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Manchester United vs Manchester City at Old Trafford

Old Trafford Referee : Chris Kavanagh
12th December 2020 5:30 PM (GMT)
  • 0 Manchester United

  • 0 Manchester City


Commentary By John Edwards


Signing off

That's all from me - you can check out all the match stats and reaction from today's game below. 

Thanks for joining me this evening on a night where City were sound defensively, but unable to find our usual rhythm in attack. 

In the end a draw seems a fair result and now our attentions turn to Tuesday's home game against West Bromwich Albion. 

As always, you can follow the game live in the Matchday Centre here on, but before then, we have the Premier League 2 derby.

Our EDS face United tomorrow at 13:00 (UK) and you can watch the game live on CITY+.

See you soon, Blues!


Guardiola: We miss Aguero

"We miss Sergio but for the last six months, not just today, he was injured a lot of times. 

"Today he had a problem in his stomach and couldn't make a session. He was at home. Of course we miss Sergio, he is the best striker in Manchester Cityโ€™s history. In the next short time, we will go without him and I am sure when he is fit he will be back."


Guardiola: Being solid is good

"We struggle to score so we have to be solid, control game and not concede counter-attacks. I am so proud. This team will kill you. The penalty was disallowed for offside. 

"But they did it last season, they are so fast, so good, so strong at set pieces. They are there. Coming here to Old Trafford this is quite good. I know the expectation for Manchester City is so high and we accept this but being solid is good."


Match stats

๐Ÿ”ต This was our sixth consecutive clean sheet in all competitions, which equals our club record. It is our longest run of shut-outs since another six-game run which ended in January 2019.

๐Ÿ”ต Since losing to Leicester City on 27 September, we have lost just one of our 16 games in all competitions - the 2-0 defeat to Spurs on 21 November.

๐Ÿ”ต This was only our fifth goalless draw against United in 47 Premier League meetings. Three of those stalemates have come in the last 11 encounters.

๐Ÿ”ต We have failed to score in two consecutive away league games for the first time since January 2017.


Pep: A good point

"0-0. They started well after we finished the first half well. We created three or four clear chances, you cannot expect many against a team like United and a good point in the end. It will be a good point in the future.

"United is always a strong team, this is Old Trafford and in a few details they are out of the Champions League. They score when they can run but we controlled them really well."

Pep was speaking to BBC Sport. We'll bring you news from his post-match press conference shortly.


Stones: Disappointed not to get more

 Obviously there were no fans and it was a different atmosphere. We both didn't create many chances. It's another clean sheet for us but we're a bit frustrated we've not come away with more.

"In a derby everything comes out. It's rarely a thriller. We can take a lot away from the fact we didn't concede. It's a platform to win a game when you keep clean sheets. To do that today away from home, it's very pleasing."


Michael Brown: Lacking creativity

"Ultimately, I think Pep will be disappointed with chances created. Weโ€™re talking about a title and a Pep Guardiola side and he will be disappointed. He expects more and creativity is what he believes in. City will have to improve to bring the title back to the Etihad."

Watch more analysis on We're Not Really Here in the video above. โ˜๏ธ


As it stands

City are eighth in the Premier League, one place and one point behind United, but that could change if Everton beat Chelsea in this evening's late kick-off.

Our 19-points from 11 games leaves us six points behind leaders Spurs, who play tomorrow.



It ends in a stalemate at Old Trafford. 

Neither side will have too many complaints about that after an even contest with clear cut chances few and far between.


Well wide

Fernandes tries to win in spectacular fashion as he cuts inside in midfield and unleashes from 25-yards.

It's a wild effort, however, and flies harmlessly wide of Ederson's goal.



Ederson is called into action as Fernandes takes aim from 18-yards, but it's straight at the keeper.

United might wish they'd more of the opportunity, Martial started the move in oceans of space in the City half.



It's City on the front foot in these closing stages, but for all we're moving the ball nicely, we can't find that killer pass.

United looking pretty happy to wait for a mistake they can counter from.


Finely balanced

Into the final ten minutes and entering the stage of the game where both teams appear to be balancing the reward of winning against the risk of losing. 

Chances have been very much at a premium in this second half.



There's been plenty of blocked chances in this game and United have just added another to the list to deny a De Bruyne free-kick.

The Belgian was 25-yards from goal after Maguire fouled Jesus as City tried to counter, but the wall did its job.



United clear a De Bruyne corner, but City regain possession and it allows Jesus to deliver a cross from the right.

Sterling is battling with Wan-Bissaki to get on the end of it, but it's a duel won by the full-back who nods it away and United clear their lines.


Straight in

Torres is involved immediately as City work the ball over to him on the right.

He runs at Shaw, pushing the ball past him and running round the other side, but the United full-back recovers and regains possession. 

The Spaniard's strong running could certainly liven this game up.



Fernandinho takes matters into his own hands with a rare strike from distance. 

The Brazilian's 20-yards from goal, but pulls his effort wide of the left post.

Indicative of the scarcity of goalmouth action. 



It's been a similarly cagey affair in the opening 15 minutes of this second half, but City have had more control of them game. 

We've pinned United back in their own half, but have been unable to penetrate the wall of red shirts. 

Inspiration needed!



City had enjoyed a dominant spell of possession but United win the ball back and Pogba releases Rashford with a through ball that splits Stones and Walker.

The striker elects to take take it early from a difficult angle and he fires it well wide of Ederson's near post.


Penalty, United.

Rashford goes down under a challenge from Walker and the referee points to the spot.

The United forward collects Fernandes cross from the right and checks back inside and is caught by Walker. 

VAR is checking for a possible offside in the build-up, however...


๐Ÿ“ท Big moment

Maguire's crucial block after Sterling's brilliant run inside early in the first half, a moment which impressed Michael Brown...

"Sterling did well with the chance. He does really well inside with a slight delay but is just closed down. A great bit of skill, that will give him confidence."


Goater: What City can do in the second half

"Pep could unleash and let his full backs come on and have the wide men in pockets to give De Bruyne more options. These could be the changes that makes us more offensive. But it's up to which manager will make the decision."



All square after an even opening 45 minutes.

It's felt like a bit of chess match at times, but there's been chances for both teams. 

City's best saw Mahrez shoot straight at De Gea after a slick counter, whilst United have carried a threat from set pieces.

All to play for! 


Solid from Stones

Greenwood carves a yard of space on the edge of the area and gets a low shot off, but Stones slides in to block the effort.

Great work! ๐Ÿ‘



United getting a lot of joy from corners so far.

It's Lindelof's turn to rise highest as he darts to the front post, but he flicks his header just over like Maguire earlier. 

An area for concern for our boys in this first half, perhaps?



City open United up with the best move of the match, but we can't make it count as Mahrez shoots straight at De Gea.

The Algerian was in acres of space when De Bruyne slipped him in following Jesus' powerful run, but the United goalkeeper narrowed the angled and saved with his feet.

De Bruyne was well placed to gather the rebound, but blazed his first time effort well over.



United's turn

A loose pass from Ederson creates a couple of opportunities for United.

Fernandes intercepts the Brazilian's ball and it allows Rashford to pick out Pogba, whose initial effort is deflected behind for a corner from which Maguire flashes a header just over the bar.


Begging for a touch!

More goalmouth action for City as Mahrez whips a free-kick in from the left flank.

Stones is battling with Lindelof to get a head on it, which neither manage and in the end De Gea gathers it easily. 

A cross that was crying out for a touch to divert it past the goalkeeper!



Another decent opportunity as Jesus fires over on the half volley from a Mahrez pass.

The Algerian drifted into a central position 30-yards from goal before lofting the ball in behind. A good pass, but Jesus had a lot to do under pressure from Wan-Bissaka.



A good opportunity for United as Fernandes lines up a free-kick 25-yards out following Rodrigo's foul on Pogba.

The Portuguese gets it over the wall, but Rodrigo gets his head in the way to deflect it behind for a corner that comes to nothing.



A quiet game springs to life as Sterling combines with De Bruyne to create a shooting opportunity.

City's No.7 cuts inside Wan-Bissaka and sells a dummy to Lindelof before getting a shot off, but Maguire moves across to make the block.

Our best move of the game.


Air shot

Lindelof pings a long ball in behind the City defence for Fernandes, who, rather ambitiously, lets it drop over his shoulder and attempts a first time volley.

The midfielder can't connect cleanly though and Ederson gathers comfortably. 


Concern for United

The United physio has just been on to treat Fred, who has been moving gingerly since his early collision with De Bruyne.

The Brazilian heads to the sideline but he's fine to continue for now.


First chance

The ten minute mark brings up the first opportunity of the game and it goes United's way after Fernandes wins a corner.

It's whipped in by Shaw and flicked on by Lindelof, but McTominay can't connect as he slides in at the far post.

The first goalmouth action, but it's been a fairly cautious start from both teams.


Heavy touch

Sterling's touch lets him down after De Bruyne puts him through on goal.

It looked like it might have been a decent opportunity for the winger after Rodrigo won the ball from Fernandes deep in United's half. A typical slide rule ball from De Bruyne put Sterling between two defenders, but his touch takes it out of play.


Stop start

Two United players go down in a matter of minutes. Fred first, after colliding with De Bruyne and Fernandes after Fernandinho's tackle.


Even start

Both sides knocking the ball around nicely in the opening exchanges. Kevin De Bruyne has adopted a fairly advanced position. He's right up alongside Gabriel Jesus.


A reminder of the starting line-ups

CITY: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.

UNITED: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford.


Stat pack ๐Ÿ“ˆ

๐Ÿ”ต We have won seven Premier League away games at Old Trafford, more than any other visiting side.

๐Ÿ”ต We are looking to win three league matches in a row for the first time this season.

๐Ÿ”ต๐Ÿ”ด There have been 150 top-flight Manchester derbies - United have won 58 and City 45, with 47 draws.

๐Ÿ”ต๐Ÿ”ด Six of the past eight Manchester derbies in all competitions have been won by the away team, while there have only been three home wins in 13.

๐Ÿ”ด United could win three consecutive Manchester derbies in all competitions for the first time since 2009.

๐Ÿ”ด United can lose at least four of their opening six home league fixtures for just the second time, having suffered five defeats in 1930-31.


Barry: Only 93:20 trumped 6-1

With Gareth Barry joining us in the We're Not Really Here studio today, we couldn't not ask him about the 6-1 win at Old Trafford, could we?

"If it wasn't for the Aguero QPR goal, the 6-1 would be the game I looked back on and thought wow. It was my first win at Old Trafford and to do it in style with the 6-1 was amazing. 

"The confidence was there before. We were averaging over three goals a game and we were scoring for fun. Going into the game, we were still respectful. When we went 1-0 up we were confident and the red card opened it up and we picked them off perfectly."


Barry, Brown and Goater on team news

Gareth Barry on Fernandinho starting...

"Him starting after 90 minutes gets me thinking Pep might not have known his team in the week. Pep might have watched the game and thought you know what we need him on Saturday."

Michael Brown on Cancelo starting...

"It's a safe option from Guardiola with his pace and understanding. It's the right decision. Stones has confidence now and we knew what he could do he just had to stay fit. He's a Pep Guardiola player."

Shaun Goater on Stones...

 "I love the team. City have a brilliant team. I'm looking for to see Stones he's been so consistent and Iโ€™m happy to see him playing today and hopefully a clean sheet."


Mahrez: We have to be ready

"Itโ€™s a derby, we have to be ready. A derby is always a different test, the rival of the city and a big game to play. We have to be ready. 

"It won't be the same flavour with no fans but we have to concentrate on the game and try to win it."


Talking tactics

As always, we'll have to wait until kick-off to find out exactly how each team will line up, but it looks like the usual 4-3-3 for City.

The biggest question is whether Rodrigo and Fernandinho will both sit deep in midfield, or whether one will adopt a slightly more advanced role.

A 4-4-2 diamond looks a possible option for United, with Fred sitting deepest in midfield and Bruno Fernandes in the No.10 role behind the forward pair of Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood.


Team news ๐Ÿ“‹

Kyle Walker, Fernandinho and Riyad Mahrez are the only players retained from the midweek win over Marseille as Pep Guardiola makes eight changes.

Thereโ€™s no place for Sergio Aguero, who has not been included in the matchday squad.

CITY XI: Ederson, Walker, Stones, Dias, Cancelo, Fernandinho (C), Rodrigo, De Bruyne, Mahrez, Sterling, Jesus.

SUBS: Steffen, Gundogan, Laporte, Bernardo, Torres, Mendy, Foden.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made two changes to the side that lost to RB Leipzig on Tuesday, with Paul Pogba and Fred coming into the starting line-up.

Anthony Martial returns from injury on the bench but there's no place for Edison Cavani.

UNITED XI: De Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Maguire, Shaw, Fred, McTominay, Pogba, Fernandes, Greenwood, Rashford.

SUBS: Henderson, Bailly, Telles, Mata, Matic, van de Beek, Martial. 



We're Not Really Here will be live shortly. Tune in to join Gareth Barry, Michael Brown and Shaun Goater for your pre-match build-up. 

You can watch at the top of this page. 


Pep: Exceptional mood in camp

We've suffered just one defeat in 15 games and are unbeaten in five matches coming into this one. 

A pretty impressive return, given the challenges we have faced this season, which is why the manager has been so impressed with the atmosphere amongst the squad:

 "[We have momentum but] in football you have to show again. But the mood and environment with the backroom staff and players is exceptional this season.

"It always was but especially this season with COVID, no preparation, every player has responded so well. There are a lot of games to play. We are in the beginning of the season but itโ€™s important to win and beat a big rival."


De Bruyne: Players know how important derby is

Kevin De Bruyne was the man tasked with the pre-match media duties this week. Here's what he had to say on number of derby talking points...

Players understanding the significance of the game...

 โ€œI donโ€™t think anyone needs to tell any player how important the derby is. I think everybody knows the importance because wherever you play there is one derby you are going to play for each team. It doesnโ€™t matter if you are in Belgium, Germany or England, the derby is always an important game, especially for the supporters because it gives them the bragging rights and that is no different in Manchester."

On United looking to bounce back from midweek disappointment...

 โ€œWe need to be careful because everything that has happened this week, it is a good game for them to change the switch. They will want to show a different side to what happened in Leipzig and we need to be aware of that."

On United's struggles at home...

โ€œIt doesnโ€™t mean anything. This is a different game and I can understand that when you are a big club like Manchester United that teams are going to set up more defensively when they play away and that is maybe where they had some issues."


Early team news

We'll bring you today's teams at 16:30 (UK), but here is what we know already:

๐Ÿ”น Eric Garcia and Oleksandr Zinchenko will miss the game due to injury.

๐Ÿ”น Ilkay Gundogan has trained well this week after coming off with a knock against Marseille on Wednesday.

๐Ÿ”น Pep Guardiola has said Sergio Aguero is not ready to start.

๐Ÿ”ด  Anthony Martial is fit after missing the midweek Champions League defeat to RB Leipzig with a minor injury.

๐Ÿ”ด Edison Cavani also missed that game and whilst he has trained since, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday he was not convinced the forward would be fit enough to be involved.


Get involved ๐Ÿ“ฑ

It's Liverpool who have been our nearest rivals over the past few seasons, but we all know that nothing stirs the emotion like facing the red half of Manchester. 

And, as always, we want to hear your thoughts ahead of this one. Brimming with excitement? A bag of nerves? Supremely confident? 

Let us know how you're feeling and your predictions using #WNRH on Twitter. 


We're Not Really Here

Gareth Barry, Michael Brown and Shaun Goater are the guests on today's live matchday show and they'll join presenter Cel Spellman in the studio at the Etihad Stadium to share thoughts  on this game, a well as stories from derbies past. 

I'm hoping (and expecting) we'll get to relive the Goat's brace in the final Maine Road derby...

The pre-match show gets under way at 16:30 (UK), with brief analysis at half-time and we'll have 30-minutes of post-match reaction five minutes after the final whistle. 

You can watch it all right here at the top of this page! 


๐Ÿ”ต Derby Day ๐Ÿ”ต

Good afternoon!

And welcome to the Matchday Centre for the 183rd Manchester Derby.

Whether you love the rivalry or loathe the nervousness it provokes, there is no escaping the fact that this game means more than any other.

As the old clichรฉ dictates, local bragging rights are on the line at Old Trafford today, where weโ€™ll get under way at 17:30 (UK).

Iโ€™ll be with your from here on out, guiding you through all the pre-match build-up, in game action and post-match reaction, so stick with me and weโ€™ll embark on the rollercoaster of emotions together. 


Other games that day

  • Wolverhampton Wanderers0
    Aston Villa1
  • Newcastle United2
    West Bromwich Albion1
  • Everton1

As it stood

P GD Pts
1 Tottenham Hotspur 11 +14 24
2 Liverpool 11 +9 24
3 Chelsea 12 +13 22
4 Leicester City 11 +6 21
5 West Ham United 12 +5 20
6 Southampton 11 +4 20
7 Everton 12 +3 20
8 Manchester United 11 +2 20
10 Aston Villa 10 +8 18
11 Newcastle United 11 -2 17
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers 12 -5 17
13 Crystal Palace 11 +1 16
14 Leeds United 12 -5 14
15 Arsenal 11 -4 13
16 Brighton and Hove Albion 11 -3 10
17 Fulham 11 -10 7
18 Burnley 10 -13 6
19 West Bromwich Albion 12 -16 6
20 Sheffield United 11 -13 1
Link To Full Table