Wasteful finishing and some fine saves from Hugo Lloris ensured Manchester United had to settle for a goalless draw at Tottenham in Sunday midday kick-off.
Radamel Falcao, Robin van Persie and Juan Mata all squandered fabulous chances throughout ninety-minutes as a match full of early promise concluded in a stalemate.
This result saw both sides extend their respective unbeaten league records, as the chase for a Champions League finish shifts to the second half of the season.
Following a man-of-the-match display in his side's 3-1 Boxing Day victory over Newcastle, during which he scored twice and assisted a third, Wayne Rooney's performance here proved slightly underwhelming.
|Team||Accurate Shots||Key Passes||Pass Accuracy (%)||Dribbles||Headers Won||Tackles||Interceptions||Clearances|
|Wayne Rooney||Man Utd||1||0||78||0||2||2||1||5|
Playing in his new-found central midfield role, he was influential during the first half, but faded as Spurs got back into the game after the break. His passing was less spectacular than usual, here he completed just 78% of his efforts to find a team-mate, yet he still managed to craft a few moments of danger with his five attempted crosses - one of which posed real problems for the home side's back-four.
He proved less effective in front of goal, as the final scoreline suggests, and in total he managed just one attempt, with this header forcing a save from Spurs shot-stopper Hugo Lloris. Based on current form, he would have been expected to take this chance, but unfortunately for the Red Devils' skipper, it was just wasn't his day.
In fact, the England international's display will largely be remembered for his contribution in defence. His involvement proved crucial at times, as he tracked back to break down a number of threatening Spurs attacks. He made two tackles - having attempted four - and one interception, while weighing in with an impressive five clearances.
While he was unable to assist his side in the final third, he proved a constant menace thanks to his work-rate in the centre of the park. He afforded Mauricio Pochettino's attack-minded players few opportunities to threaten David de Gea's goal, with the home side being forced to pick off scraps.
Here we witnessed the side to Rooney's game that often goes unseen. While he may have grown frustrated with his inability to contribute in attack, his defensive involvement proved instrumental to his side's clean sheet.