Up to a dozen players had been unwell in the seven days preceding the match, with Sir Alex admitting on Tuesday that he was “struggling” to name a starting XI. But United outplayed Manchester City for long periods during the derby, although never truly tested opposition goalkeeper Joe Hart.
In light of United's dominance, van der Sar refused to accept the draw was a good result.
“I don't think it was a good point,” he told MUTV. “The game was quite one-sided. They didn't create a lot – they were set-up quite defensively. The save I made from a free-kick from Carlos Tevez was the hardest thing I had to do.”
Indeed, City, the home team, started with only Tevez up front. Behind him, the central midfield trio of Gareth Barry, Nigel de Jong and Yaya Toure sat deep, rarely joining the Argentine in the final third.
“They didn't really leave their defensive positions to come forward,” Edwin said. “City were clearly aiming for a point and hoping for more. We really wanted to win, but it didn't materialise.
“City are a good team and have strong, powerful guys in midfield. They were hard to break down – that's one of the qualities they have. It was up to us to try and break them down but we didn't have the edge over them to make that count.”