Man Utd Player Ratings vs Man City: Bailly and Carrick flourish amid Fellaini futility

Manchester United held Manchester City to an uneventful 0-0 draw at the Etihad Stadium in a contest where José Mourinho's side were on the back foot for the majority of proceedings and in the end, were rather fortunate to avoid defeat.

Mourinho sprung an early surprise when it appeared early on that Henrikh Mkhitaryan was the sole striker with Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial supporting him from the wings, but all three men were moderately ineffective as City penned the Redsinto their own half due a failure to keep a hold on the ball.

The biggest moment in the match came in the 86th minute when Marouane Fellaini lost his head and was shown a straight red card for headbutting the aggregative Sergio Agüero just 19 seconds after being booked for a first clumsy challenge. United did hold on until the end, though, and now find themselves two points behind Liverpool in third place with a game in hand ahead of the must-win home clash against relegation-battling Swansea City on Sunday.

David De Gea - 7

The Spaniard was forced into a few acrobatic saves from long-range efforts but Bailly and Blind's defending efforts meant that it was a reasonably quiet night for him. He always looked as reliable as ever when collecting testing crossing from the wings from talented deliverers.

Antonio Valencia - 6

City didn't allow him to play his usual role as a wing-back and he had to stick tight on the dangerous Leroy Sané instead. Valencia contained the out-of-sorts German flanker well but didn't have much of a say on the match in the grand scheme of things.

Eric Bailly - 8

Eric Bailly looked unbeatable, and water is wet. The 23-year-old threw in a variety of last gasp challenges and heroic blocks as always which limited the home side to just one clear-cut chance - so it's really difficult to see a defender in world football today who is capable of coming in and taking his place.

Daley Blind - 7

Blind formed a formidable centre-back pairing with Chris Smalling under Louis van Gaal last season - and it looks like he could do the same Eric Bailly under Mourinho while the injury crisis continues. It seems like an opposites attract situation with the two players which does work brilliantly and should be the centre-back partnership for the remainder of the season.

Matteo Darmian - 7

It felt like this match was the first this season where Matteo Darmian outplayed his Ecuadorian counterpart where each member of the back line put in a top effort. He demonstrated why he's more of a defensive full-back by more or less keeping the threat of Raheem Sterling non-existent.

Michael Carrick - 8

United needed experience in this huge fixture and Michael Carrick provided that - as well as showing José Mourinho exactly why he deserves a fresh contract in the summer. He always looked unmovable in the anchor man role protecting the back line and made some crucial interceptions, he's a big game player.

Ander Herrera - 6

There was nothing considerably new about Ander Herrera last night - he continued to patrol the midfield and his clear passion is a huge asset. He missed his partner Pogba on this occasion though, and squandered a huge chance right in the dying embers of the first half which would have put the Reds in a fantastic position.

Marouane Fellaini - 4

After really impressing with what he's offered in terms of quality and discipline in recent weeks, it's been looking like Fellaini is a new player after working with Mourinho. However, the Belgian went back to his old self last night, not offering as much as Pogba would in attack and then losing his head at a vital moment which led to him seeing red for a provoked head butt on Sergio Aguero. Just eight seconds was how long it took after receiving a yellow for stopping a promising City attack to the wreckless action which means he'll be absent for the next three games, not ideal seen as though there's now only two centre-midfielders left.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan - 5

Mkhitaryan did see it past half-time, unlike in the reverse fixture, but couldn't get into the game at all and was lucky to last 86 minutes. He also should've put away one of the rare United chances when Claudio Bravo spilt an Anthony Martial cross in the first half, but it just wasn't his night.

Anthony Martial - 6

The young Frenchman was utilised as a defensive wing-back for most of the match and did a very good job too. But he wasn't getting the ball as often as he should've and therefore failed to make an impact on the attack - he did run the ageing Pablo Zabaleta ragged at times though which was fun viewing.

Marcus Rashford - 6

After making Martin Demichelis disappear last season following the derby, Otamendi was the next Argentinian at risk to be the next victim of Marcus Rashford. The Manchester-born forward had the beating of the centre-back on a number of occasions and performed one moment of magic to get around him in the first period - not enough chances were created for him to make an impact like the last meeting at Eastlands though.

VAVEL Logo