Marouane Fellaini was sent off for head-butting Sergio Aguero as Manchester City and Manchester United fought out to a goalless draw at Etihad Stadium.
By Carlo Chikomba
The result leaves both clubs still with a chance of securing a top four finish with only one point separating the pair.
No doubt Manchester United’s Jose Mourinho will be the happier of the two managers after his side extended their unbeaten league run to 24 games, a feat achieved without Fellaini in the closing stages after he was dismissed for a senseless head-butt on Aguero.
The game was tilted heavily in the home side’s favor with the Citizens enjoying a lion’s share of possession and restricting the visitors in their own half for long periods of the match.
United had 30.8% possession – their lowest figure in a Premier League game since Opta started recording possession in 2003-04.
Argentine Aguero came closest for City when he hit the post early on as the hosts looked to kick things off from the onset. United carried real threat in the pace of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial but their midfield lacked the guile to provide the right service.
In the end it was all Manchester City as they threatened throughout the match but the Red Devils were resilient in defence and held on, soaking in constant pressure from Pep Guardiola’s men.
The pendulum seemed to have swung in City’s favor in the closing stages when Fellaini was sent off for head-butting Aguero.
The hosts put on Gabriel Jesus as they looked to make that one man advantage count and it nearly did as the Brazilian found the back of the net via a header from close range only to be correctly ruled offside.
But the ten man United held on to claim a hard-fought point at the Etihad Stadium and now one point behind City and two points behind third-placed Liverpool with a game in hand.