VINCENT Kompany reflected on an unforgettable derby draw against United and the competition for places in the Blues defence after the stalemate at Old Trafford.
The Manchester City captain was restored to the starting line-up by Manuel Pellegrini on Sunday after being left on the bench for the previous two games.
The Belgian helped keep a second-half flurry from United at bay but felt both sides didn’t do enough to win as the 170th meeting of the arch-rivals ended in disappointment.
“Both teams looked compact and well-organised. Maybe it’s the only sign of two big teams playing against each other is the fact we stood well defensively,” he said following the goalless draw, which took City back to the top of the Premier League on goal difference.
“We all knew what we had to do but probably not enough to say that this would be a derby to remember. It’s not enough to say that the team deserved to win.”
Both teams earned comfortable league wins over Everton and Bournemouth respectively last weekend but struggled in Europe in midweek with City edging past Sevilla and United rescuing a draw in Moscow.
Although Kompany thought the effects of tough Champions League assignments might have had an effect on the players, he thought the dull spectacle illustrated both sides were eager not to lose.
“Maybe, it’s a possibility,” the 29-year-old suggested. “As well, not to forget for both teams, we wanted to protect a good position in the league and the fact we have the draw is good for United and good for us.
“Losing would have been a problem for us and for them. I predict a very different derby when we both have to win and that will be the case when the next derby comes around.”
Nicolas Otamendi was arguably City’s best performer in a tense contest in which the defences were well on top and, with Martin Demichelis and Eliaquim Mangala both on the bench, the Blues now have a host of experienced centre-back options to choose from.
But Kompany is not worried about having to fight for his place at the Etihad Stadium and insisted that fierce competition throughout the side can be healthy for the club.
“It’s always been the case at City,” he said. “I think there has been 20 defenders for the position since I’ve been here and there’s not one season that goes by where signings and big players come in, which is necessary. It’s needed.
“You sometimes get the best out of a team through competition, not just for my position but for every position.
“Every single time I’ve put my boots on this season I’ve done very well for my club and national team. For me, I’m a team player and we all want to achieve the same thing in the end. If other players do well I’m satisfied.”
Kompany returned to City’s starting XI to make his 19th derby appearance after a recent calf problem despite featuring for Belgium during the recent international break.
However, he was quick to point out a club-country row was entirely ‘normal’ and didn’t need anyone to explain the situation to him.
“It’s not just with me, I think it’s always going to be a tricky situation when two teams have different goals and ambitions,” the former Anderlecht player added.
“It’s normal that this happens. I wouldn’t play if I wasn’t fit but I’m a professional and I just deal with it. I didn’t have a problem with it.
“I’m a professional, I don’t need anyone giving me any explanation. I always work hard and I’m always positive for the team. It’s not at 29 [years old] I need an explanation anymore.”