Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City: Spoils shared in dour derby stalemate

The top-of-the-table clash produced a flat and lifeless contest, the first shot on target not coming until the 82nd minute, though the draw sends City back to top spot

Manchester City returned to the summit of the Premier League after a dull derby clash on Sunday, though Manchester United rallied late on only to be denied a last-gasp victory.

The 170th edition of the fixture was expected to be one for the Old Trafford crowd to savour – United having the opportunity to leapfrog their neighbours in the standings, while City had scored 11 goals in their previous two league wins.

But such thrills were in meagre supply throughout 90 minutes contested by two of the most expensively assembled starting XIs in Premier League history, with United failing to register a single shot in the first half for the first time in over a decade.

The absence of David Silva and Sergio Aguero through injury badly impacted upon City’s creativity, while an off-colour Wayne Rooney was unable to effectively supplement Anthony Martial’s ingenuity in the United attack.

Substitute Jesse Lingard was almost an unlikely derby hero for United, prodding a volley against the crossbar from Martial’s wonderful lofted ball five minutes from time and City goalkeeper Joe Hart saved brilliantly from Chris Smalling as the clock ticked down.

City edge on to 22 points, ahead of Arsenal at the summit on goal difference, while United are fourth and level on 20 with third-place West Ham.

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