MANCHESTER, April 28: Marouane Fellaini was sent off for brainlessly headbutting Sergio Aguero in an otherwise forgettable goalless draw between Champions League qualification rivals Manchester United and Manchester City on Thursday.
The Belgian was dismissed moments after being booked for a foul on Sergio Aguero, he tripped the Argentine and then, in clear view of referee Martin Atkinson, confronted him by pushing his forehead towards the City forward who fell.
City dominated most of the game, thought they had a late winner when Brazilian striker Gabriel Jesus, on as a late substitute for his first appearance since being injured in February, headed home from close range but was offside.
City remain fourth, a point behind third-place Liverpool with a game in hand, with United � who also have a game in hand on Jurgen Klopp�s side � a point further back in fifth place.
�We were the better team in the first half, they were the better team in the second half,� said United manager Jose Mourinho.
�They had more of the ball, more chances, but my players were amazing the way they fought.
�Marouane Fellaini is frustrated. He says that with another player, it would probably not be a red card.�
It was a frantic end to what had been a disappointing derby with injury-ravaged United largely restricted to trying to limit City�s forward movement and Pep Guardiola�s team unable to turn dominance with the ball into clear-cut opportunities.
The best chance for the home side came early. Striker Aguero, a pre-match injury doubt, should have opened the scoring in the ninth minute, missing a great chance when he turned a low Kevin De Bruyne cross against the post from close range.
City were on top in midfield but defensive frailties, which have hampered them this season, were evident in the 25th when Claudio Bravo flapped at a cross, palming the ball into the path of Henrikh Mkhitaryan before keeping out the Armenian�s shot.
With Paul Pogba injured, Mourinho aligned a conservative midfield trio of Michael Carrick, Ander Herrera and Fellaini, setting the tone for a tetchy, attritional contest.
Marcus Rashford returned in one of four changes and while his lightning pace enabled him to leave Nicolas Otamendi for dead repeatedly, the teenager cut an isolated figure.
The football that managed to emerge above the midfield melee was almost all City�s. �Agencies