When Manchester City were bought out in 2008, Sir Alex Ferguson made a point of reasserting Manchester United’s dominance by completing the double over their local rivals.
Wayne Rooney handed United victory at the Eithad before goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, who would later win the league with City, gave United a 2-0 win at Old Trafford.
The next year Ferguson labelled City as United’s ‘noisy neighbours’ though the blue half of Manchester have done their talking on the pitch of late, establishing themselves as the best team in town as their great rivals enter derby day as underdogs for the first time in decades.
With United and City set to clash at the Etihad on Sunday, MM takes a look at United’s best ever derby day victories over their city rivals while you can click here to read about City’s finest five.
5) 3-2, Community Shield 2011, Wembley
On a day when David De Gea and Phil Jones made their United bows, Nani’s 94th minute winner helped United complete a remarkable comeback having been 2-0 down at half-time.
Sir Alex Ferguson responded by bringing on Jones, Johnny Evans and the much maligned Tom Cleverley at the break and the changes paid dividends as Chris Smalling halved the deficit before Nani took centre stage.
The Portuguese winger finished a stunning passing move to level just before the hour, before rounding Joe Hart in stoppage time to complete a memorable Wembley win for United.
4) 2-5, Second Division 1894, Hyde Road
In the first recorded league meeting of the two sides Billie Meredith scored twice on his City home debut but Newton Heath were too good for their local rivals.
Richard Smith scored four times for Newton Heath and forward John Clarkin added a fifth as United set the pattern for a fixture which they have won on 69 occasions compared to City’s 48 victories.
Smith played for United for seven seasons between 1894-1901 scoring 32 times in 77 appearances.
3) 2-1, Premier League 2011, Old Trafford
No derby day countdown would be complete without mention of Wayne Rooney’s spectacular overhead kick which lit up Old Trafford in 2011.
Nani continued his goal scoring form against City to open the scoring for United but Edin Dzeko’s shot bounced in off the back of David Silva to draw the Blues level.
The game look destined to be a draw until Rooney rose to meet Nani’s, him again, right wing cross in the dying minutes before sending Old Trafford in to rapture with what he would go on to describe as his ‘best ever goal.’
2) 5-0, Premier League 1994, Old Trafford
Andrei Kanchelskis scored a hat-trick as United racked up five to record their biggest ever win over City.
Eric Cantona caused havoc in the City defence scoring the first and setting up all three of Kanchelskis’ goals. Mark Hughes added a fifth for United on a day where Ferguson’s side completely outclassed their local rivals.
Kanchelskis scored again as United completed the double with a comfortable 3-0 win at Old Trafford but they eventually finished second in the Premier League one point behind winners Blackburn.
1) 4-3, Premier League 2009, Old Trafford
There was only one contender for United’s greatest ever derby victory. Michael Owen may not have done much during his time with the Red Devils but the former Liverpool striker ensured he was well remembered by the Old Trafford faithful with a derby winner deep into injury time.
Craig Bellamy’s 90th minute equaliser for City had already ensured the game would go down as one of the all time classic Manchester derbies but Owen latched on to a Ryan Giggs through ball as United edged out their local rivals.
The game also marked the return of Carlos Tevez to Old Trafford and he marked the occasion by cancelling out Wayne Rooney’s second minute opener. Darren Fletcher’s header restored United’s league but a wonderful 25-yard effort from Bellamy levelled the game at 2-2.
Another Fletcher header and Bellamy’s second equaliser left both sets of fans exhausted on a rollercoaster afternoon in Manchester.
However Owen had the final say on United’s greatest ever derby day.
Main image courtesy of Bwin via YouTube, with thanks.