Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho were brought to Etihad Stadium and Old Trafford this season to claim major titles - and the attritional goalless draw in Thursday's Manchester derby leaves their hopes of Champions League qualification via league placing still in the balance.
United have at least claimed the Capital One Cup and could reach the Champions League by winning the Europa League, with a semi-final against Celta Vigo to come. But Man City manager Guardiola has suffered the first trophy-less season of his managerial career after the FA Cup semi-final defeat by Arsenal.
Both managers will be expected to fight for the Premier League title next season - so what areas must they address?
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Guardiola's big decision on arrival was to send England goalkeeper Joe Hart packing to Torino on loan and sign Claudio Bravo from Barcelona in a £17.5m deal - a move that cannot be described as a success.
In Guardiola's defence, 34-year-old Bravo had a fine reputation at Barcelona and had been impressive in helping Chile to win the Copa America as captain on home soil in 2015.
Bravo, however, has looked uncertain, had spells out of the side and has not looked like the answer to City's goalkeeping dilemma. It was almost ironic that he sustained a calf injury against United as he confidently claimed a cross in a manner rarely seen this season. He has not even been convincing with the ball at his feet, something that was almost regarded as his unique selling point when replacing Hart.
Willy Caballero is 35, and with no likelihood of Hart reviving his Manchester City career, Guardiola must decide whether to maintain faith in Bravo, very much his man and signing, or accept this move has failed and move on.
Guardiola would be gambling if he sticks with Bravo, a goalkeeper who earned an unwanted reputation for not making saves. He may need to cast his net elsewhere as few teams win titles with an average goalkeeper.
Age is Man City's defensive barrier
The chances of signing both are highly unlikely but these positions look certain to be two areas of interest for Guardiola in the summer.
City have talented defenders in those positions who have all been fine servants - but who are all much nearer the end of their careers than the beginning.
Pablo Zabaleta has been a magnificent player for City but is now 32. Bacary Sagna is 34 while Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov are both 31. This is an area in urgent need of young blood and renewal.
John Stones has had a tough introduction since his £47.5m move from Everton but has the quality to be a top-class City central defender for years to come.
And the current return to form and fitness of inspirational captain Vincent Kompany - outstanding against Manchester United - is a welcome bonus.
The 31-year-old can save City money in the markets should he stay fit, but the form of Nicolas Otamendi means Guardiola is likely to be looking for central defensive reinforcements.
Former England forward Chris Waddle watched the Manchester derby as a BBC Sport pundit and said: "It is easy to see what the biggest thing is that needs to change for City to get closer to winning the title. Their defence.
"That starts with the goalkeeper. Whether Pep Guardiola likes Bravo or not, I don't think he is the top-class keeper you need to win the league and neither is Caballero.
"I know he wants someone there who can use the ball with his feet and play the way he wants, but he also has to be able to stop the ball from going in the net because they concede too many goals.
"He also needs three defenders - a centre-back and two full-backs."
Guardiola's team must get ruthless
Manchester City - for a team of such enviable attacking riches - often suffer from a frustrating failure to make superiority count.
It was seen, albeit with large slices of bad luck, in the FA Cup semi-final loss to Arsenal at Wembley and also against Manchester United, when they could not break through despite camping out in their half for almost the entire second period.
Guardiola must believe that with the likes of Sergio Aguero, with 30 goals in all competitions, and the creativity of Kevin de Bruyne, Sane, Raheem Sterling and the emerging brilliance of Gabriel Jesus to call on, this problem will eventually solve itself.
David Silva is still an outstanding player and City will hope Ilkay Gundogan can build on his fine start once he recovers from a serious knee injury.
The talent is there but Guardiola will know City simply cannot be as generous next season as they have been in this campaign.
Keep De Gea or replace with world class?
It's that time again - when United goalkeeper David de Gea is linked with a return to his native Spain with Real Madrid.
De Gea's proposed £29m move to Real broke down in August 2015 but now the rumour mill is awash with talk it could be revived, although United would not even pick up the phone at the price agreed first time around.
At 26, De Gea is not even at his peak with years of quality and improvement to come. He is already in the elite group of the world's best keepers. United will demand twice as much as that initial fee if any potential move is to get off the ground.
United's preference would be to keep De Gea, who has maintained a superb level of consistency after he became accustomed to the demands of United and the Premier League following his £18.9m move from Atletico Madrid in June 2011.
If he does leave, though, his importance means United can only move at the top end of the market for a replacement. Sergio Romero is a fine deputy but the Argentine is just that - a deputy.
United could return to Atletico for 24-year-old Slovenian Jan Oblak, but being as though they are already linked with striker Antoine Griezmann, Atletico manager Diego Simeone is unlikely to want two prize assets presented to Old Trafford.
Another Slovenian, Inter Milan's 32-year-old Samir Handanovic, has a good reputation while AC Milan's brilliant 18-year-old Gianluigi Donnarumma is regarded as the world's best young keeper and is reportedly involved in contract negotiations with his club.
United's preference will surely be to keep De Gea - but if he goes there must be a high-end replacement.
Ditch the draws to find success
One statistic stands out when it comes to analysing Manchester United's failure to mount a title challenge - 13 draws from 33 league games.
United's run of 24 unbeaten league games stretching back to October should have them in the title mix with Chelsea and Spurs, but a lack of wins has sabotaged those ambitions.
And nine of those have come at Old Trafford, with the likes of Stoke City, Burnley, West Ham United, Hull City, Bournemouth and West Bromwich Albion all leaving "The Theatre Of Dreams" unbeaten.
The margins are fine and many of those games could and should have been wins, but Mourinho must find a way to cure a serious problem.
Sprinkle stardust on Old Trafford
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, at 35, has proved a magnificent, charismatic addition on a free transfer with 28 goals following his move from Paris St-Germain.
Sadly, there must be doubts over his future after sustaining a serious knee injury in the Europa League quarter-final win against Anderlecht.
Wayne Rooney, an unused substitute at Manchester City, is also surely coming to the end of his 251-goal Manchester United career at the end of the season. He is 31 and his time at United, stretching back to 2004, looks done.
Mourinho has attacking resources in the exciting Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial, as well as goal threat from the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. But he needs another a game-changing superstar to add gold dust and goals to raise United's level - and maybe stop those damaging draws.
One man stands out as a potential target - 26-year-old Griezmann.
The France striker would cost a fee in the region of the £89m it required to bring Paul Pogba from Juventus, and there must be questions about whether the he would even entertain a move to United if they were not in the Champions League next season.
'Let Manchester United off the leash'
Is the fact United have drawn so many games a sign that Jose Mourinho applies the handbrake to his players?
Waddle thinks so and told BBC Sport after the derby: "There is a reason they have drawn too many games. Next season, Mourinho has got to know when to be a little bit more attack-minded against certain teams.
"It is against the lesser sides that United have struggled, and that is where Mourinho needs to change. He has got to have more players in his team who can open doors and score goals.
"He might argue that his side dominate possession every time they play at Old Trafford without getting the rewards.
"Mourinho is great at organising his teams against the top sides but he has to let them off the leash more if he wants to get results. Creativity is the hardest thing to bring to a team.
"The way he sets up, his wide men are not luxury players - he wants them up and down that flank and it is hard work for a winger to do that all game, making 70, 80 yard runs all the time."
City and United are locked in a battle for places in the league's top four - but managers of the pedigree of Guardiola and Mourinho must deliver more.