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Five of the Best – Manchester Derbies

Traditionally it’s always been a big game when the Red and Blue sides of Manchester clash in the Manchester Derby.

For two decades under Sir Alex Ferguson Manchester United dominated not just Manchester but English Football in general and few would have seen City as ever likely to threaten the Red Devils.

However, now backed by Abu Dhabi billions and coached by the mercurial Pep Guardiola Man City are now the top dogs in the Premier League, which simply makes the MCD even more intriguing then ever. Here’s a look at five of the greatest clashes between these two old foes.

Man United 0-1 Man City, 1974

While Denis Law’s back-heeled finish didn’t technically relegate Manchester United, it certainly felt that way at the time. We often moan about players not celebrating against their former side, in this case it made total sense.

After 11 years and 237 goals for United, it was heartbreaking for the striker to be the one who (sort of) sealed their fate. He was substituted immediately after the goal and never played for City again.

Man United 4-3 Man City, 2009

A much more modern derby this time and probably the most exciting. This was the new, rich, Manchester City and they had splashed the cash the previous summer adding a host of talented players including former United man Carlos Tevez.

It was a ding-dong battle with United taking the lead three times only to be pegged back on each occasion. Perhaps a draw would have been a fair result but with just moments left in the game the ball dropped to Ryan Giggs at the edge of the box, he slipped the ball through City’s defence, finding Michael Owen and the England striker rolled back the years with a neat finish into the corner. Disaster for City. Delirium for United.

 

Man United 1-6 Man City, 2011

United fans, scroll down now because this was one you’ll probably want to forget. City fans, try not to watch this too many times. Balotelli, Dzeko, Aguero and Silva got the goals for City while United saw Johnny Evans sent off. Sir Alex Ferguson called it his “worst day ever”. Losing 6-1 to your bitter rivals at your own ground will do that.

 

Man United 1-1 Man City, 2001

We debated long and hard about including  this one, it wasn’t the best game and it’s hard to call what made it so memorable “good” or “the best” but Roy Keane’s hatchet job on Alf-Inge Haland is one of the most iconic moments in the Premier League.

Keane, showing a remarkable ability to hold a grudge, slammed in to his opponent’s knee in retaliation for a comment made by Haland 4 years earlier, when the Norwegian was playing for Leeds, where he said that Keane was faking an injury.

Apparently it finished 1-1 but the lesson we all learned was not to get in Keano’s bad books.

 

Man City 2-3 Man United, 1993

As a football fan there is nothing better than having bragging rights over your neighbours, or at the very least having something you can hold over them. City fans went in to his derby in high spirits, United’s not so much. Why? Well United had been knocked out of the Champions League in the days running up the game, having blown a 2-0 lead against Turkish side Galatasaray.

The City fans were only too happy to remind their rivals of that fact and when Niall Quinn stuck a brace of headers past Peter Schmeichel they were in dreamland. But those were the days of chronic Cityitis. “2-0 and you f##ked it up!” the home fans had gleefully sung in the first half. Have a guess what happened in the second.

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