Football

Roy Keane blasts both Manchester sides for lack of intent in derby

Ex-United captain also unhappy with the camaraderie shown in Manchester

Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane was left bemused by the tepid nature of the goalless Manchester Derby yesterday morning (Singapore time) and criticised players from both teams for their display of camaraderie after the game.

With no fans inside a chilly Old Trafford due to Covid-19 restrictions, the passion and energy normally associated with the Manchester Derby was absent, with both teams sharing the spoils after United had a penalty award overturned by video assistant referee (VAR).

"The game was really poor. Looking at the teams, they have to show the desire to win the game," Keane, the catalyst for many of United's fiery derbies during his 12 years at the club, told Sky Sports.

"We got two bookings in a derby. I've never seen so many hugs and chats after the game. I'm scratching my head. I'm really frustrated.

"At the end, the staff are smiling and hugging, the players are chatting. Just get down the tunnel. I don't get it. Everyone wants to be pals," added the 49-year-old, whose tackle on City's Alf Inge Haaland during a derby game in 2001 effectively ended the Norwegian's career.

Keane's former United teammate Gary Neville echoed the Irishman's comments, saying, "there was no intent, whether on the pitch or from the managers to win the match".

After crashing out of the Champions League's group stage in midweek, the draw at least saved United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer from another defeat that would have intensified calls for him to be sacked.

"In my time against City, that's the best performance we've had. Not the best result, but the best performance," said Solskjaer, whose men defeated City thrice last term.

"We beat them last season but those were different games, we counter-attacked. Today was the most we've been in the game, we kept them away from our box more.

"With the ball, we didn't create as much as we wanted to.... Overall, a draw, everyone should be happy with that."

STYLE OF PLAY

But Neville said that Solskjaer must change his style of play if he is to remain in the job.

"In the next six to eight months, they have to dominate matches. That will be the determining factor. This was 'OK', but it's not a tactic for United to win matches or titles," Neville added.

City matched a club record with a sixth straight clean sheet as Guardiola set about improving their defensive showing.

"The quality of (United) is they can play when you let them run," he said.

"The important thing is we were so solid, we didn't concede and on average had more chances. The game was tight, respect from both sides, and a good point for us."

United only seriously threatened from corners as Scott McTominay was inches away from connecting with Victor Lindelof's near post flick-on.

City created the better chances on the few occasions they moved the ball at pace, but Riyad Mahrez fired too close to David de Gea with just the goalkeeper to beat in the best opening in the first half.

City were handed a reprieve early in the second half when Kyle Walker was penalised for clipping Marcus Rashford inside the area, but a VAR review showed Rashford was offside as he received the ball.

The result leaves United in eighth spot and on 20 points, a place and point higher than City. - AFP, REUTERS

Football