I gave a match overview of the 172nd Manchester Derby, of the Barclays Premiere League which took place earlier this season, check it out to see the difference between the two fixtures!
Manchester City walked into this important fixture with a loss on their minds; i.e. they had lost to Arsenal 2-1. Manchester United came into the fixture with a series of wins, including a win over Chelsea (2-0), this was an important factor in the derby.
The match was kicked off by Manchester United, it began with great energy from both teams, with possession being almost the same for both. Both teams created chances for scoring while displaying great co-ordination and of course; great football. There were some really close chances like in the 43rd minute free kick which got Herrera just wide of the post.
Needless to say, the defense of both teams was solid, but there were of course times when the attackers did break through. We should complement the strikers rather than condemn the defenders here, as they (attackers) displayed great skill in getting past the defenders. First half also saw spectacular saves by both goalkeepers, Claudio Bravo even did a remarkable double save which was exhilarating to watch.
The first half was balanced, it wasn’t inclined to either side. The second half which was of course kicked off by Manchester City experienced multiple attacks by the City strikers. David De Gea has to be given credit for stopping all the shots that came his way, supported by a responsive defense, the United side was able to hold and launch some counter attacks but did not see any opening in the score. Up to the 62nd minute the scores remained nil-nil. In the 75th minute, Claudio Bravo was carried off the field due to an injury
Fellaini recceived a Yellow card in the 82nd minute for committing a foul on Sergio Aguero and the following minute he received a red card because he intentionally head butted Sergio Aguero, the former claimed that Aguero instigated him so that he (Fellaini) would be sent off. No one knows what really happened but the sending off opened up new opportunities for Manchester City to explore and exploit, United now had to hold their ground.
Exploiting the one man advantage, Manchester City’s G. Jesus put the ball into the back of the net, the only time the ball ever went into the back of the net for the entire duration of the match was ruled offside. Happiness and joy was replaced by anger and frustration on the faces of the City players, supports and of course Pep Guardiola. The match ended at nil-nil. As much as the match was exciting, it had to be left inconclusive.
The question now lies is the problem Jose Mourinho has to face, with absence of key players like Mata, Ibrahimovic, Fellaini etc. he will have to face the remaining fixtures and the Europa cup fixtures just around the corner, at a reduced squad strength. Only time will tell how he will manage this situation.