The blue moon has rarely been so prominent in Manchester.
City have long been in the shadow of their neighbours but are currently enjoying a purple patch in this fixture, the like of which has not been seen since the early 70s.
Having won the past five out of six Premier League fixtures against Manchester United, they head into the game on Sunday favourites hoping to break Reds’ hearts once more after years of United dominance which you can read about here.
Though Sir Alex Ferguson was on the receiving end of four of these six defeats, it was arguably his dominant reign that made the victories all the more special.
As you’ll see, it’s not always about goals, as significance of the fixture plays a huge part in MM’s own top five.
So let’s crack on and take a look at City’s greatest derby days:
5. Manchester City 1 – 0 Manchester United, April 2011, Wembley Stadium
Billionaire Sheikh Mansour and his consortium bought City from Thaksin Shinawatra in the summer of 2008. (You may ask where Thaksin is now. Honestly, I don’t know.)
Three years later and City had failed to lift any silverware. They were making headway in the Premier League but still falling short of their Manchester rivals. A glorious chance befell them in the FA Cup however, and only United stood in the way of a first final appearance since 1981.
It was not an amazing game, but Yaya Toure stepped up with the game’s only goal. They went on to claim their first trophy under the Mansour dynasty, with a Premier League title coming 12 months later.
4. Man Utd 1-6 Man City, October 2011, Old Trafford
‘Why always me?’ was the message from Mario Balotelli and his t-shirt, whose double helped secure a famous win at Old Trafford.
It was more than just the Balotelli show however, as the defeat represented United’s heaviest at the Theatre of Dreams since 1955.
It looked bad for United when it was 3-1 with just minutes left on the clock, but two late goals from Edin Dzeko and another from David Silva made it Ferguson’s most humiliating day at the helm.
3. Man City 4-1 Man Utd, March 2004, City of Manchester Stadium
United had Ruud van Nistelrooy up top and a 19-year-old Cristiano Ronaldo at their disposal, playing in his first away derby. City meanwhile, had Jon Macken.
Nevertheless, Robbie Fowler stepped up to score the first ever derby goal at the City of Manchester Stadium. Macken then doubled their lead before Paul Scholes got one back for the reigning league champions.
Trevor Sinclair then added to the misery before a sprightly Shaun Wright-Phillips sealed City’s biggest win since…
2. Man City 5-1 Man Utd, September 1989, Maine Road
This would be the last joyous victory for City for some 13 years. Having just been promoted, the game had to be temporarily abandoned whilst the crowd were tamed.
A lionhearted City performance came thereafter, crushing a Ferguson side who looked a million miles away from the unstoppable force they were soon to become in the 90s.
Lifelong City fan Andy Hinchcliffe finished off the rout in what their fans call the ‘Maine Road Massacre’.
1. Man Utd 0-1 Man City, April 1974, Old Trafford
You may be questioning why a 1-0 victory, known as the ‘Denis Law game’ would feature at number one – so here’s why.
Once the hero of the Stretford End, Law’s final ever kick in league football was a back-heeled goal that relegated United at Old Trafford.
City were on a superb run at their enemy’s ground, having been unbeaten there since 1966. Unsurprisingly, Law, who scored 237 goals in 404 appearances for United, was close to tears and was immediately substituted.
Image courtesy of thefacup via YouTube, with thanks.