The Manchester derby is a rivalry that has been passionate for decades. High-octane contests between Man United and Man City have always captured the imagination, and the games have had plenty of drama and entertainment in them.
The encounter never fails to ignite intensity and often the argument, and they’ve often seen stunning performances from some of the greatest footballers. This fixture has flourished into one of the biggest fixtures in the Premier League, but the early history of this rivalry was dominated by Man United before Man City was infused with money in the mid-2000s. Down the years, there have been many great derbies between the red and blue halves of Manchester, and the encounters still weaves fascinating memories.
Man Utd 0 – 1 Man City, April 1974
Denis Law’s derby winner for City at Old Trafford in April 1974 was quite an epic. The Man City striker scored a cheeky back-heel against the club where he made his name. Law walked off the pitch with his head bowed and was immediately substituted on compassionate grounds against his former club. The United fans invaded the pitch, but it made no difference to the result. That season, United were relegated into the second division for the first time.
Man Utd 1 – 2 Man City, February 2008
Man Utd remembered the 50-year anniversary of the Munich air disaster on that day, but in the encounter, Darius Vassell and Benjani scored for City in the 24th and 45th minutes respectively, and Michael Carrick scored a consolation goal for United in the 90th minute. It was the first time since April 1974 that City had beaten United in the league at Old Trafford and the first time they had won both league derby games since the 1969–70 season.
Man Utd 4 – 3 Man City, September 2009
This clash certainly lived up to the billing with Michael Owen’s winner late in stoppage time providing one of the great derby moments. It was another last-minute flurry of goals that decided this fixture. When Craig Bellamy equalized at 3 – 3 with a 90th-minute burst down the left side. It looked to be the goal that secured the point for City. However, in the 96th minute, Michael Owen latched onto the end of a Ryan Giggs pass to slot home the winner.
Man Utd 1 – 6 Man City, October 2011
Man City’s show at Old Trafford in October 2011 is known as the ‘Demolition Derby’ to many. The 6-1 victory secured by City that day was the biggest call in Premier league football since Jose Mourinho’s first title triumph with Chelsea. With City leading 1-0 before a 47th-minute red card, the away side well and truly took advantage of the situation and went onto score six past United defense. It was Man Utd’s biggest defeat since 1955, which was a reflection of how good the noisy neighbors were on the day, eventually going on to win the Premier League title in May bagging 89 points.
Man City 2 – 3 Man Utd, December 2012
One of the most cherished clashes as the derby swung from one end to the other. Man United went to the Etihad Stadium in the FA Cup in January 2012 looking to avenge their 6-1 defeat at Old Trafford earlier that season. Vincent Kompany was sent off after 12 minutes and United galloped into a 3-0 lead before half-time. But even with 10 men, City came stronger after the break and they scored twice through Aleksandar Kolarov and Sergio Aguero, and the Red Devils were left hanging on at the end for a 3-2 win.
The one knocking at the door, on Sunday
On Sunday Premier League Derby, Manchester United again make the historic short trip across Manchester after their comeback Champions League victory over Juventus. Jose Mourinho’s men are currently nine points adrift of City in the Premier League table, having already suffered three defeats in the top-flight this season. Meanwhile, Guardiola’s men, have won nine of their first 11 games and smashed Shakhtar Donetsk 6-0 during the week. The visitors have been inconsistent this term though and they will need another big performance to trouble the league leaders on their own patch.