Manchester United 0 v 0 Man City

Old Trafford, Manchester
7th November 2004

United dropped more points on their bitter title rivals as they were held to a nil-nil draw by a dour Manchester City team. They were unable to capitalise, yet again, on Arsenal's poor form - the Gunners were only able to scrape a point against Crystal Palace, leaving Chelsea to take poll-postion a third of the way into the season.

The game could have been so different, with United pressing hard on the City goal twice in just the first five minutes. Saha saw his effort cleared off the line, whilst Smith also saw a shot blocked from close range.

The corners kept on coming, but Ronaldo et al seemed at a loss to know what to do with them, consistently playing them short when perhaps a more effective and attacking option would have been to smash it into the box, especially with Calamity James in nets!

The chances came and went, as did the penalty appeals. First Silvestre was grabbed in midair and turned around so his header didnt find the target, then Saha was rugby-tackled at the back-post, Jordan had his hand in the way of a shot in the penalty-box, and a similar hand-ball incident was done by Sibierski!

Its no wonder Fergie said that someone would've needed to have been gone at 'with an axe' in order to get a enalty post-Arsenal.
Man City continued to allow United all of the possession, and at times they were under seige, with only lucky defending on the line keeping the Reds from scoring.

Rooney entered the fray with 15 minutes to go, but even he was unable to conjure up much - a nice turn almost saw his through the City back-line but his powerful shot was blocked by a defender.

Smith was sent off in the 87th minute, obviously frustraed at Ciys time-wasting tactics and clumsy challenges. he put in his second tackle of the game and was given a seond yellow, and his marching orders.

United still pushed, but to no avail. We must start winning these games whilst Arsenal are slipping up or we'll be out of it by Christmas.

Come on you Reds!

Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Silvestre, Heinze, Miller (Giggs 46), Keane, Scholes (Rooney 77), Ronaldo, Saha, Smith.
Subs Not Used: Howard, Phil Neville, Brown.
Sent Off: Smith (89).
Booked: Keane, Smith.

Man City: James, Mills, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Flood, Bosvelt, McManaman, Sibierski, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Anelka.
Subs Not Used: Fowler, Onuoha, Waterreus, McCarthy, Bradley Wright-Phillips.
Booked: Jordan, Flood.

Att: 67,863
Ref: G Poll (Hertfordshire).