MANCHESTER: Manchester United and Manchester City shared the spoils after a forgettable 170th Manchester derby that yielded only two shots on target finished 0-0 at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The point was enough to return City to the Premier League summit on goal difference above Arsenal, with United two points back in fourth, but it was not a game that will have given Arsene Wenger’s side undue concerns about the strength of their competition in the title race.
In mitigation, Manuel Pellegrini’s City could point to the absence of injured duo Sergio Aguero and David Silva, which partly explained why their attack ran dry after a flood of 11 goals in two league games.
English Premier League: Life at top stuns Arsenal boss Wenger
There were no such excuses for Louis van Gaal’s United, although they came closest to scoring when Anthony Martial, the hosts’ stand-out forward, teed up substitute Jesse Lingard to volley against the bar late on.
Meanwhile, Sunderland swept to a record sixth successive Tyneside derby over bitter rivals Newcastle as Fabricio Coloccini’s controversial dismissal sparked the hosts’ 3-0 win at the Stadium of Light.
Arsenal title challenge gaining momentum
Wenger’s men asserted their title credentials by beating Everton 2-1 on Saturday and even though their stay at the top was a short one, there seems little doubt they will remain serious title contenders.
After losing 2-0 at home to West Ham United on the opening day, Arsenal’s only other league defeat was a 2-0 reverse at champions Chelsea last month.
Klopp still searches for first win
Since then they have won four straight league games, including a 3-0 demolition of United at the Emirates. “Let’s keep going,” said Wenger. “Let us continue to grow. Now we have to keep our togetherness, concentration and humility; try to play better football game by game.”
I feel for Mourinho, says Bilic
Whoever coined the phrase ‘it never rains but it pours’ has unwittingly provided a graphic illustration of the miserable start to the season that is being endured by Chelsea and Jose Mourinho.
A head of steam: Maintain the momentum, urges Mertesacker
Saturday’s 2-1 reverse at London rivals West Ham United was Chelsea’s fifth defeat in 10 Premier League games and everything that could go wrong for the champions, did go wrong.
Even West Ham manager Slaven Bilic had sympathy for Mourinho who also looked on in frustration when Cesc Fabregas had a first-half goal harshly ruled out for offside. “I feel for him,” said the Croat. “A lot of decisions from his point of view have gone against him. Dynamo Kiev, Southampton; it’s too much for him. I would probably be the same [if it happened to me].”
Published in The Express Tribune, October 26th, 2015.
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