In a sign of recent fortunes, the match marked the first Premier League meeting between the two rivals in which neither team was in the top four since September 2013.
United entered the day seventh placed in the table while City — runaway winners two seasons ago — came in placed ninth, level on points with Aston Villa.
After a drab first-half devoid of clear goal-scoring chances, Marcus Rashford looked to have won a penalty to open the second period after collecting a long ball behind the defence and seemingly getting clipped by a defender. However, a VAR review rightly ruled him offside in the buildup.
That was as close as either side would come to scoring the rest of the way, with United packing numbers in their own half and blunting any promising attacks City tried to mount.
The result moved City into eighth in the table with 19 points while United remain a spot ahead with 20.