Wayne Rooney celebrated his 30th birthday on Saturday, but did not produce a performance lớn get the trang chính supporters in the buổi tiệc nhỏ mood.
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It was not for want of trying as Rooney tirelessly tried lớn exert influence on a game where both sides cancelled each other out for long periods.
His performance prompted more post-match questions from the media, which United trùm Louis van Gaal said he was "sick" of answering.
There is no doubt, however, that some of the old snap & spark is currently missing, ending in Rooney treading the familiar territory of a player almost trying too hard to make things happen.
Rooney having a head wound stapled on the touchline was arguably the most eye-catching moment of a dreadful first half, where his struggles were underlined with one wayward pass that ended a promising United move sầu.
And there were howls of frustration from United's fans after the break when he decided against trying to lớn piông xã out an option further forward, turning to pass bachồng.
Rooney has had such fallow spells before and has invariably ended them in spectacular style so only a fool would write hlặng off - but this was not his best day.
City wide men fail lớn fire
Powerful in the air và on the ground, the £32m summer signing from Valencia was a reassuring presence alongside returning captain Vincent Kompany, justifying Manuel Pellegrini's decision lớn pichồng hyên ahead of Eliaqulặng Mangala.
'Not an attractive sầu game' - managers react
Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini: "We are bachồng at the top of the table.
"It was a very tactical game. I prefer khổng lồ play in another way but we defended well.
"Unfortunately for the fans it was not a very attractive sầu game. We are two creative teams but we could not do it today."
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal: "We had 90 minutes control of the game against a side like Manchester City. I cannot complain. But you want khổng lồ win and we did not.
"We should have sầu had a penalty on Ander Herrera. It is easy to see for me but I have sầu a trả lời. The referee has one second.
"I always say we need the modern technology but I am the only one in the desert calling for it."
The stats you need to lớn knowThis is only the third goalless Manchester derby in the Premier League era.It is the first time in 13 Manchester derbies in all competitions where the game has ended in a draw.It is Manchester City's first goalless Premier League draw in their last 61 games, the last draw was 0-0 v Norwich in February năm trước.It is only the second Premier League game this season not to have sầu a shot on target in the first half, along with United v Liverpool.Manchester United failed to lớn muster a single shot in the first half of a Premier League game for the first time since the 2003-04 season.
What's up next?
Both sides are in League Cup fourth-round action on Wednesday - United are at trang chính to Middlesbrough và City host Crystal Palace.