Ferguson frustrated as derby fails to live up to billing

MANCHESTER CITY 0 vs MANCHESTER UTD 0

MANCHESTER UNITED boss Sir Alex Ferguson bemoaned two points dropped after a hotly anticipated derby ended in stalemate.

United enjoyed the better of an anticlimactic evening at Eastlands but failed to severely test Joe Hart and paid for it by slipping further behind leaders Chelsea. “It’s a decent result but we don’t count draws away from home as the target before the game. Our target is to win the game and I think we had enough possession to do that,” said Ferguson.

“Some of our football was good, we were good on the ball but we needed to create openings to win the match and we only really made two which was difficult.”

United’s most dangerous moment came when full-back Patrice Evra (right) charged into the Manchester City penalty area but could only shoot at Hart.

Dimitar Berbatov was responsible for the visitors’ only other notable chance, the Bulgarian executing an overhead kick that found the goalkeeper ideally positioned.

City, who now trail Chelsea by seven points and United by three but retain their grip on fourth place, threatened briefly through Carlos Tevez, the former Old Trafford striker testing Edwin van der Sar with a free-kick.

They might even have snatched victory at the death but full-back Pablo Zabaleta blazed over from a promising position.

Roberto Mancini, the City manager, rejected suggestions his team had failed to show enough desire, for a home side, to win the game.

“I wanted to win this game but sometimes it is better to draw than lose. We played the game to win, though,” said the Italian. City were stung by late United goals repeatedly last season and Mancini added: “I think it was a difficult game for both teams. I think the result is correct but we improved from last year because we didn’t concede a goal in the last minute. I prefer one point to zero points, which was the case last season.”