Manchester United and Manchester City’s explosive rivalry has a new edge: Mourinho v Guardiola.
The pair have previously faced off for Real Madrid and Barcelona, another derby high on football fans’ list of must-watch encounters.
Now they bring their long-running competitive battle to Manchester, and ahead of today’s clash we pick five moments that have made the derby what it is today…
5: Manchester United 1-1 Manchester City. 2000/2001. Old Trafford.
We start our countdown 15 years ago, and with United on course for a third straight title and City heading towards relegation, the fixture didn’t quite hold the same grandeur it does today.
The game itself ended in a tame one-all draw but the match makes it into our countdown nonetheless, courtesy of possibly the worst tackle in derby history.
Midway through the first half, United captain Roy Keane exacted revenge against Norwegian, Alf Inge Haaland, for an incident that had occurred at Elland Road four years previous. Smashing into Haaland with studs raised, Keane was given a straight red by his old friend David Elleray.
Haaland would only play a handful more games professionally but two autobiographies later, Keane still insists he’d do it again.
4: Manchester United 1-2 Manchester City. 2007/2008. Old Trafford.
50 years on from the Munich Air Disaster which killed 23 people, including eight ‘Busby Babes’ and ex-City ‘keeper Frank Swift, United hosted their rivals on a poignant day for the city.
Emotion was high with both sets of fans commemorating the disaster impeccably. The match provided drama itself with deadline day signing Benjani scoring on his debut to help Manchester City to a 2-1 win on a day that will live long in the memory of those who were there, for a variety of reasons.
3: Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United. 1993/1994. Maine Road.
Picture the scene: United, having just won their first title in nearly 30 years, travelled to Maine Road to face a City side languishing near the foot of the table. They were different times.
What followed was a classic. Two goals from City hero Niall Quinn were cancelled out by an Eric Cantona brace in a frantic affair. But it was our old friend Roy Keane who stole the show again with a late, late winner to take all three points back to Old Trafford.
2: Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City. 2011/2012. Old Trafford.
United fans, look away now…
In October 2011, City turned up to Old Trafford meaning business under Roberto Mancini. Thanks to a goal from Mario Balotelli, City took a 1-0 into the interval of a tight, tactical derby.
All that changed in the second period however, with the visitors taking advantage of Jonny Evans’ early sending off. 3/4 of an hour later and City had six. One more from Balotelli, two for Edin Dzeko and one a piece for David Silva and Sergio Aguero ensured that United suffered their biggest home defeat since 1955.
City had finally arrived on the big stage and would go on to clinch the title in spectacular fashion later that season. Why always them?
1: Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City. 2009/2010. Old Trafford.
Arguably the greatest game in the history of the Premier League, let alone the derby. Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City. 2009/2010. Old Trafford.
Thrice United went in front only to be pegged back each time by their newly wealthy rivals. Braces from Darren Fletcher (yes, Darren Fletcher!) and Craig Bellamy as well as goals from Wayne Rooney and Gareth Barry respectively set up a frantic final few minutes.
And in the seventh minute of additional time, Michael Owen famously broke City hearts and sent ‘The Theatre’ into dreamland!
Image courtesy of Copa90 via YouTube, with thanks.