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Last Updated: Saturday, 14 October 2006, 15:56 GMT 16:56 UK
Man City 0-0 Sheff Utd
By Sarah Holt

Manchester City's Joey Barton and Sheffield United's Michael Tonge tangle
Manchester City and Sheffield United cancelled each other out

Sheffield United pulled themselves out of the relegation zone with their first away point of the Premiership season.

Bernardo Corradi missed two chances to give City an early lead while Rob Hulse came close for the Blades when his overhead kick hit the crossbar.

City pushed harder after the break and substitute Ishmael Miller saw his header dip over the bar.

Sylvain Distin also headed over, while Micah Richards intercepted to stop Michael Tonge scoring at the other end.

The Blades must have felt fortunate to have taken anything away from Eastlands after seeing City squander numerous chances.

It took the Blades a while to get into their stride and Alan Quinn tested City's teenage goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was making his debut in place of the injured Nicky Weaver, with a curling shot from the left.

Then Colin Kazim-Richards wriggled clear of a sluggish City defence only to flick his weak right-footed shot wide from an ambitious 35 yards out.

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Hart, 19, settled his nerves as he punched Keith Gillespie's cross away from a waiting Hulse but, despite a handful of chances, United lacked a decent final touch.

Corradi was having similar problems at the opposite end as he twice failed to convert his chances, first scooping a shot off his shin over the bar and then misdirecting his header after doing well to receive Joey Barton's free-kick.

With both sides full of bluster but no real threat, a bit of class from veteran Dietmar Hamann handed City their best chance of the half.

The former Liverpool midfielder picked out Georgios Samaras on the left wing with a lifted pass. Samaras used the space to surge forward and fired in an angled shot but Paddy Kenny did enough to bundle the ball to safety.

Hulse went close for the Blades just before the break when he picked up Claude Davis' header and rattled the cross bar with an athletic overhead kick.

City had a let off within minutes of the restart. Leigh Bromby's cross caused jitters in their defence but Hart controlled his juggling hands to clear the danger.

Stuart Pearce's side were intent on turning the match in their favour but lacked the necessary sense of urgency.

Some patient build-up play from Samaras resulted in a tame right-footed effort which sailed wide and Corradi seemed to be in slow motion when he struck his shot at Kenny, who had plenty of time to lean down for the save.

The pair were unlucky again minutes later when Corradi's header from Richards' cross was saved and Samaras blasted the follow-up wide.

Lively City substitute Miller seemed set to break the deadlock when he picked up Barton's chipped cross only to see his powerful header sky over the bar while he tumbled into the back of the net.

Sheffield United almost stole maximum points when Hulse played in Tongue only for Richards to make a superb interception to prevent him teeing-up a shot.

Urged on by the crowd, City produced a rousing finish with Samaras and Distin going close.

But some excellent Blades defending, particularly from the solid Davis, kept City at bay and Pearce had to settle for a point, enough to preserve City's unbeaten home record.


  • Manchester City boss Stuart Pearce:
    "It was a scrappy game and I don't think either team deserved to win or lose.

    "I am disappointed that we have not shown enough creativity and energy. We were trying to win the match but we need to show a touch more than that.

    "But we are still unbeaten at home and it is a big lift to Joe Hart to keep a clean sheet on his debut."

  • Sheffield United manager Neil Warnock:
    "If you had asked me before the match if I would be disappointed with a draw I would have laughed.

    "If anything I thought we deserved to win. We created some good chances, kept the ball well and had some pace.

    "We lacked a bit of conviction and needed a bit more belief, but that will come in time. Overall I am pleased."


    Man City: Hart, Richards, Dunne, Distin, Jordan (Miller 45), Trabelsi, Barton, Hamann (Reyna 58), Sinclair, Samaras, Corradi (Dickov 70).
    Subs Not Used: Schmeichel, Johnson.

    Sheff Utd: Kenny, Bromby, Davis, Jagielka, Armstrong, Gillespie, Tonge, Leigertwood, Alan Quinn, Hulse, Kazim-Richards (Webber 72).
    Subs Not Used: Morgan, Kabba, Kozluk, Nade.

    Booked: Jagielka.

    Att: 42,192.

    Ref: M Dean (Wirral).

    SEE ALSO
    Saturday's football photos
    14 Oct 06 |  Football


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