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One of the most, if not the most grueling of derbies in the world, has got to be the one fought between the Blue and the Red of Manchester, between the nouveau riche Manchester City and illustious Manchester United. With the history going back to 1881 when a certain West Gorton (now Manchester City) hosted Newton Heath (now Manchester United). They have now faced each other another 161 times with, United having the better of the contest 68 times and City on 44 occasions while 50 of these matches have resulted in a draw. The Red devils, have been more successful of the two sides both in England as well as Europe having won the league the 19 times, the most for any English club and the Champions league thrice (once the European super cup and twice the Champions league), while the Citizens have won the league twice but have never won a Champions league.
Both the clubs have come a long way since the old days, with both clubs having been taken over by foreign owners. While the Glazer family took over Manchester United in 2005, their neighbours were purchased by the Abu Dhabi United Club owned by Sheikh Mansour four years later. The new found wealth has helped the Citizens close the gap on their red neighbours and having led for most of this season, they are now close in a close second behind them.
The derbies have always been fiery encounters, peppered by some of the more temperamental players in the game, from the likes of Liam Whelan, Dennis Law, Sammy Mcllroy to Roy Keane, Eric Cantona , Craig Bellamy and more recently Mario Ballotelli . Here are a list of the top 5 derbies which have taken both sets of supporters on a rollercoaster of a ride.
Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United: 27th April, 1974
United's relegation from division one football .Although the day was remembered for former United man Dennis Law scoring the only goal for their rivals and refusing to celebrate which even led to him being substituted. Law, who had worn the red jersey of Manchester for 11 years, later termed the goal as the one he wished he hadn't scored and one of his biggest regrets. Being behind, the United fans had tried to disrupt the game by running onto the field but the game managed to run its full course. Importantly, United would have been relegated irrespective of the goal as their fate was sealed by Birmingham's victory.
Manchester City 5-1 Manchester United: 23rd September, 1989
Alex Ferguson's "most embarrassing defeat" for a long long time. Three years into his job and building a team for the future, Ferguson's side were pummeled by David Oldfield ,Trevor Morley & Ian Bishop. United had a horrible day in defensive as the first three goals were all down to defensive errors. The best goal ironically was scored by United man Mark Hughes with an exemplary scissors kick to make it 3-1 before City took total control by adding two more to tally. Sir Alex has spoken about being buried under the pillow for hours after this embarrassing defeat as the winter of discontent set around Old Trafford.
Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City: 20th September, 2009
The most dramatic Derby by a long stretch, with everything from the build-up to the injury time goals playing a part in what was a day to cherish for Man United fans. United took the early lead through Wayne Rooney only for Gareth Barry to equalize. Darren Fletcher restored United's lead at the start of the second half only to see City peg them back once again through Craig Bellamy, who fired an absolutely unstoppable thunder-bolt into the top corner. Fletcher scored again and United looked to be cruising until Ferdinand made a mock of a pass which fell to Bellamy, who then ran from the half way line to make it 3-3 in the 90th minute to silence Old Trafford.
4 minutes of added time followed which had to be increased due to the celebrations and substitutions and what followed was pure drama. United got a 96th minute free-kick taken near the halfway line and after Rooney's poor initial cross, the ball fell to Giggs who them played a calm and sublime through ball for Michael Owen to score in the 97th min to send Old Trafford into ecstasy and Mark Hughes, the then City manager, into utter despair
Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United: 17th April, 2010
City were seeking revenge for that 4-3 loss at Old Trafford and with United knocking them out of the Carling Cup in the intervening period, the tensions were high ahead of this game. The game as a whole failed to live up to the occasion as both sides cancelled each other out, with chances also at a premium. With the clock ticking towards the final whistle, a Patrice Evra cross in the 93rd minute was headed in by Paul Scholes, perhaps the shortest man on the pitch at that time. Scholesy actually headed the ball from almost the top of the box which trickled in the far right corner of the net. Ferguson came running out of his seat in to perform his customary nervous jig on the touchline as United kept their title hopes alive. It was the 3rd time that City had lost in the dying minutes to their neighbours in less than a year.
Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City: 23rd October, 2011
There was another boss at the helm for City in the form of the Italian Roberto Mancini and City had splurged their insurmountable cash again looking to finally go one better than the Red Devils and better they did in some fashion. United started tentatively only to be shocked by the 'Why always him' man Mario Balotelli, who scored the opener. Balotelli again made a telling blow in the second half when he was tackled by Jonny Evans which led to United getting down to 10 men. City then blew apart United, with David Silva being the chief tormentor as City had their biggest win at Old Trafford ever. Sir Alex later thrashed his defenders for being irresponsible and labelled the victory as the" most embarrassing of his managerial career".
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