Man United held on for a draw at the Etihad, after Marouane Fellaini had stupidly got sent off to put them down to 10 men.
He was sent off towards the end of the match for head butting Sergio Aguero, who cleverly got Fellaini sent off. Because of the sending off, Mourinho will be the happier of the two managers with the result. He had to park the bus after the sending off.
Aguero should’ve scored inside 10 minutes, but his close range shot hit the post. City dominated the possession throughout the match, with United only having 30.8% possession – their lowest figure in a Premier League game since Opta started recording possession in 2003-04.
United spent much of the game on the back foot but, did have a threat in attack with the pace of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial. But, without the creativity of Paul Pogba, the attack didn’t get the right service and Rashford much of the game putting pressure on the opposition players.
City were mostly limited to long-range efforts, which didn’t really threaten David de Gea in goal. United did nearly go in front in the first half, when Claudio Bravo failed to deal with a cross and it came to Henrick Mkhitaryan, whose shot was smothered the Bravo.
The reason City were limited to mainly the long shots was because United were resilient, organised and defiant, with Michael Carrick providing the solid platform in front in the defence. They showed all the qualities that have ensured they have remained unbeaten in the Premier League since October to battle their way to a point here.
In the second half, City did come really close through Nicolas Otamendi, whose header from a corner was blocked by Eric Bailly. Pep Guardiola will be frustrated that with all the possession City couldn’t break down a stubborn United defence.
The biggest action of the game was in the 84th minute. Fellaini had just got a yellow card for a foul on Aguero, but then just moments later he chased after Aguero and fouled him again. I don’t think he would’ve got a second yellow card, but then he head butted Aguero who was in his face, leaving the referee with no option but to send him off. He was refusing to leave the field, so his team-mates had to encourage him to go.
City thought they had scored in stoppage time through substitute Gabriel Jesus but, it was correctly ruled out for offside. Aguero could’ve scored in the last few seconds but, somehow smashed the ball miles wide after Kevin de Bruyne’s fantastic cross.
I think the best thing that came out of this game for United was that Fellaini is going to be suspended for the next three games. He makes the team worse because he can’t play the ball well in midfield and is a dirty player.
United remain in fifth place, one point off fourth-placed City and two points off third-placed Liverpool, with a game in hand on Liverpool. They are still right in the hunt for a top four position but, they could still get Champions League football through winning the Europa League, with the first leg of the semi-final on Thursday.
Next up for United is a home game against Swansea on Sunday, the 30 April. Hopefully they can get back to winning form.