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10 of the most iconic Manchester Derby photos

Football photographers have captured some of the greatest moments in the sport, a permanent pause in time.

The Manchester Derby is one of the biggest fixtures on the English football calendar and this weekend will see Manchester City and Manchester United contest the FA Cup final at Wembley.

A picture often speaks a thousand words and ahead of their Mancunian match-up under the arch, we’ve decided to celebrate some of the most iconic Manchester Derby photography of all time.

Denis Law downs old side

A statue of Denis Law sits proudly outside Manchester United’s Old Trafford home, with the Scot part of the club’s ‘holy trinity’ of Ballon d’Or winners alongside Bobby Charlton and George Best.

In 1973/74, however, Law was in the colours of Manchester City and his old side were struggling near the bottom of the table. In the penultimate game of the campaign, Law scored an 81st-minute to put the Citizens ahead, and refused to celebrate believing he had relegated his former team.

It sparked a pitch invasion that saw the game abandoned in the 85th minute.

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United would have been relegated regardless, due to results elsewhere.

Keane’s horror challenge

Is there a more notorious challenge assault in Premier League history?

Roy Keane’s long-running feud with Alfie Haaland reached a combustible crescendo in 2001, as the Manchester United captain earned a straight red for a reckless studs-up scythe of the Norwegian midfielder.

Angered at Haaland’s reaction during an incident that saw Keane rupture his ACL four years earlier, the Irishman executed his pre-meditated revenge.

“I’d waited long enough. I f*cking hit him hard,” Keane wrote in his 2002 autobiography.

“The ball was there (I think). Take that you c***. And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries.”

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Remembering Roy Keane’s horror ‘tackle’ on Haaland

Feed the Goat

The last-ever Manchester Derby at Maine Road saw the Citizens cause an upset. Shaun Goater was the protagonist of the tale with two goals for the Sky Blues, with Gary Neville at fault for the second as City won 3-1.

He conceded possession in his own corner and Goater punished him in ruthless fashion.

The blue half of the city have never let him forget it.

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Tevez returns

Carlos Tevez’s transfer to Manchester City felt like the start of a shift in power. The Argentine had been part of a fabled front three at Manchester United, winning two league titles and the Champions League alongside Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In 2009, he crossed the Mancunian divide. Though not a direct transfer due to the complicated loan/third-party ownership situation surrounding the striker, it certainly felt like it.

The noisy neighbours were growing louder.

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Noughties Nines: Carlos Tevez – El Apache

Owen wins dramatic derby

In that very same fixture, it was Manchester United who proved they were still the city’s top dogs – for now at least.

An end-to-end game saw the score level at 3-3 deep into stoppage time, with Craig Bellamy’s late equaliser looking likely to earn the Citizens a point at Old Trafford.

Up stepped Owen, who with one prod of his right boot saw his Liverpool connections forgotten, sending the home crowd into euphoria with a 96th-minute winner.

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The Premier League’s Greatest Games: Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City

Pucker up, Paul

Passions run high in the Manchester Derby.

Sometimes a little too high…

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Wayne’s world

Has there ever been a better Manchester Derby goal than Wayne Rooney’s remarkable overhead kick in 2011?

No, no there’s not.

Frankly, we don’t care if it came off his shin.

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Why always me?

Mario Balotelli was unmissable at Manchester City.

Not always for the reasons he would have liked, but unmissable all the same. Deciphering through the fact and fiction surrounding the Italian was problematic, from rumours of bust-ups with teammates, to handing out cash dressed as Santa Claus, and setting fireworks off in his home.

After the latter incident, confirmed to be true, Balotelli made a statement to his name constantly being in the press. After opening the scoring in Manchester City’s famous 6-1 win at Old Trafford, he unveiled a t-shirt and gave birth to his catchphrase – “Why Always Me?”

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Premier League’s Greatest Games: Man United 1-6 Man City

Captain Kompany turns title race

The Blue Moon was rising fast in the 2011/12 season but the Citizens were still forced to chase in the title race.

United boasted an eight-point advantage over their neighbours with six games to go but a mino-wobble allowed City back into the race. Their clash at the Etihad provided City with a chance to take control of the title race and Vincent Kompany’s goal swung the momentum in their favour.

Kompany crashed into the box to power home a header and the rest, as they say, is history.

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Foden and Haaland fight for match ball

You wait 28 years for a hat-trick in the Manchester Derby and then two come along at once.

The first derby of the 2022-23 season saw Manchester City crush their cross-town neighbours, securing a 6-3 win that saw Erling Haaland and Phil Foden star. Each helped themselves to a hat-trick, giving birth to this iconic image of the pair with a match ball each at full-time.

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Read – Five of the best ever Manchester Derby goals

See more – 10 defining moments in the Manchester Derby rivalry

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