Top 10 Manchester Derbies
By Sean McGuire
10. Newton Heath 5 – 1 Ardwick 03/10/1891
This is where it all began – 120 years ago this month. The first official match between the Manchester Clubs was Played at United’s first ground North Road where an attendance of 11000 watched our founder club smash five goals past City in the F.A Cup. Before this neither team had full league status, they flew the flag for their respective Mancunian regions by being members of the combination league and entering the Manchester Cup. This superiority proved to be a sign of things to come as Doughty, Edge, Sneddon and two from Farman secured a 5-1 win over our local rivals – and so the bitterness ensued.
9. ManchesterCity 2 – 4 Manchester United 02/02/57
Reigning champions Manchester United were taking the league by storm again this season and the latest Manchester Derby was played just before the second leg of the Red’s first European Cup Quarter final against Atletico Bilbao. The Busby babes did not hold back however as their marauding open football astonished the people of Manchester with goals from Edwards, Taylor, Whelan and Viollet sealing the 4-2 win. Four days later United overturned a 5-3 against Bilbao to book a place in the Semi Final against the Mighty Real Madrid. Sadly, three of the scorers Edwards, Taylor and Whelan died a year later in the Munich air disaster and the other scorer Denis Viollet would never play again.
8. ManchesterCity 2 – 3 Manchester United 06/04/96
This was the season when Alan Hansen assured us that you cannot win the league with kids. This was the season where Newcastle were 12 points clear at Christmas, and Kevin Keegan had a meltdown saying he would ‘love it’ if he beat us. Well it was United fans who were loving it in this ding-dong of a derby. The Reds took the lead twice through Eric Cantona and Andy Cole, however City levelled both times with Kavelashvili and German striker Uwe Rosler and looked like gaining a point for City. United were in need of a win though to keep hot on the heels of Newcastle and with time running out Giggs weaved his magic in the City half and with Keith Curle inviting the Welsh Wizard to shoot, he duly obliged by hammering the ball into the top corner from a tight angle. United went on to win the league that year in the most unlikeliest of circumstances as Newcastle crumbled under the pressure of Sir Alex Ferguson’s mind games. As for City, they were relegated to division one.
7. Manchester United 5 – 0 Manchester City 10/11/94
On the back of winning two Premier League titles United were also unbeaten in Manchester Derby’s for five years. This last defeat however was a 5-1 win for City back in 1989. The City fans didn’t hesitate to remind the home fans about this so the reds decided to put this to bed. An Andre Kanchelskis hat trick and goals from Sparky and a majestic Eric Cantona inspired United to a 5-0 win over the blues and any memories of that day at Maine Road were so forgotten. City never won a local scrap throughout the whole of the nineties and this result was a measure of United’s supremacy.
6. Manchester City 0 – 1 Manchester United 17/04/10
This Manchester Derby had everything riding on it. Bragging rights were there to be had on this day at Eastlands, and City had the chance to nail a Champions league spot while stopping the Reds from winning the league. With the game going into stoppage time City searched and searched for a winner coming close on several occasions. As their last attack broke down, United took the ball forward in one last valiant attempt to keep the title alive and stop City from foiling their league ambitions. The fresh legs of Obertan carried the ball forward and his pass to Evra on the wing set the Frenchman free to cross the ball. However, this was three minutes into stoppage time at the end of an arduous league campaign so the chances of anyone getting into the box were extremely slim. Most of the fans probably new deep down that getting a result would have been a tough ask, but at least Evra’s cross would run down the clock a bit to avoid further embarrassment. So United’s number three slung in the cross in a final act of defiance in a league campaign that would be lost in a few seconds when the referee blew his whistle. But what happened next had even the most optimistic of United fans with the most vivid imaginations gasping for breath in the away section of the council house. Miraculously, Paul Scholes defied his 35 years and defied footballing logic by meeting Evra’s cross and planting a trademark header past the helpless Shay Given in the City goal. For the third game running United had beaten the blue half of Manchester in stoppage time and the usually composed Paul Scholes couldn’t contain himself as he danced into the arms of United’s travelling fans.
5. Manchester United 3 – 3 Manchester City 27/10/90
United returned to the scene of the crime a year after the 5-1 drubbing and every City fan expected the same again. They looked on course to do this again when David White put the blues 2-0 up inside 25 minutes. Hughes pulled one back for the Reds but Colin Hendry looked like sealing the win when he made the score 3-1 with 12 minutes remaining. As the City fans chanted ‘we want five’ Manchester United had other ideas. The trademark comebacks of the Fergie era started way before the Premier League began and this was another one for the scrapbook as Brian McClair scored two goals in the last nine minutes to salvage a draw for United in one of the most pulsating Derbies for years.
4. Manchester city 2-3 Manchester United 09/12/2012
United went into this Derby three points clear of Manchester City; and after losing the title on the last day of the previous season, the stakes had never been higher in Manchester. The Reds took an early two goal lead with a brace from Wayne Rooney, however City scored two second half goals to bring the scores level. With the momentum with the home side, United were looking like they were holding on to a draw. However Sir Alex Ferguson’s men showed their never-say-die attitude when Robin van Persie scored an injury time free-kick to show that Manchester United were not about to roll over and die; and that Manchester will always be well and truly red.
3. Manchester United 3 – 1 Manchester City 27/01/10
Manchester City came to Old Trafford with a 2-1 advantage from the first leg of this League Cup semi-final with an in-form Tevez scoring both City’s goals. The game was fuelled with more emotion after the bitter blue’s chief executive Garry Cook was caught on film a few days before smugly claiming that they would beat us again. After a tense first 45 minutes, second half goals from Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick put United ahead in the tie. However, almost predictably the Argentinean turncoat pulled one back for City to level the tie on aggregate. With the game heading into extra time Wayne Rooney headed home a winner which was greeted by a noise that has been unrivalled at Old Trafford for decades. As the fans roared the Reds to Wembley, they witnessed a stoppage time victory over City for the second time this season, and as history proved, it wasn’t the last.
2. ManchesterCity 2 – 3 Manchester United 07/11/93
Four days previous to the Manchester Derby United had been knocked out of Europe by Galatasaray and City fans took pleasure in this by waving Turkish Delights at the Red’s travelling fans and revelled in a 2 – 0 half-time lead after two Niall Quinn headers. Monsieur Cantona was having not of it and took the game by the scruff of the neck. The commentator that day, Martin Tyler, described Cantona as “Having a baton in his hand and conducting an orchestra” as Eric’s influential display saw him score two goals to level the game. After each goal went in more and more United fans were seen celebrating in the home section, and when Roy Keane made it 3 – 2 late on, more than half the stadium celebrated showing why United were kings of the city and why Eric Cantona was the leader of our football team.
1. Manchester United 4 – 3 Manchester City 20/09/10
This match was hyped up by the return of Tevez to Old Trafford who decided to switch allegiances over the summer, opting for money over trophies by walking on the pitch wearing sky blue. A pulsating first half finished 1-1 with Wayne Rooney’s opener being cancelled out by Gareth Barry after a slip by keeper Ben Foster. Soon after the restart Darren Fletcher headed United ahead, only for Craig Bellamy to equalise from long range. In the closing stages United bombarded the City goal and after several attempts were thwarted by an inspired Shay Given, another Fletcher header looked like giving United all three points, but a mistake from Rio Ferdinand in the 90th minute gifted Bellamy his second and City’s third goal of the game making the score 3-3. United hung their heads in despair as Mark Hughes’s men had somehow earned a draw and City’s travelling fans celebrated as if they had won the league. However, there was twist in the tale, a twist so dramatic that the fairy tale writers hung up their quills for good. That little striker who had crossed the bitter divide to play for a rival club found himself in the box with the ball at his feet, but this time it wasn’t the multi-million pound Tevez, it was free transfer Michael Owen who once donned the scouse jersey, now became an honorary Manc by sliding home a 96th minute winner to silence the noisy neighbours and putting this game firmly into Manchester Derby folklore.
By Sean McGuire
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