Contrary to many expectations, the Manchester derby was dull, goalless affair and delivered little. Other than the fact that United continued their unbeaten run in all competitions to 25 games, it is fair to say nothing else perked interest.

In the only real chance of the game, former Red Devil Carlos Tevez came closest to scoring with a first-half free-kick that was parried away by keeper Edwin van der Sar.

In a disappointing opening period, United controlled the game without carving out any chance on goal. When the chance did come, it was a difficult one. Park fed the ball in the City box for Evra, but the Frenchman couldn't round defender Kolo Toure and had to, instead, shoot with his weaker right foot, which was gathered comfortable by City keeper Joe Hart.

City had again lined themselves out in a defensive set-up, in a five-man midfield with two holding players, when the likes of Adam Johnson and Adebayor warmed the bench. It came as no surprise that it took them almost half an hour to build up any momentum and that too courtesy of the industrious James Milner.

It was United old-boy Carlos Tevez who came closest to breaking the deadlock off a free-kick after Paul Scholes had clattered into Milner.

Tevez curled the free-kick around the wall and it was heading towards the top corner when Van der Sar parried it out for a corner. If the shot had more pace in it, it could have been the first goal of the game.

The pattern continued after the restart, with Berbatov getting his clearest sight of goal, albeit with his back to it as he hooked Wes Brown's cross goalwards without being able to test Hart.

At the City end, Tevez was too isolated and David Silva was too far below his potential for City to display any momentum in the attacking third.

After what seemed like ages, Mancini decided to turn to Adam Johnson for Milner with 20 minutes remaining and the swap instantly brought the width his side had been lacking.

For United's part, Javier Hernandez was given his first taste of derby day shortly afterwards, and no one could complain about feeling hopeful for last minute excitements.

Unfortunately, it did not quite work out that way. It was that kind of a game, where so hyped up are the previews that the reviews have nothing of worth in them. With the draw, Chelsea, after their own derby win against Fulham at Stamford Bridge, extend their lead at the top of the table by 4 points, with United lying in second with 24 points.