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Thursday, 13 February, 2003, 00:35 GMT
Goater denies Man Utd
Ruud van Nistelrooy gives Manchester United the lead in the derby against Manchester City
Van Nistelrooy gave United the lead
Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City

Manchester United lost the chance to draw level on points with Premiership leaders Arsenal after Manchester City substitute Shaun Goater headed home with his first touch of the game.

Three months to the day after humiliating United at Maine Road, Goater's 86th-minute header denied Sir Alex Ferguson's side a seventh consecutive league win.

Ruud van Nistelrooy had put United ahead early on, but City were never outclassed thanks to the tireless work of the superb Eyal Berkovic and Nicolas Anelka.

Van Nistelrooy's strike was his 12th league goal of the season and his 26th of the current campaign.

Key incidents
19 mins: Van Nistelrooy gives United the lead
86 mins: Goater grabs a dramatic equaliser
Roy Keane slipped a pass in between Sun Jihai and Steve Howey, Ryan Giggs crossed and Van Nistelrooy rolled the ball home at the far post for a goal of classic simplicity.

In United's next attack, David Sommeil appeared to bring down David Beckham, but referee Alan Wiley only awarded a corner.

With the game switching from end to end Van Nistelrooy should have doubled United's lead, but as the Dutchman prepared to shoot, Sylvain Distin made a superb recovering tackle.

We've proved we're as good as United today - and that's pleased me

Man City boss Kevin Keegan

City had suffered a setback before the game when Carlo Nash had to replace Peter Schmeichel after the Dane aggravated a calf injury in the warm-up.

Nash was quickly into action, first diving at Paul Scholes feet and then blocking a Giggs shot.

A minute before the interval, with Van Nistelrooy lurking, Nash also did ever so well to tip away Beckham's dipping cross to the far post.

Manchester United's David Beckham and Manchester City's David Sommeil
Beckham wanted a penalty after Sommeil's tackle

As City committed more men forward, Nash had to act as a sweeper when he rushed out to clear the ball as Giggs threatened.

United were also missing their first-choice keeper Fabien Barthez - and his deputy Roy Carroll had the odd anxious moment as City searched for the equaliser.

No more so than when Anelka's fierce shot swerved at the last moment deceiving Carroll, who was relieved to see the ball squirm away for a corner.

It's a disappointing result given the opportunities we had to score

Sir Alex Ferguson

Carroll also had to desperately back-pedal to palm away Marc-Vivien Foe's deflected shot and in the game's closing moments Berkovic's subtle chip.

With time running out City manager Kevin Keegan threw on Shaun Wright-Phillips, Ali Bernabia and Goater.

All three substitutes played a part in City's goal as Bernabia touched the ball to Wright-Phillips, who chipped a cross into the United box for Goater to power his header home.

Goater then thought he had scored a last-gasp winner, slotting in from Anelka's pass, but the French striker was adjudged to have handled the ball in the build-up.


Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Silvestre, Beckham, Keane, Veron (Butt 77), Giggs (Solskjaer 88), Scholes, van Nistelrooy.
Subs Not Used: Ricardo, Phil Neville, O'Shea.

Booked: Gary Neville.

Man City: Nash, Sommeil, Howey, Distin, Jihai, Foe, Horlock (Wright-Phillips 66), Berkovic (Benarbia 85), Jensen, Anelka, Fowler (Goater 85).
Subs Not Used: Stuhr-Ellegaard, Dunne.

Booked: Foe.

Attendance: 67,646

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC football correspondent Mike Ingham
"The substitutes combined for a dramatic equaliser"
Man City's Shaun Goater
"It's gone right into the corner of the net, so I was pleased"
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