The Manchester Derby

Manchester United

No sooner had the final whistle been blown at Turf Moor, Manchester United were now looking ahead to Derby day. No time to celebrate, after a thoroughly professional job done at Burnley. Derby week is widespread in the city. Your either Blue or Red. City currently occupying fourth spot. Pep Guardiola has not had it all his own way in his first season in England. A win at Old Trafford back in September means he is already looking to do the double over United and Jose Mourinho. Mourinho is a specialist in these big games. Win, and United are back in the hunt for fourth place. Let’s take a look at five other derbies from down the years.

City 2 United 3, Nov 1993

Two first half goals from Nial Quinn saw City race into a two-goal lead. United huffed and puffed but couldn’t find a way past a stern City defence, until a certain Mr. Eric Cantona, decided it was time to change that, with a goal back just before half-time, slipping the ball past Tony Coton. The second half saw Cantona equalise, latching onto a poor back pass from Vonk before dispatching the ball into the far corner. Roy Keane was United’s match-winner two minutes from time.

United 2 City 1, February 2011

No one ever remembers that Nani scored in this match. Wayne Rooney’s wonder goal is the showreel piece. Shown over and over any time anyone ever mentions the Derby. United took a first half lead through Nani and were cruising until City’s debutant, Edin Dzeko, a £30million January signing from Wolfsburg, snatched a deflected equaliser in the second half. Cue greatest goal ever scored in a Derby. Scholes plays the ball out to Nani, who cross took an ever so slight deflection, Wayne Rooney shuffled his body and produced the best overhead kick to ever grace the Old Trafford turf. England’s Joe Hart, waved it goodbye as it rocketed into the top bin.

City 0 United 1, April 2010

Not the greatest Derby in living memory, although maybe one of the greatest endings. A drab game played in the Spring sunshine, something of a rarity in Manchester. It was the fourth time the sides had met that season, have played a two-legged League Cup semi previously. United were still going for the title, whereas City were still fighting for a European place. A non-event until United left-back, Patrice Evra, picked the ball up in the left channel, swung in a hopeful ball and Paul Scholes nodded in a last minute winner. Wild celebrations commenced on the away bench and in the stands. Gary Neville then gave his mate that infamous “kiss”

City 2 United 3, December 2012

United fired two quick goals inside the opening fifteen minutes to go two up. Rooney netting both times from quick breakaways. City responded by peppering the United goal. The bombardment continued into the second half. United had the ball in the net again, only to have it wrongfully ruled out for offside. Ashley Young, the unlucky man. Yaya Toure powered in City’s first before Zabaleta completed the comeback. As the clock ticked into injury time, United had a free kick outside the area about 20 yards out. Robin Van Persie wrote himself into United folklore by bending it around the wall and into the far corner. Scenes!

City 0 United 1

A dismal league campaign was on its way to an end. United looking unlikely to achieve Champions League football. City themselves had fallen short of expectations as Leicester had run away with the title. Marcus Rashford, making his Derby debut, picks up the ball from Juan Mata, skips past Demichelis, like he’s a cone, and fires past Joe Hart. 18 years old? He played like a seasoned pro.

The state is set for this to be another epic clash. Four of the five matches chosen here have all come away from home for United. Going to City certainly, doesn’t hold any fear. If anything it should be full of goals. Cue 0-0 bore draw. Some would take that right now. Let’s hope it’s another away day masterclass.

About the Author

John McNicoll
Southern Red and Football enthusiast.