United Keeper Edwin van der Sar laid the blame firmly with City for turning last night’s potentially explosive derby into a dour stalemate.
Chances were at a premium as both Manchester rivals probed with caution, however the veteran Dutch stopper claims the Blues were content with a point from the off.
“It wasn’t a good point for us; City didn’t really come forward and leave their defensive position. They were aiming for a point and were more defensive” said Van der Sar.
The point did little for either side’s title aspirations with Chelsea winning and extending their lead over United and City to four and seven points respectively.
The Manchester United injury crisis never materialised with Sir Alex Ferguson sending out virtually the strongest team at his disposal, however, they did pick up casualties during the clash.
Full-back’s Rafael da Silva and Patrice Evra were both substituted with knocks during the match and now appear genuine doubts for Saturday’s trip to Villa Park. Rafael sustained a dead leg with Evra suffering ankle damage and both have been dismissed from the Villa game by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Also definitely missing will be Paul Scholes who picked up his customary derby booking making it his fifth of the season, and thus will serve a one match ban.
No derby trouble.
The timidity of the game was also fortunately replicated between the fans, with no significant clashes reported in or outside the ground.
Greater Manchester Police had prepared a major operation to prevent scuffles between supporters ahead of increased pre-match tensions and an evening kick-off.
Extra police were drafted in to man the streets and there was an alcohol ban between the city centre and the stadium.
A small number of arrests were made in the away end as a result of minor disturbances and there were a few isolated incidents away from the stadium, but largely, like the game, things passed off without much fuss.