4 tactical observations from Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City

The Old Trafford stalemate proved a dull affair for the neutral but an intriguing contest between two top sides...

It was a drab game at Old Trafford with defences on top. Indeed both of the two sides could only manage one shot on target the whole game.

And a point may prove more beneficial for the visitors, who went back to the top of the table but chalk off one of their toughest away fixtures of the season.

Regardless, there were some tactical observations worth noting, thanks to Stats Zone's recording of all the match events in real-time...

1. Rooney fails to fire

England's record goalscorer had a match to forget, unable to keep the ball and unable to fashion any chances for his team-mates. However, coupled with United's captain's off-day, was that Nicolas Otamendi and Vincent Kompany both defended superbly, keeping Rooney quiet.

2. Otamendi impresses

The Argentinean centre-back impressed and looks to be the partner for Vincent Kompany that Manchester City have been searching for since Joleon Lescott was part of the 2012-Premier-League-winning outfit. Otamendi defended with gusto, with several timely challenges stopping United from creating anything (most clearances; third most tackles in the game). 

And, such was the defensive effort of City, the hosts didn't even manage a shot in the first-half, and only had one on target all game. Kompany played well, but so did Otamendi who picked up the man of the match award from several match analysts.

3. Martial looked threatening

In a game of such magnitude, one positive for United fans was that Anthony Martial often got the ball in space down the United left flank. His piercing runs drew several fouls and he often looked a threat to City, so much so that he drew several rash tackles from the opposition. 

4.  De Bruyne and Sterling were kept quiet

The two in-form City attacking midfielders were unable to conjure much and looked out of sorts due to the defensive aggression shown by Manchester City in the full-back areas. Credit to United's back four: Phil Jones and Chris Smalling, and especially the full-backs, Marcos Rojo and Antonio Valencia.

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