Manchester United's underwhelming home form continued but their 0-0 draw with a passive Manchester City at least prevented further misery following their UEFA Champions League embarrassment.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came under increased scrutiny after United suffered a 3-2 defeat away to RB Leipzig in Europe on Wednesday (AEDT), his team only showing some spirit once they were three goals down.
But in Sunday's Manchester derby they came up against a City side that rarely showed the levels of intensity displayed by the Germans in midweek, with Solskjaer potentially seeing the stalemate something of a missed opportunity.
City crafted the better chances even though they were far from their fluent best, but ultimately neither side deserved to make the breakthrough as they remain neck-and-neck in seventh and eighth in the table, United now with just five points won at home this term.
Despite unsurprisingly seeing more of the ball throughout, City looked sluggish and lacking in imagination, and they almost trailed 11 minutes in as Victor Lindelof's flick-on at a corner bounced agonisingly over the foot of the unmarked Scott McTominay at the far post.
The visitors did craft an opening soon after, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka turned inside-out by Raheem Sterling before Harry Maguire produced a vital block.
United had another escape 10 minutes before half-time as City caught them on the break, David de Gea thwarting Riyad Mahrez after being cleverly released into the box by Kevin De Bruyne.
The hosts initially showed greater intent after the restart and seemingly won a penalty when Marcus Rashford was clipped by Kyle Walker, only for the VAR to bail out the City defender as his England colleague had strayed marginally offside.
But that was not a sign of an impending flurry of activity in the second period. While City dictated the tempo, chances were infrequent and United had few opportunities to counter.