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5 Memorable Manchester Derby Encounters

If you believe all you read in the media, you’ll be of the mindset that Man.City will thrash title rivals and city neighbours Man.Utd this coming weekend, and owing to United’s recent defensive frailties, one would be inclined to agree.

Shipping 32 goals (In all competitions) makes this the most that the Red Devils have conceded before the xmas period since the Premier Leagues inception in 1992 and clearly won’t have aided any MU fans optimism going into Sundays titanic clash of the two Manchester giants.

Not that this will bother the Blues as they look to extend further misery on their local rivals and in the process continue their impressive unbeaten run not only in the League this season, but have also yet to be beaten on their own patch since David Moyes Everton grabbed a 2-1 victory back in the fledgling Roberto Mancini days of Dec 2010, almost two years to the day.

Whatever the outcome of this meeting between the two, it will have to go some way in topping these 5 great Man.City v Man.Utd derby days of the Premier League era. As the game on Sunday is hosted by City, I have listed matches with the Blues as the home team only. Don’t worry Reds fans, even with home advantage, City couldn’t win them all.

1)      Man.City  1-0 Man.Utd (30 Apr 2012) Starting with the most recent bout between these two heavyweights of the English game, this was a match which had huge emphasis on the destination of the title just a few weeks later as City emerged victorious in a derby which unlike recent matches, they totally dominated. With United never getting out of first gear, Vincent Kompany’s header from a cross on the stroke of half-time proved to be a vital stepping stone in clinching the not only their first ever Premier League title, but also their first league triumph since the days of Summerbee, Bell, and Lee back in 1968.

2)      Man.City 0-1 Man.Utd (17 Apr 2010) In the days when City weren’t considered a serious threat to their trophy collecting neighbours, this game had nothing riding on it for Mancini’s men, and an all or nothing feel for Sir Alex’s Red’s as they sought desperately to keep the championship race alive. Chelsea looked to have it all sown up should United fail to collect all three points, which they duly did courtesy of a Paul ‘Archie’ Scholes header seconds before the blow of the referees whistle.

3)      Man.City 4-1 Man.Utd (14 Mar 2004) Starting off in the newly opened Etihad Stadium as they’d left Maine Road, Kevin Keegan’s City blew their arch rivals away once more with a young Shaun Wright-Phillips taking centre stage and sealing his place in City v Utd folklore with a 25-yard stunner which Fabien Barthez could do nothing about.

4) Man.City 3-1 Man.Utd (9 Nov 2002) This being City’s last ever Manchester Derby at Maine Road, the blues naturally wanted to out with a bang to give their fans long life lasting memories of a stadium that was their home since 1923. And how they did when a Shaun Goater inspired side played United off the park to grab their first home derby win since the famous 5-1 thrashing of United back on 23 Sep 1989.

5) Man.City 2-3 Man.Utd (17 Nov 1993) When City raced into an early 2-0 lead through two Niall Quinn efforts, Reds fans feared they were about to be on the end of a hiding which was to eventually come on their home turf  some 18 years later. Not on this occasion however, as Utd rallied in the 2nd half to stage one of the Premier Leagues greatest fight backs. A quick one-two sucker punch from Eric Cantona pulled United level and with just 5 minutes remaining, new signing Roy Keane popped up at the far post to steer home and send the United faithful into delirium.

Just in case you thought it was all bitter rivalry and hatred between these two Mancunian adversaries, cast a thought back six decades or so when for a few short years between 1941 and 1949, City offered United the use of Maine Road as a ground share option while Old Trafford was being rebuilt due to substantial bomb damage during WWII.

Who says neighbours can’t get on with one another?  

Ryan Colley