MANCHESTER City moved to the top of the Barclays Premier League last night but their dull 0-0 draw against United in the Manchester derby at Old Trafford certainly won’t go down as a highlight of the season.
United and City had the chance to make a real statement about their title chances by registering a big win, but neither was up to the challenge and the two teams played out just the third goalless draw between them in Premier League history.
Jesse Lingard rattled the bar and Joe Hart saved from Chris Smalling at the death but, otherwise, the hosts did very little.
For City, Wilfried Bony was unable to fill the void left by Sergio Aguero’s absence, while Yaya Toure had a day to forget playing in the No 10 role where the injured David Silva usually causes so much damage.
There was far more entertainment – and goals – on the south coast, with Harry Kane firing a hat-trick in Tottenham’s 5-1 victory at Bournemouth.
The hosts took the lead when Scotland international Matt Ritchie latched on to a Charlie Daniels cross at the back post after only 49 seconds.
However, Spurs equalised through Kane’s first goal from the penalty spot in the ninth minute after the striker himself had been felled by goalkeeper Artur Boruc.
Mousa Dembele put the visitors ahead eight minutes later and Erik Lamela then tapped in Kane’s cross for the third.
Kane converted a cross from Christian Eriksen for his second goal of the game, and he completed his treble after Boruc, the former Celtic keeper, could only parry the ball to his feet from Toby Alderweireld’s header.
At Anfield, Jurgen Klopp’s wait for a first win as Liverpool manager stretched to a third match after his side were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton. Christian Benteke’s exceptional header from an inch-perfect James Milner cross put the Reds ahead with only 13 minutes of the match remaining, prompting wild celebrations on the touchline by the German manager. But Sadio Mane turned home from close range four minutes from time to secure a point.
Mane did not finish the game after collecting a second booking, but the dismissal had little impact on the outcome. “You score the goal and you want to win but it didn’t happen tonight,” lamented Klopp.