Wayne Rooney celebrates a Manchester Derby goal.
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Manchester Derby: The five top scorers in the Premier League era

The Manchester Derby takes place in the Premier League this weekend, with the blue and red halves of the city coming together in a huge game at the Etihad.

Manchester United dominated this fixture and the division during the first two decades of the Premier League era, but City’s emergence as a superpower has seen a seismic shift in their rivalry.

The latter are aiming to become the first team to win four Premier League titles in a row this season and will hope to take a step closer with a positive result this weekend.

Ahead of the clash, we’ve ranked the Manchester Derby’s highest-scoring players in the Premier League era (all competitions).

Manchester Derby: The five top scorers in the Premier League era:

Erling Haaland – Manchester City (5*)

Erling Haaland has wasted no time in writing his chapter in the Mancunian rivalry, scoring five times against Manchester United in a little over 18 months in the Premier League.

Haaland marked his first appearance in the Manchester Derby with a hat-trick as the Citizens thrashed the Red Devils 6-3 in October 2022, a fixture that also saw Phil Foden score three times for Pep Guardiola’s side.

The duo became the first Manchester Derby hat-trick scorers in 28 years and the first to score trebles for Manchester City in the fixture since Francis Lee in 1970.

Haaland also netted twice in the 3-0 win at Old Trafford earlier this season and has five goals in just three derby appearances. Manchester United are his joint-favourite Premier League opponent, alongside Fulham.

Paul Scholes – Manchester United (7)

Paul Scholes struck seven times in Manchester Derbies across all competitions, with his first arriving in a 1-0 win at Old Trafford in 1995.

Scholes, whose 26 Manchester Derby appearances are the joint-fourth most in the fixture’s history, scored home and away against Manchester City during the 2003/04 season and also netted twice in cup competition against the Citizens.

His most famous derby moment came with a last-gasp winner at the Etihad during the 2009/10 season, heading home in stoppage time to earn Manchester United a 1-0 win – and the midfielder a celebratory kiss from teammate Gary Neville.

Eric Cantona – Manchester United (8)

Eric Cantona was often the scourge of the Citizens during a decorated career at Manchester United, scoring eight times in eight appearances against the club’s neighbours.

Cantona scored four goals against Manchester City during the 1993/94 Premier League season alone, scoring twice at Maine Road as United came from two goals down to win a dramatic derby.

He then netted both goals in a 2-0 win at Old Trafford in the reverse fixture, during a season that saw Sir Alex Ferguson’s side win a Premier League and FA Cup double.

Sergio Aguero – Manchester City (9)

Sergio Aguero sits as the second-highest Manchester Derby scorer in the Premier League era, having scored nine times against Manchester United.

The Argentine scored his first derby goal during the famous 6-1 win at Old Trafford in 2011/12 and netted regularly against the Red Devils as the Citizens emerged as a Premier League force.

A double during a 4-1 thrashing of Manchester United in 2013 represented the shifting balance of power, while Aguero also scored the only goal in a 1-0 win during the 2014/15 campaign.

That latter season saw Aguero win the Premier League’s Golden Boot, the most prolific league season of his record-breaking career at the Etihad.

Wayne Rooney – Manchester United (11)

No player has scored more Manchester Derby goals than Wayne Rooney, who scored 11 times in this fixture.

Rooney became Manchester United’s record scorer during an illustrious career with the club and saved some of his finest moments for Manchester Derby games.

His injury-time winner saw Manchester United beat City in the 2009/10 League Cup semi-finals, while he twice scored braces in 3-2 wins at the Etihad in league and cup.

The greatest moment of Rooney’s record-breaking return came in 2011 as arguably the best-ever Manchester Derby goal, a stunning overhead kick, settled the contest at Old Trafford.

Rooney is the leading scorer in the entire history of the Manchester Derby, ahead of Joe Hayes (10) and Francis Lee (10).

Read – Noughties Nines: Wayne Rooney – An inimitable emergence

Read more – Midfield Magicians: David Silva – El Mago

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