Football

Gary Neville - First half of the Manchester derby was 'probably the best' of the season

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The 170th Manchester derby failed to deliver much in the way of excitement as both defences came out on top at Old Trafford.

The previous four encounters between Manchester United and City had produced 15 goals, so much was expected of this clash.

However, the match failed to produce much in the way of quality and only burst into life in the final ten minutes when Jesse Lingard hit the crossbar and Chris Smalling forced a save from Joe Hart.

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In fact, it took 82 minutes for a shot on target to be registered - Jesus Navas took aim from 25-yards, but his effort never troubled David de Gea.

The Premier League has already produced some classic encounters this season; Tottenham's 4-1 hammering of Manchester City and Arsenal's dismantling of United will live long in the memory.

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But Sky Sports pundit and former Red Devils defender Gary Neville believes the first 45 minutes at Old Trafford was some of the best football he has seen all season.

Writing in his column for the Telegraph, Neville explains how the lack of goalmouth action signalled it was a quality game between the two Manchester giants.

He said: "The fan watching it probably thinks that it is boring, that the entertainment is poor, but I really enjoyed the game and the first half was probably the best 45 minutes I have seen anywhere in the Premier League this season.

"If City or United had torn the other apart, with the other team defending as they did, then you would say it was a quality performance.

"But when a team nullifies the other, pays attention to detail of every one of the others’ strengths, you also have to say that that is a quality football match."

Injuries to David Silva and Sergio Aguero altered City's gameplan and they were more than happy to leave Old Trafford with a point.

However, for United it is a tale of what could have been. The Red Devils dominated the ball and, but for a lack of cutting edge, should really have taken all three points.

What has been your favourite game of the Premier League so far this season? Have your say in the comments section below

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Topics:
Premier League
Gary Neville
Manchester United
Manchester City
Football

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