Man City go top as Van Gaal refuses to talk about Rooney
Uninspiring goalless draw at Old Trafford was 'not a very attractive game' admits City boss Manuel Pellegrini
Manchester United 0 Manchester City 0
The clocks went back on Sunday and it's a shame that this Manchester derby didn't get lost in time. No goals and precious little action in a match that even Manuel Pellegrini admitted was dull. "Unfortunately for the fans it was not a very attractive game," reflected the City manager. "We are two creative teams but we could not do it today."
At least the point earned by the Sky Blues takes them to the top of the table, level on points with Arsenal but ahead of the Gunners thanks to their superior goal difference. "It is a good point," said Pellegrini. "If you can't win, then don't lose it. People have said that we can't defend and in the second half we did very well. We lost so much possession of the ball and we had to concentrate. United had two late chances but overall... I don't like to play this way."
Nor does Louis van Gaal, whose team now lie fourth. "It was a very tough game for both sides," said the United manager. "We had 90 minutes control of the game against a side like Manchester City. I cannot complain. But you want to win and we did not."
If it was tough for the teams, spare a thought for the supporters who went to the 170th Manchester derby in expectation of a pulsating contest and left wishing they'd stayed at home for a Sunday roast. It was only the third goalless Manchester derby in the 23 years of the Premier League and the first time in 13 Manchester derbies in all competitions that there was no winner.
But perhaps the most damning statistic of all was that there wasn't a shot on target until 82 minutes, an appalling indictment on the match. There was a late flurry with United substitute Jesse Lingard hitting the bar and City keeper Joe Hart denying Chris Smalling with a sharp save.
Rooney, who celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday, huffed and puffed as if still blowing out his candles but there was little precision to his game. Asked about the England's captain performance, Van Gaal snapped: "I don't give any more answers about Wayne Rooney because I am sick of them."
But not as sick as the fans who paid good money to watch this dross.