Bruyne, Touré, Sterling
Manchester United took kick off at Old Trafford and the game commenced with a midfield skirmish. Very few glimpses of attack were allowed by either side.
4 – Rooney picks up the ball at the centre circle, he takes it dummies and turns Yaya Touré. The big Ivorian is forced into a late challenge from behind to stop the breakaway, no card given.
11 –City get on their first meaningful attack. Sterling’s crafty footwork on the edge of the box gives him some space, but his shot is blocked by Jones.
14 – BOOKING, First card of the derby. Martial on a run and Fernandinho has to step across him and is booked for his foul. United free kick, comes to Martial again, he makes about 5 yards before getting crunched by Sagna, no card given. The free kick is well cleared by Otamendi.
18 – Manchester United earn a free kick on the right side of the box, for Kolarov push on Valencia, Free kick comes to nothing but City break away with it. De Bruyne puts a great ball in to Sterling, who finds Yaya. Yaya then holds it up in the box but Rojo bests him, pokes the ball away. They skirmish on the by-line but United earn a questionable goal kick.
20 – Antonio Valencia has repeatedly best Kolarov down his right wing, so much so that Sterling has started to come back to try and contain him, but this is to very little effect.
22 – Wayne Rooney sustains a head injury courtesy of Kompany’s elbow, no real foul, no complaint from Rooney but his head starts bleeding. He eventually gets to the sideline to have his head stapled.
24 – Martial sets off on a dribble, beats three City players, all left on their backside, he passes to Mata but he’s blocked from entering the box.
27 – Martial dribbles beyond Fernandinho to set up United pressure but the attacking comes to nothing.
28 – Rojo and Herrera team up to cut out de Bruyne and his attempted pass, he isn’t being given any room to play, Rojo has been ruthless.
29 – Pass played in to Rooney who puts an incredibly deft touch on the ball, which sends it through to Bastian. He tried to further thread Mata in, who’s running across the box, but the pass is cut out.
33 – High ball comes into the box, Jones is all on his own. There aren’t any blue shirts anywhere near him. He heads it out for a corner, for no reason. This is another incident where he’s needlessly lost the ball.
37 – Wayne Rooney steals the ball from Sagna and breaks through towards the box; he then squares it to a stagnant Martial. The Frenchman knew that he was offside so didn’t go for the ball.
38 – BOOKING, Fernandinho robs Juan Mata of the ball, Mata retaliates with a last ditch challenge which brings down the Brazilian. He is booked for the challenge. Yaya’s free kick hits the wall and goes out for a corner.
De Bruyne smashes the ball in, Yaya outmuscles Schneiderlin, gets his head on it, and it floats wide of the post.
40 – Otamendi brings down Herrera, free kick given. The ball is cleared but comes to Valencia who works towards the wing, he takes on Kolarov, looks to have won but Kolarov goes down. City free kick given, Antonio rages.
43 – Rooney brings the ball down form a Valencia cross, on the edge of the box. He’s mobbed by 5 blue shirts and was brought down in the stampede, no free kick given.
44 – The Blues break away, De Bruyne puts a great low pass into the box and to the feet of Touré. The Ivorian blasts it high and wide.
44 – BOOKING, Martial goes on a run up the wing, Kompany comes in, the Frenchman dinks the ball over Kompany’s leg and then goes to chase the ball but Kompany lunges in to stop him. Referee shows Vincent a yellow card.
The first half ends with both teams putting in very good defensive performances. Manchester City may be considered as being slightly on top as they’ve had more attempts on goal.
Manchester United ended the first half with 0 attempts on goal, which is the only time that has happened in the Premier League era. But they did try to create chances and did very well to snuff out any City attacks.
Manchester City start at the centre circle to take kick off but it’s not long before United win back the ball and commence an attack.
47 – Valencia is given the ball and is allowed to free roam at Kolarov who continues to back away, City appear to have come out ready to pounce on the counter attack, rather than be too aggressive at the back.
49 – Manchester United putting pressure on City, forcing them to defend in their own half. Rojo gets the ball, crosses into the box, but no-one’s there. Rojo screams at the forwards.
49 – Matial gets the ball near the cornewr flag, holds off two City defenders, he then back heel passes the ball between the two. United then work a pass to Herrera on the edge of the box, he takes a touch and shoots but it trickles away for a corner.
Mata pounds the corner to the back post Smalling headers it across the face of goal, Schneiderlin tries to get a foot on it but Yaya has done a good job of just holding him off for long enough. The ball bounces out of play.
52 – De Bruyne feels the wrath of Rojo when the Argentinean puts in a big slide tackle which stops City’s big money signing from getting straight back up.
53 – Otamendi comes away from the defensive line to cut out a Valencia surge just past the half way line. He’s not taking any chances.
54 – SUBSTITUTION, Raheem Sterling off – Jesús Navas on. De Bruyne escapes Rojo and line up on the left with Navas on the right.
54 – De Bruyne gets away from Valencia, breaks away, plays the ball to the edge of the box which is cancelled out. Wilfried Bony going mad at the Belgian for ignoring his run again.
55 – Jones gives the ball away again, but as the ball comes back, in the form of a through ball to Yaya, Jones is very quick to react and cut out the incoming midfielder.
58 – Now Valencia is proving to be too fast and strong for De Bruyne as he skips past him and into City’s half.
61 – United make a dangerous attack. Schweinsteiger chests the ball down in the area, he keeps it at his feet shimmies to the edge the crosses to Rooney in the 6 yard but Otamendi soars over him and puts it out for a corner.
62 – City look to break but Rojo sliding tackle plays the ball up to Mata on the edge of the box; he’s past the defence, cocks his leg back for the shot, but Joe Hart is already sliding in to snuff out the attack.
63 – Schweinsteiger continues to force the attack, he dribbles beyond a blue, heads to the box and lays off a pass to Rooney, but the play is set a bit beyond Rooney’s grasp.
64 – Navas turns to commence a run at United’s defence, but Rojo catches him, puts him to the floor, but as he skips over the fallen Spaniard his boot scrapes Navas’ head and hand. No card given.
65 – Martial in United’s half gets the ball, bests two City attackers and lays it off to Smalling who dispatches the ball up field.
66 – SUBSTITUTE, Juan Mata off – Jesse Lingard on.
69 – Manchester City trying to force a ball over the top of the United defence. 3 attempts are cut out by the head of Smalling and Jones. The attack comes to an end with Bony pushing Jones to the ground.
70 – Lingard manages to slip a ball past Otamendi to get Rooney into the box, Kompany comes bombing across to the Englishman, he decides to set the ball back to Jesse, but the pass is cut out.
72 – Big Touré storms into the United defence and it takes 4 men to bring him down. The ball then breaks to Lingard up the wing but no one has joined him.
73 – SUBSTITUTE, Bastian Schweinsteiger off – Marouane Fellaini on. Bad decision as Bastian has been forging attacks from central midfield despite how crowded it is.
74 – Kevin de Bruyne looks to break down City’s right wing, he’s almost in space, when Ander Herrera flies in to cut off his run. Fair challenge. United keep possession.
75 – Anthony Martial once again dribbles beyond City players, this time it’s Sagna and Otamendi, but as he comes into the box the ball gets a bit ahead of him and Fernandinho sees him out.
76 – Marouane Fellaini puts in a terrible late aerial challenge on Fernandinho in the middle of the park. It results in him head butting the Brazilian, in the back of the head, after the ball had left his possession.
76 – SUBSTITUTE, Yaya Touré off – Martín Demichelis on.
77 – City free kick in a dangerous area, which was cheaply given against Schneiderlin. De Bruyne strikes it, straight into the wall.
80 – SUBSTITUTE, Antonio Valencia off – Matteo Darmian on. Big Ant went pulled up holding his leg and was subbed off due to the injury.
81 – Marcos Rojo works a ball over to Rooney who runs onto it but is charged down by Otamendi, who has not given Rooney an inch all day.
82 – SUBSTITUTE, Wilfried Bony off – Kelechi Iheanacho on.
83 – Fellaini gets the ball in midfield, Fernando comes in to try and pry the ball away. Fellaini goes down very easily.
83 – BIG CHANCE, Smalling comes up the pitch, his pass to Martial cut out, but Martial runs round and collects the ball anyway. He dinks the ball over the defence into the box, Rooney and Lingard are free, Hart’s off his line, Lingard gets a toe on it in midair, and the ball just dips onto the cross bar and away.
86 – Dangerous City free kick. Swung in by Kolarov, eludes the defence and heads to the surging Otamendi on the back post, a touch would put the ball in the net. But Rooney stands strong managing to block off the defender just enough for him to miss the ball. Game saving defending from United’s captain.
87 – BIG CHANCE, Ball comes into City’s box from deep. Fellaini nods it down, Smalling stretches to get his foot on the ball. He just manages to tip it on goal, but Joe Hart makes a desperation save, flinging himself across the goal line to make a finger tip save at the lowest possible point.
88 – BOOKING, Morgan Schneiderlin smashes into Kevin de Bruyne in an attempt to stop his play making. The ref plays on anyway but the ball comes to nothing. Morgan receives a booking for his challenge.
90 – City and Untied trading attacks with end to end play. A very dangerous cross comes in for the Blues but Rooney’s there again to header the ball away.
The game ends 0-0. But the score line is very deceiving as it was a very good game, hotly contested by two strong teams.
Analysis and Man of the Match
Sky Sports commentator gave the Man of the Match award to Nicolás Otamendi for his immaculate defensive performance which kept Rooney at bay. Really, Otamendi was the only City defender who put in a solid performance.
Kompany often seemed to be behind the play, and the two City full backs were getting beaten on nearly every run by Martial or Valencia. But Otamendi made up for this, with strong defending on Rooney and covering for his team mates when necessary.
The Manchester United defence was also solid, nullifying any attempt to play in Bony and they kept Yaya, de Bruyne, Navas and Sterling at bay. But no one player exceeded the others, all put in very strong performances.
Jones was lacking in terms of his distribution but worked well alongside Smalling at centre back.
Antonio Valencia played very well, surging up the wing, terrifying Kolarov, de Bruyne and Sterling, and he defended well. Hopefully his injury is not a long term problem.
Bastian Schweinsteiger showed his experience in the second half. He took the game into his own hands and went to force the issue, creating attack in any way that he could.
His substitution was disappointing, but van Gaal clearly wanted to add an aerial threat to possibly clinch a jammy goal at the end. But Bastian was going forward so well that his subbing off actually slowed down the United offence, especially as Fellaini kept fouling or losing aerial battles.
Despite not scoring, Anthony Martial was fantastic all game. His runs drew in fouls and made a mockery of a very experienced Manchester City defence.
It got the point where the City defence was standing off Martial so much that he had so much time to decide what to do with the ball. The Frenchman completed an incredible 7 dribbles today.
He might be better off in the attacking midfield role, so that he can run directly on goal and, if he wants to, have more long range shots. The striker, most probably Rooney, would be able to pull away defenders whilst Martial assaults the opposition’s box.
Overall it was a solid defensive performance from both sides. Manchester United were only just the better side on the day as City’s main source of attack was cut out all game, where as United were allowed to attack. They just lacked that final killer ball.