For some this was the ultimate. The intensity of the Manchester Derby has never projected so much tension, animosity or talent, now was the chance to showcase undoubted ability.
Unfortunately after everything which was expected never materialised. The explosion of hatred and emotion never came, the talent was hidden, the passion was futile.
The pre-match build up has never received so much coverage. Even though both sides have failed to find top gear this season, they sat at the peak of the table- only Chelsea were placed above City and United.
Could the pretenders to the throne really fulfil their goals? Or would Manchester United continue to fight for trophies even when looking far from the side they once was?
All those questions, no answers.
As the game progressed only one question was needed. Do either side want to win this?
It didn`t look that way. Both sides were extra cautious and the chances were few and far between. The enthralling attacking of City`s quartet was lacking support and drive, United`s attack was too predictable.
In the post-match press conference Roberto Mancini explained how his side “we`re trying to win.” However, as the full time whistle was blown and the score remained 0-0 everything seemed lifeless.
One thing was for certain, it wasn`t the atmosphere which was lacking, there`s something much deeper which turned this blockbuster into amateur.
The cautious approach is sometimes needed in football, but the more it creeps into the English game, the more damaging it becomes.
It became so damaging this evening that only one chance of note was created. No surprise that Carlos Tevez was the man at the centre of attention, but his swirling free-kick brought a brilliant save from Van der sar.
The frustration around the ground increased as both defences were on top, the attacking flair which Silva, Tevez and Nani possess was thwarted with ease.
Was this really a Manchester Derby then? To me it looked like no more than a kick around the park.
Did what he had to do with ease.
Made some excellent last ditch interventions, but sometimes offered Evra and co too much space.
Was very solid throughout.
Was very soolid throughout.
Kept Nani very quiet and had a good, solid game.
City’s best performer.
Looked laboured at time, but got stuck in.
His runs were a constant threat so why didn’t he use them more and to better effect?
Was again very quiet.
With little support he couldn’t offer much.
Ran his heart out with no reward. Was sometimes too selfish.
Tried to test the fullbacks and did more than Milner had done previously.
Couldn’t add much with time ticking away.
His 1 minute wasn’t long enough.