United old-boy Carlos Tevez came closest to scoring with a first-half free-kick that was clawed out by Edwin van der Sar.
One decent chance did come United's way, when one of a number of neat passing moves ended with Park Ji-sung feeding a ball into the City box for Patrice Evra to chase, but he was only unable to hit at Joe Hart. For their part, City were equally bereft, which was frustrating for supporters, who clearly expected more of Yaya Toure who gave the ball away frequently.
It was United old-boy Tevez who came closest to breaking the deadlock though, after Paul Scholes had bundled Milner over on the edge of the area. Tevez quickly made it clear the free-kick would be his responsibility and only its relative lack of pace allowed van der Sar to claw the ball out.
The pattern continued after the restart, with Dimitar Berbatov getting his clearest sight of goal, albeit with his back to it as he hooked Wes Brown's cross goalwards without being able to test Hart.
Tevez threatened twice at the other end, the first time with a shot that Van der Sar gathered easily, the second a burst that ended with a dismal miscontrol and the ball bobbling out.