Five Best Manchester Derbies Ever
The rivalry between Manchester United & Manchester City is world-famous. Both sides put their best efforts whenever they come up against each other, and thus fans get to see the best quality of football. For to be best they arranged different derbies to boost the talent of their players. Here we are going to discuss The five best Manchester derbies ever played.
The two Manchester sides have played each other in 185 matches in all competitions, with United winning 77 while City prevailing in 55 of them. They are also two of the most successful clubs in England as they have won 94 honours between them.
To create a list of the best Manchester Derbies ever is difficult, but we have tried our best to include the most exciting and memorable matches only.
1- Manchester City 3 Manchester United 3 (1990)
Manchester United had suffered a humiliating 5-1 defeat in the previous campaign and they were eager to take their revenge against City when they visited Maine Road in October 1990. Sir Alex Ferguson’s side were an improving team, while the Citizens were also doing very well under their coach Howard Kendall.
The Sky Blues were entering this contest on the back of only one defeat in their previous nine matches. They were also three points ahead of their rivals in the league when the two locked horns with each other.
City got the ideal start when they found themselves two goals ahead by the 26th minute of the game. However, a powerful header from Hughes reduced the deficit and gave some hopes for United. In the 79th minute, Hendry added another goal to turn the match massively in favour of Kendall’s side.
With just ten minutes remaining and the Red Devils two goals behind, it looked the game had slipped from United’s hands. However, McClair brought his side back in the contest by firing a goal in the 80th minute. And within three more minutes, he popped up with the equalizer, forcing the Sky Blues to share the derby spoils and making it one of the best Manchester Derbies ever.
City earned a place ahead of United in the league table that campaign, but then came an extended period of dominance from Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
2- Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3 (2012)
Manchester United narrowly missed out on the 2012 Premier League title. However, they looked determined to perform that feat the following campaign. The Red Devils were at the top of the table after fifteen matches, with Manchester City close behind them in second.
The two sides locked horns with each other at the Etihad Stadium. United started dominating proceedings from the beginning, with Wayne Rooney striking twice to give them an ideal start.
However, Roberto Mancini’s men made a strong comeback after the interval. Yaya Toure reduced the deficit on the hour mark before Pablo Zabaleta fired another goal from Tevez’s corner in the 86th minute of the game.
A draw seemed a very likely result, but Robin van Persie had other intentions. The Dutch footballer delivered a superb free-kick that deflected off Samir Nasri and went for a goal. That injury-time winner sparked wild celebrations but ugly scenes soon ensued as Ferdinand was struck by a coin while Joe Hart was seen fending off a pitch invader heading for the English centre-back.
After registering a victory in one of the best Manchester Derbies ever, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side went on to win the league title easily, with the team finishing 11 points ahead of their rivals City.
3- Manchester City 2 Manchester United 3 (2018)
Manchester City was unstoppable during the 2017-18 season. They tumbled many records on their way to the Premier League title. Pep Guardiola’s side was so impressive that they decided the fate of the league title long before, leaving the other teams with no chance.
However, in what became known as one of the best Manchester Derbies ever, United managed to get a victory over their rivals that campaign. They visited the Etihad Stadium in April 2018 when Jose Mourinho was at the helm of affairs. At that time, City were 13 points clear at the top of the table and looking formidable.
Manchester City clearly looked the better side during the initial portion of the game. They found themselves ahead within 25 minutes through Vincent Kompany’s bullet header. The Citizens extended their lead when Ilkay Gundogan also earned his name on the scoresheet. The first half was completely one-sided and Manchester United needed to deliver a very good performance after the interval to make a comeback in the game.
However, when Mourinho’s side came out to play in the second half, they looked like a very different team. Paul Pogba turned the game on its head by striking twice in two minutes. The Frenchman pulled one back after 53 minutes before immediately scoring the equalizer with a precise header.
United had made a big comeback in the match and it didn’t take long before Chris Smalling popped up with the winner to make himself an unlikely derby hero. Pep Guardiola’s side launched many attacks after that but the Red Devils held firm to register a memorable victory at the Etihad Stadium.
4- Manchester United 1 Manchester City 6 (2011)
Manchester United dominated the English league for a long time during the reign of Sir Alex Ferguson. During this period, the Citizens often had to face humiliation at the hands of United.
However, their fortunes dramatically changed after City was taken over by Abu Dhabi United Group in 2008. With the club boasting a huge transfer budget, the Citizens could sign some of the best footballers in the world. And they went from strength to strength over the following years and soon could match their fierce rivals in every department.
One of their best displays against United came in October 2011 when they completely destroyed their opponents at Old Trafford. The first half was relatively quiet than the second, with Mario Balotelli opening the scoring for his side before the interval. However, after Jonny Evans got his marching orders from the pitch, the floodgates opened. Balotelli added another goal before Sergio Aguero earned his name on the scoresheet.
Darren Fletcher reduced the deficit and revived some hopes in the game. But that strike only served to charge Manchester City further.
Substitute Edin Dzeko extended the score line further before David Silva also made a goal contribution. The Bosnian striker inflicted the final wound with seconds remaining in the game, and thus City registered one of their biggest victories at Old Trafford. It was the first time that the Red Devils had conceded six goals at the Theatre of Dreams since 1930.
5- Manchester City 1 Manchester United 0 (2011)
This was one of the best Manchester Derbies ever. The two Manchester rivals were drawn against each other in the semi-final of the FA Cup.
It was a brilliant opportunity for City to reach the FA Cup final for the first time in 30 years. However, the Red Devils looked the better side for the first half-hour, with Dimitar Berbatov missing two golden opportunities to put his side ahead in the game.
Manchester United were severely punished for their mistakes in the second half when Yaya Toure raced past Nemanja Vidic to score a superb goal in the 52nd minute of the game. The Ivory Coast international also proved himself the hero for the Citizens in the final when he scored the winner against Stoke City, thus helping his side to claim their first major trophy for 35 years.