Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made much of the ‘Manchester United way’ since taking charge two years ago.
Pace, power and passion are qualities Solskjaer has used to describe the United side he envisages, in the mould of the all-conquering teams he played in under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Former United striker Solskjaer is convinced the side he is building has those famous attacking traits, but a look at their home form in the league this season would suggest otherwise.
In six league games at Old Trafford this season, United have won just once, scored once from open play and failed to score in three of those encounters.
If that is the United way, then there has been a monumental downgrading of standards and expectations in the post-Ferguson era, as this insipid derby display illustrated.
Solskjaer, however, sees it differently, claiming opponents arrive at Old Trafford with the sole intention of avoiding defeat, which he sees as evidence of his side’s progress.
United may have scored more goals than last season at this stage, as Solskjaer was keen to stress, but unless there is a dramatic improvement in their home form, they can forget about a top-four finish and a Champions League return, after last week’s meek exit from the competition.
“If you compare our goal tally from last season to now, we’re way ahead with the amount of games that we have played and the amount of goals we have scored,” said Solskjaer.
“Whether that is home or away, it doesn’t really matter. I think teams, and bigger teams at that, set their stall out to defend against us and be happy with a draw.
“That is, of course, a challenge for us, but I think we’ve proven in many games that we do create chances. We scored five against Leipzig or seven against them in two games, and we scored against PSG.
“So I think we have scored and created a lot of chances at certain moments and it’s more varied in the way we score. Today we looked more dangerous, particularly on set-plays.”
Not many observers who watched this drab stalemate would share that view, but Solskjaer saw this as a point gained against United’s local rivals, and believes there will be plenty of scope for his side to improve their league position over the hectic Christmas fixture schedule.
“I think Christmas time, with the amount of games in a short space of time, there will be changes in positions,” said Solskjaer.
“We’ve played a game less, but it’s a big moment in the season, this time around Christmas, then we get to new year, when you have a break with the FA Cup.
“Maybe then we’ll have a clearer view of how it will look for us. Of course we wanted three points here, but we couldn’t.
“Now we’re looking forward to the Sheffield United and Leeds United games.”
In a game of few chances, the key moment was a penalty conceded by City when Kyle Walker brought down Marcus Rashford. But the spot-kick was ruled out after VAR correctly judged Rashford offside in the build-up.