United blame City tactics for boring derby


Chances were few and far between in the 157th Manchester derby

Chances were few and far between in the 157th Manchester derby

Sir Alex Ferguson pointed the finger at Roberto Mancini‘s tactics as the reason behind one of the duller Manchester derbies in recent times but the Italian has defended his right to play for a point, adding that his players were fatigued.

Neither goalkeeper had much to do throughout the 0-0 draw at Eastlands on Wednesday night, although Manchester United arguably showed more ambition than their rivals, dominating possession and field position in the second half despite a lack of chances.

If substitutions can be used as a barometer for a manager’s strategy, Mancini’s decision to save striker Emmanuel Adebayor as a time-wasting change in the 94th minute hints at a man happy to settle for a point. Ferguson was handicapped in that facet due to injuries to his fullbacks Rafael and Patrice Evra.

“City are very difficult to beat on their own ground and obviously they set their stall out,” Ferguson said. “I think there was too much tension for it to be the kind of match people thought it would be.

“I am disappointed we didn’t win. We needed to win. But we only made two good chances in the game and I don’t think they made any. There were good aspects to our play. We dominated and played some good football. But teams coming here are going to find it difficult.”

United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar added in the Guardian: “City did not really come forward and leave their defensive position. They were clearly aiming for a point whereas we really wanted to win. They were so defensive I didn’t have anything to do apart from [save] one free-kick.”

Mancini said fatigue had limited his team’s ability to contribute to a fast-paced spectacle fans had anticipated and defended his right to sit on a point at home, citing the last-minute losses to United last season as a sign his team has improved to this season.

“When you play every three days the players can get tired,” Mancini said. “It’s not easy playing every three days and then having a game like that. We wanted to win but I would prefer to have one point rather than zero points, which is what we got from this game last season. It was a difficult game; they defended very well and we didn’t create many chances, but last season we scored against them [in three of the four games] and lost three matches all in the last minute. I wanted to win but it is much better to draw than it is to lose.”

Ferguson will definitely be without Paul Scholes, who collected his fifth booking, and Rafael (dead leg) for the trip to Aston Villa on Saturday, while Evra is due to get scans on an ankle injury on Thursday.


About eshaan00
Fan of sports. Like to play football, cricket, badminton etc. I can,t talk nicely like others. But a good listener. Like to have true friend.

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