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BBC Sport's Simon Mann
"Derby were the more assured team"
 real 14k

City boss Joe Royle
"It shouldn't have been goalless today"
 real 56k

Derby boss Jim Smith
"We didn't capitalise on our chances"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 26 December, 2000, 17:05 GMT
Honours even at Maine Road
Malcolm Christie
Striker Christie had a frustrating afternoon
Manchester City 0-0 Derby County

The relegation tussle beween Manchester City and Derby County was marked by both teams spurning good chances - as well as some fine goalkeeping.

Derby's Estonian international Mart Poom, in particular, denied City with some impressive saves in the first-half when City's stopper Nicky Weaver also came to his side's rescue.

But the visitors will feel they should have at least scored early in the second period only for their striker Malcolm Christie to produce one of the misses of the game.


I just thought Christie should have scored and it was a bad miss. I thought he was a bit too flashy there
  Derby manager Jim Smith

Derby striker Deon Burton's shot failed to cross the goal-line after coming off the underside of the crossbar.

The ball bounced out to Christie but, as he leaped to convert the high bouncing ball, the Derby hitman could only put his effort high over the bar.

Just over a minute later, a defensive error by City allowed Burton a clear path on the home goal.

Burton chose to shoot from 22 yards but his effort was wildly off-target.

Derby had the greater goal threat after the interval as they aimed for their third win on the trot.

Christie's frustrations continued though as he burst through on City's goal after 81 minutes.

His shot went under Weaver, who got a vital touch which saw the ball bounce a yard from the goal-line before the City 'keeper gathered.


At times I feel we have been a lot better than strugglers and at other times I have seen a nervousness
  Manchester City manager Joe Royle

This game saw the home side's Paulo Wanchope face the club where he started his career, while Derby's Georgi Kinkladze was also facing his old team.

Both had to be content with a point for their sides.

Earlier, City had threatened the Derby goal either end of the opening period, only for Poom to prove in inspired form in the opposition goal.

City's lively start saw Alfe Inge Haaland's header from a Shaun Wright-Phillips cross saved by Poom.

The Estonian was quickly in action again when he palmed a header from Wanchope onto the bar.

From the resultant corner, Derby scrambled the ball off the goal-line as they held off City's initial surge.

In one of Poom's less distinguished moments later in the half, he failed to gather a cross but Haaland shot over at the far post under pressure from the visitors defence.

In between City's attacks at either end of the opening period, Derby failed to capitalise on their opportunities.

City hit back at the tail end of the half with two well-struck Wanchope headers but the acrobatic Poom proved equal to the challenge as he saved both in fine fashion.


Man City: Weaver, Dunne, Tiatto, Howey, Charvet, Wright-Phillips, Haaland, Bishop, Horlock, Wanchope, Goater. Subs: Dickov, Wiekens, Prior, Granville, Wright.

Derby: Poom, Riggott, Carbonari, West, Delap, Johnson, Burley, Powell, Kinkladze, Christie, Burton. Subs: Morris, Higginbotham, Martin, Mawene, Oakes.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds)

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