Manchester City v Manchester United classic derby moments


Sporting Life · Columnist

We take a look back at the classic moments during the history of the Manchester derby to put you in the mood for Sunday’s clash.

Manchester City come into the contest unbeaten, winning nine and drawing two of their 11 Premier League games so far, averaging three goals a game, while keeping seven clean sheets and conceding a mere four in that period.

Manchester United have endured a topsy-turvy start to their campaign. But they have found some form coming into the derby, with three wins and a draw from their last four, playing against Chelsea, Everton and a tricky Bournemouth side in that time.

The overall head-to-head League record reads at 62 wins for the Red Devils and 45 for the Citzens, with the shares being spoiled 51 times. Though this is the case, City have registered eight wins in their last 14 league derbies, while United have managed just half of that.



So we go back in time to relive the classic encounters between these bitter rivals and see what they have showcased throughout the years:


Man Utd 0-1 Man City – April 1974

  • Derbies always produce stories, and there was plenty of irony in this battle as Manchester United hero Denis Law back-heeled City’s route to victory at Old Trafford, but refused to celebrate for obvious reasons.
  • This had longer term implications than just the three points for their rivals, as Manchester United were subsequently relegated at home on that day.
  • Law was substituted during the match and was to never kick a ball in the Football League again.


Man Utd 5-0 Man City – November 1994


  • A rampant Red Devils display saw them dispatch Man City in a period which saw them reign supreme and a time in which City could not muster a win during the 1990’s.
  • Andrei Kanchelskis was the star of the show as he hit a hat-trick in the rout, with Eric Cantona chipping in with a goal and a fine performance.
  • The thumping was topped off by Mark Hughes, who went on to manage their Manchester rivals in later years.


Man Utd 4-3 Man City – September 2009


  • One of the most memorable derbies for Manchester United fans and Sir Alex Ferguson too, in which a scintillating last 10 minutes resulted in United stealing the spoils after what had looked like a certain draw.
  • The prolific Wayne Rooney put United ahead after a mere two minutes, before former Old Trafford favourite Carlos Tevez capitalised on a mistake by Ben Foster to set up Gareth Barry to equalise.
  • Darren Fletcher scored two headers which were respectively pegged back both times by Craig Bellamy before Michael Owen came off the bench to replace Dimitar Berbatov and tuck home the winner in that famous phenomenon ‘Fergie time’.
  • There were only four minutes of stoppage time although Owen’s goal came in the 96th, much to the anger of the travelling City fans and boss Mark Hughes.

Man Utd 2-1 Man City – February 2011


  • The important victory extended Man Utd’s lead at the top of the table as they homed in on another Premier League title, but it took a piece of brilliance from their talisman to break City hearts in the final moments of the match.
  • Nani had opened the lead before David Silva’s deflected effort levelled the scores.
  • The United scorer then turned provider in order to provide Rooney for the winner, which came in the dying embers of the game. His floated cross was met by the England skipper, who rocketed in a bicycle kick which left Joe Hart at a standstill, with the ball flying into the top corner to give United three points.


Man Utd 1-6 Man City – October 2011


  • City put on a show at Old Trafford in what was known as the ‘Demolition Derby’ by some. It was Man Utd’s biggest defeat since 1955, which was a reflection of how good the noisy neighbours were on the day, eventually going on to win the Premier League title in May.
  • Jonny Evans received a red card for hauling down Mario Balotelli, who helped himself to a brace on the day and revealed his ‘Why always me?’ shirt.
  • Sergio Aguero extended the score to 3-0 before Darren Fletcher reduced the lead, only to be lengthened by David Silva and a brace from Edin Dzeko.


Man City 2-3 Man Utd – December 2012


  • The match swung on a pendulum but resulted in another last minute turn of events which saw Manchester United nick the win. Roberto Mancini opted to play Balotelli over Tevez, which hindered their performance throughout the 90 minutes.
  • Rooney bagged a brace inside the first half to put the visitors two up, before Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta drew Mancini’s City level.
  • Robin Van Persie delivered a winner in stoppage time from a free-kick, which sent the faithful Red Devils support into jubilation.



  • The celebrations were marred as objects were thrown at and injured Rio Ferdinand, while Joe Hart had to restrain a pitch invader from getting to the United centre-half.


Man Utd 1-2 Man City – December 2017


  • City demonstrated a gulf in class as they dispatched their neighbours in their own backyard, despite the score not reflecting that, making it two successive wins at Old Trafford and three unbeaten at the ground in the Premier League.
  • The away side had 64.6 per cent possession and made almost double the passes throughout the match, as they earned their 14th consecutive Premier League victory and equalled Arsenal’s record of doing so across two seasons in 2002.
  • David Silva put City ahead before Marcus Rashford made it level terms just before half time. Nicolas Otamendi restored the lead in what turned out to be the winner, during the Etihad outfit’s record-breaking season.


Man City 2-3 Man Utd – April 2018


  • A home win would have secured Pep Guardiola’s men the Premier League title against Jose Mourinho’s side, but they had other plans, in the shift from an expected rout to a great game of all-round football, with two sides laying everything on the line.
  • Everything was going to plan as City went into the break two to the good, thanks to a header from Vincent Kompany and a smart strike from Ilkay Gundogan.
  • Raheem Sterling had two glorious chances in between the United fightback, which would have buried them and subsequently secured the match and title.
  • This was not to be and Paul Pogba hit two in successive minutes to level the scores, before Chris Smalling headed home the winner in front of the travelling fans, with the then-new signing Alexis Sanchez grabbing two assists.



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