United snapped a four-game winning streak in the English Premier League, and with 20 points, currently occupies the seventh spot in the standings. City, meanwhile, had two consecutive victories and now has 19 points, one place below the local rivals.
Both sides came into today’s clash with the intention to protect their net first and attack later. A cautious approach from both Solskjaer and Guardiola decreased the room for attackers, preventing action in front of goals. During the entire 90 minutes, the fans saw a few mild opportunities and a match full of tactical fouls and rough battle in the midfield.
City produced one big chance after 35 minutes. Kevin de Bruyne quickly opened a counter-attack, creating a perfect situation for Riyad Mahrez, who was alone in front of David De Gea. The Spaniard denied his shot, saving his team from an early deficit.
After that, the guests weren’t even close to endangering United until the end of the half, while on the other side, the Red Devils had a few attempts, none of them worth mentioning.
During the second 45 minutes, Manchester United was awarded a penalty, but that call was overturned after checking the VAR system. Marcus Rashofrd, who was in the center of attention in that situation, was previously in offside.
City had more of the ball possession and the initiative, but without a proper finishing. De Bruyne tried his luck from a distance some ten minutes before the end, but that shot was deflected. The Sky-Blues would run down the clock in the late phase of the event, holding the ball, and protecting one point.
It is hard to say who profited from tonight’s result, but it seems that the guests are happier. Solskjaer saved his job, for now, avoiding a defeat in the derby, but the Norwegian has another test very quickly.
United hits the road to visit Sheffield United on December 17. The Blades are among the worst, if not the worst team in the entire league, and anything but three points here would be disastrous for the guests. It would also mean that Solskjaer is out.
As for City, they are awaiting West Brom three days from now.