The first Manchester Derby of the season is almost upon us as we impatiently bide our time till the early kick-off on Saturday. The Blue half of Manchester has quickly mounted the ladder to success with a more than gentle push of their Abu Dhabi owners. A match which previously was labelled as an upset after a City win, has evolved a lot over the past few years and some might argue City have had a more than healthy edge over their rivals in terms of footballing achievements. United and City have faced each other a whopping 171 times with Manchester United managing to win 71 of them against the 49 which City have won. While 51 matches have ended in a deadlock. As we head into the 172nd Manchester derby, let us have a brief look at the 5 most memorable encounter between the two sides in the Premier League era.
MANCHESTER CITY 4-1 MANCHESTER UNITED (MARCH 2004)
The first derby at City of Manchester Stadium, it started off as a battle of unequal’s but the eventual result shocked the footballing fraternity as City trounced their far superior opponents despite being only 2 points above the relegation zone. City managed to stay up that season and it was also the year of the ‘Invincibles’ as United failed to catch up with Arsenal.
MANCHESTER UNITED 4- 3 MANCHESTER CITY (SEPTEMBER 2009)
A game which threatened to go either way throughout was eventually nicked well past regulation time and added time by United as they emerged 4-3 winners. City were absolutely determined not to go away empty-handed as United led three times with Craig Bellamy playing a blinder to keep City in it. But Michael Owen’s winner in ‘Fergie time’ condemned City to a valiant defeat.
MANCHESTER UNITED 1- 6 MANCHESTER CITY (OCTOBER 2011)
City were in and around their bitter rivals faces for a couple of years then, but this was the match which drastically brought back balance in Manchester for the foreseeable future. A match which Alex Ferguson described as his ‘worst day ever’ was a mauling of unprecedented proportion. 6 goals against United at Old Trafford tore up the history books and set about a new era in their rivalry.
MANCHESTER CITY 1- 0 MANCHESTER UNITED (APRIL 2012)
In a game labelled as the most important derby in 20 years, City showed their resilience and big game mentality as they carved out a 1-0 victory in the 2nd leg of the season which brought them level on points with their rivals with only 2 games remaining. The football fraternity was spectator to the final day drama against QPR as Aguero ended a 44-year old wait for a league title. But people realise the 1-0 victory over their main competitors was the most important of them all.
MANCHESTER CITY 2- 3 MACHESTER UNITED (DECEMBER 2012)
Another classic between the two. City looked down and out with the score reading 2-0 in favour of United before a late comeback saw them pull things back at 2-2. But the stars were with United that season as their marquee signing Robin Van Persie stepped up to take a free-kick in the 92nd minute and helped by some inept work in the wall by Nasri, curled home a winner.