Manchester United vs. Manchester City, 2013 EPL: Halftime score 0-0, City the better side but it remains goalless

Alex Livesey

Manchester City are definitely up for today's derby and had the better of play in the first half. It didn't translate to a goal though and it remains scoreless at Old Trafford after 45 minutes.

It's scoreless at Old Trafford after a high-energy first half that was largely dominated by Manchester City. Despite having more of the ball and plenty of chances, Roberto Mancini's side couldn't break down the Manchester United defense.

The match opened with a furious end-to-end pace with Manchester City showing a ton of energy early as you might expect from a match they desperately want to win. United did fine dealing with the pressure and created a couple great chance for themselves on the counter attack.

In the 9th minute Wayne Rooney found Robin Van Persie in space between two City defenders as he cut in to the box. Rooney's past was a bit light and forced an adjustment from RVP that gave Joe Hart and his defenders a moment to react. RVP still came close but with a tough angle to shot at, he sent the ball wide of the post.

From there City's attack ramped up as they put United under heavy pressure.

City's best early chance came in the 17th minute when Carlos Tevez couldn't get a clean shot away after receiving a ball headed down off a cross from Gareth Barry in the United area. Tevez had two defenders right on him and was only able to earn a corner that did not end up troubling the United defense after it was poorly delivered by James Milner.

David Silva nearly connected with Tevez in the 21st minute, skillfully redirecting a long ball back across the box that forced a quick move from Phil Jones who dived in front of the Argentine striker could get on the ball.

Silva picked up a yellow card in the 29th minute after a nudge from Rio Ferdinand in the box caused the Spanish midfielder to attempt what looked like a "Hand of God" moment. Whether or not Silva's effort was intentional or caused by being knocked slightly off balance by Ferdinand it open for debate, but the referee went with intentional and handed out the game's first card.

The match slowed down in the final minutes of the first half as the physical play notably increased. Ryan Giggs went unpunished for a hard challenge on Vincent Kompany. Three minutes before the break, Kompany was shown a yellow card for going right through Ashley Young. Milner and Patrice Evra were also involved in a collision that left the United fullback down for a minute, but he was able to continue.

City will be happy with the performance but we'll have to see if United can turn things around in the second half and make them pay for not taking advantage of their stronger play in the first half.

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