Smalling: Manchester City were hanging on




The defender felt his side were the dominant force in Sunday’s Manchester derby, after the two teams played out a disappointing 0-0 draw

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says Manchester City were “hanging on” for the final 20 minutes of Sunday’s derby.

The England international played the full 90 minutes as the clash between the two Manchester clubs finished 0-0 for the first time since November 2010.

Smalling admitted the match could have been more exciting, but believes United had the better of the chances.

“I think it’s one where it could have been a little bit more [exciting]. Both teams were very compact and well organised, and there weren’t too many chances,” he told MUTV.

“I think we probably edged it overall with the chances we had in the second half.

“Towards the end, you could tell that, for the last 20-30 minutes, they were hanging on and bringing on defenders, so it was on us to really push forward and we did.

“On another day, the chances we had might have gone in.”

The draw at Old Trafford was the first time since that game in 2010 that United have kept a clean sheet against City.

“I think if we came into today’s fixture and, if someone told us we would get a clean sheet, we would have taken your hand off,” the 25-year-old said.

“They’re a very fast, attacking team and I think they were set up for the counter-attack, especially with Raheem [Sterling] and [Kevin] De Bruyne who are very quick, so we had to be on our toes.”

The result saw City moved back into first place in the Premier League table, level on points with Arsenal, while United remain just two points off top spot in fourth.