Martin Samuel, The Daily Mail:
If Manchester City are going to come anywhere near to achieving their ambitions this season, they need to stop mocking their neighbours and start learning from them.
A catchy slogan is one thing, but it will never make up for the type of bold strategies that put Manchester United on their pedestal. United became a part of Europe’s elite because, in Sir Alex Ferguson, they had a manager who knew when to gamble, when to risk and when to all-out go for it.
Edwin van der Sar, the Manchester United goalkeeper, made one outstanding save all evening and it was from a dead ball, a first-half free-kick taken by Carlos Tevez.
That is nowhere near good enough for the investment in this team. We should have at least been able to measure City against United but were left with more questions than answers.
Jim White, The Telegraph:
By the time those four minutes were signalled, all thought of trying to win this game had dribbled from the City technical area. In a telling move, Mancini ordered on his substitute Emmanuel Adebayor to replace Tévez and the little man walked off as slowly as he could, desperate to waste United’s killing time.
In a sense it worked, there was to be no last-minute horror on this occasion. But nobody can be persuaded after this that the shackles of inferiority have really been removed from the blue half of the city.
Paul Hayward, The Guardian:
City’s lack of ambition sent tremors through Eastlands. Was the culprit Mancini’s fear of the sack, innate managerial caution or fear on the part of his players? With increasing frequency regulars here are saying a £600m investment entitles the club’s owners to expect at least an intention to attack. For City to play as if a draw would be a satisfactory outcome against opponents only two places higher in the table suggests a freezing of Mancini’s critical faculties and a waste of the assets at his command.
City’s followers have seen comparatively mediocre players fight their way to a standstill in these derby games. Their successors, outriders for a world-conquering future, were more meek in settling for a point in a furiously hyped encounter.
With their methodical, precise passing United pursued victory with the textbook of derby strategies in hand. There was no abundance of creativity on show from them, just a steady marshalling of resources against a side who displayed no consistent urge to support Carlos Tevez, their lone striker.
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