Updated: Sunday, 18th November 2018 @ 8:20am

Manchester’s fight for supremacy – United and City’s top ten derby encounters

Manchester’s fight for supremacy – United and City’s top ten derby encounters

By Matt Davies

Drama, controversy and often spectacular goals all go hand-in-hand with a Manchester derby and ahead of the next clash at the Etihad, MM takes to the history books.

From condemning a club to relegation, to effectively securing the league title, derbies have served up many memorable moments over the years and here are just some of them.

1.       United 0 City 1                  April 27 1974

Denis Law, one of a handful of players to play for both United and City, relegated his former club while wearing the Sky Blue shirt.

United had to win to stand any chance of survival and Law’s back-heel went straight through the legs of goalkeeper Alex Stepney sparking wild City celebrations.

Law was immediately substituted on compassionate grounds, and was clearly devastated by what he had done, and never kicked a ball in the football league again.

“I have seldom felt so depressed in my life as I did that weekend,” he said some time afterwards.

The game was never actually completed following a pitch invasion but the League ruled that the result should stand.

2.       City 5 United 1                  September 23 1989

Mark Hughes scored a trademark volley but it was of little consolation for United as City were rampant at Maine Road.

David Oldfield scored twice, with Trevor Morley, Ian Bishop and Andy Hinchcliffe completing United’s misery.

The game was delayed for several minutes due to fighting in the stands early on but after that City took control.

Gary Pallister, who had signed for United from Middlesborough a month earlier, later commented in his autobiography that the game was ‘the lowest point of my entire career’.

3.       United 5 City 0                  November 10 1994

Andrei Kanchelskis scored a hat-trick and had arguably his best game in a red shirt as United went about avenging the 5-1 defeat in 1989.

Eric Cantona and Hughes were also on target but Kanchelskis’ hat-trick stole the show at Old Trafford.

Cantona provided the assists for all of Kanchelskis’ treble as the Frenchman and Russian international combined expertly to inflict City’s biggest derby defeat.

4.       City 3 United 1                  November 9 2002

In the last derby game at City’s Maine Road stadium, Shaun Goater scored twice, his 99th and 100th goals for City, in the Sky Blues first ever Premier League win over their rivals.

Nicolas Anelka put the Sky Blues ahead but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer beat former United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel to level it up after just eight minutes of the first half.

Goater then pounced on a mistake from Gary Neville to smash past Fabian Barthez before Eyal Berkovic chipped the ball through for ‘The Goat’ to grab his second.

Kevin Keegan, City manager at the time, described the match as “my greatest derby.”

5.       City 3 United 1                  January 14 2006

City lead 2-0 at the break thanks to goals from Trevor Sinclair and Darius Vassell but this game is remembered for Cristiano Ronaldo being red carded for a wild lunge on Andy Cole.

Ronaldo was tacked heavily by Sky Blues midfielder Stephen Jordan and responded by recklessly diving in on ex-United forward Cole.

Despite not making contact, the Portuguese star received his marching orders from referee Steve Bennett.

Ruud Van Nistlerooy pulled a goal back for the Red Devils with a quarter of an hour to go but Robbie Fowler clinically finished in stoppage time ending an 11 game unbeaten run for United.

6.       United 1 City 2                  February 10 2008

This game makes the list for a slightly different reason to the others, as the result was a lot less important than the occasion it marked.

The 50th anniversary of the Munich Air Disaster was respected by both sides when they met at Old Trafford, with both sides wearing unsponsored kit in memory of the victims of the 1958 crash.

The players were led onto the pitch by a lone piper playing The Red Flag, as City remembered the loss of one of their own too, goalkeeper turned journalist Frank Swift.

Both sets of fans, and players, observed an impeccable minute’s silence before the game, as a mark of respect to the 23 people who lost their lives.

City were victorious in the match itself, as Vassell scored his 50th Premier League goal and Benjani put City two up before Michael Carrick pulled one back in injury time.

7.      United 4 City 3                  September 20 2009

Substitute Michael Owen scored the winner six minutes into injury time, wrecking City’s hopes of an unlikely point in a seven-goal thriller at Old Trafford.

Craig Bellamy had equalised for the third time for City in the 90th minute, but Owen prodded home for his first Old Trafford goal in a United shirt.

A clearly agitated Sky Blues boss, former United striker Hughes, was immediately demanding answers for why the winner had come six minutes into four minutes of designated stoppage time.

Wayne Rooney put the Red Devils ahead after just two minutes before Gareth Barry equalised.

Two goals from midfielder Darren Fletcher put United ahead twice more, but Bellamy scored after each to restore parity between the sides before Owen hit the very late winner.

8.       United 2 City 1                  February 12 2011

Wayne Rooney’s spectacular bicycle kick from Nani’s cross left City’s goalkeeper Joe Hart staring in disbelief as the ball flew past him into the top corner.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson went on to say he had never seen a goal like it, calling it “absolutely magnificent.”

Nani had given United the lead before David Silva pulled City level with a deflected equaliser.

But Rooney’s inspired effort twelve minutes from time will live long in the memories for fans of both sides.

9.       United 1 City 6                  October 23 2011

City ran riot at Old Trafford, clinically disposing of a United side that poured forwards in search of goals, despite the sending off of defender Jonny Evans at the start of the second half.

Mario Balotelli scored twice, one either side of half-time, before Sergio Aguero added a third, and substitute Edin Dzeko scored either side of Silva’s strike.

United’s Fletcher had reduced the scoreline to 3-1 but he and United were powerless to prevent City from opening up a five point lead at the leagues summit.

It was the first time that United had conceded six at home since 1930 and remains their heaviest defeat in the Premier League.

The game can also be remembered for Balotelli revealing a slogan on his t-shirt reading ‘why always me’ after scoring – a statement from the Italian after a lot of negative media attention.

10.   City 1 United 0                  April 30 2012

City captain Vincent Kompany headed home in first half stoppage time, a goal which paved the way for the Sky Blues to win their first Premier League title.

Kompany met Silva’s corner and powered a header past David De Gea before celebrating emphatically in front of City’s army of fans.

Meanwhile Hart at the other end stood and watched, as United failed to test him with a single shot on target throughout the game.

The result left City level on points with their rivals, but with a far superior goal difference and the title was then City’s to lose.

Aguero then scored in the dying embers of the season against Queens Park Rangers to secure Roberto Mancini and his side the Premier League crown.

Image courtesy of ESPN, via YouTube, with thanks.

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.