MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 25: Juan Mata of Manchester United is tackled by Nicolas Otamendi of Manchester City during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on October 25, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Manchester Derby ends in a very listless 0-0 draw

This is going to be rather short because there really isn’t much to talk about in this Manchester Derby. In a highly defensive battle, both teams walked away with a point in a 0-0 draw. Sure the game had its moments and it looked like Manchester United was more concerned about getting a winner but it was a game in which both teams were afraid to lose rather than go for the win.

So with a point apiece, Manchester City moved back into the top spot in the table, tied with Arsenal but ahead in goal differential. Manchester United dropped a spot into fourth because of West Ham’s win over Chelsea yesterday put them in third. So in all actuality, the big winner was Arsenal today. Arsenal gained two points over their positional and likely only title rivals this year and are tied for the top of the table.

In all actuality, it really did seem like two points lost for Manchester United and two points given away by Manchester City. They attacked more, especially in the second half, and were taking advantage of increasingly defensive Manchester City. And therein lay my issue with going defensive to close out a game. Why do it? Manchester United didn’t register a shot on target in the first half. Then when City went more defensive, United got some chances and held the ball more.

I know I’m not a Premier League manager and am just a blogger, but Manchester City gave United more chances and had fewer chances themselves by going defensive in the second half. If I’m managing Manchester City, I have Joe Hart in goal, I have Vincent Kompany on the backline and I have people like Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (substituted by Navas) in the midfield. Let them do their jobs instead of moving everyone back except for Wilfried Bony to defend. Joe Hart is world class and that backline is talented, they can do the job and keep the clean sheet. I don’t know, I just think it’s unnecessary to switch to an ultra defensive “park the bus” tactic when the game is close and you haven’t allowed a shot on target anyway. You’re just overthinking the game by doing that. I don’t know if Man United could get the win as they went for the three points, but Man City didn’t do themselves any favors by not even trying for two more points.

About Phillip Bupp

Producer/editor of the Awful Announcing Podcast and Short and to the Point. News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. Highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram @phillipbupp