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Top 10 Greatest Manchester Derbies

The clashes between Manchester City and Manchester United have thrown up some incredible memories over the years. From one-sided hammerings to fiercely contested draws, we have seen some top class football action featuring great goals and some terrible challenges in this fixture.

Here takes a look at the 10 greatest meetings between the Manchester giants.

10. Man Utd 2-1 Man City - February 12th 2011

This game was petering out towards a 1-1 draw and would not have got anywhere near this list if it wasn’t for some magic from Wayne Rooney in the 78th minute. An innocuous looking cross came in from Nani on the right, falling behind Rooney near the penalty spot, the odds of him scoring from there were incredibly slim. However, the future England captain leapt into the air and unleashed a bicycle kick which hammered the ball into the top corner past Joe Hart. Yes, it came off his shin, but he achieved exactly what he was trying to so you can’t hold it against him.
9. Man Utd 1-1 Man City - April 21st 2001

Another derby that is remembered for one specific moment rather than the game as a whole, and it was a pretty horrific moment to say the least. Goals from Teddy Sheringham and Steve Howey meant the scoring finished at 1-1, but it was Roy Keane’s red card that stands out in the memory. Holding an incomprehensibly intense grudge against Alf-Inge Haaland for something the Norwegian had said to him four years previously, Keane sought vengeance. His revenge came in the form of a knee-high, studs-first challenge which effectively ended Haaland’s career.
8. Man City 3-1 Man Utd – November 9th 2002

The last Premier League clash between City and United at Maine Road was won by the home side and turned out to be an action-packed contest. The opening 10 minutes were frantic as Nicolas Anelka gave City the lead after just five and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer equalised after eight. Then it was time to feed the goat. At the time a fairly prolific striker for City, Shaun Goater stepped forward and scored twice, once in each half to claim a memorable victory and provide a great send-off for the old stadium.
7. Man Utd 5-0 Man City - November 10th 1994

United were pretty dominant over City at this point, but their fans still remember this result especially fondly as they battered their rivals at Old Trafford. Eric Cantona opened the scoring before Andrei Kanchelskis bagged a memorable hat-trick, Mark Hughes getting the other goal. The Red Devils also managed a 9-0 home win that season as they hammered Ipswich, but they fell short of winning the title, finishing a point behind Blackburn.

6. Man Utd 0-1 Man City April 27th 1974

This famous contest is actually misremembered in terms of significance, but nevertheless featured a very poignant moment. Dennis Law had been a Manchester United hero, scoring 237 goals in 404 appearances for the Red Devils before he moved to their nearest rivals in 1973 (he had actually played for City from 1960-61 as well). United had a shocking season in 1973-74 and met City in the penultimate game. The only goal was scored by Law – an outrageous back-heel that is often reported as the goal that relegated United from the First Division. That is not the case as they were down anyway, but the sight of Law scoring the winner against United makes the game memorable nonetheless.

5. Man City 2-3 Man Utd – November 7th 1993

City’s team, featuring the likes of Mike Sheron, Alan Kernaghan and Michel Vonk were aiming to cause a huge upset against their local rivals, who would go on to win the Premier League that year by eight points. They were well on the way to doing that as Niall Quinn gave them a two-goal lead at half-time and United looked dead and buried. However, up stepped Eric Cantona who scored twice before Roy Keane netted with four minutes to go to seal an improbable victory and crush the dreams of the Maine Road faithful.
4. Man City 5-1 Man Utd – September 23rd 1989

The Manchester sides finished level on points at the end of the 1989-90 season (United 13th, City 14th) but they were anything but even when they met in September at Maine Road. City romped to a huge victory over Alex Ferguson’s side which was yet to become the title-winning machine it did later in the 90s. David Oldfield and Trevor Morley had City 2-0 up within 15 minutes with Ian Bishop making it 3-0 at half-time. There was a consolation goal from Mark Hughes but another from Oldfield and an Andy Hinchcliffe strike completed the rout. The game was marred by fighting in the stands after a large number of United fans got into the City end, delaying the match by eight minutes at one stage.
3. Man City 3-3 Man Utd - October 27th 1990

Another goal-fest at Maine Road as City stormed into at 3-1 win in a hope of repeating the hammering they gave United on the same ground a year earlier. This included a memorable goal from Colin Hendry, surging forward from the back, playing a one-two and slotting home. However, it wasn’t to be for the Citizens this time around, as a brace from Brian McClair in the 80th and 83rd minutes were enough to break the City fans’ hearts. City would finish 5th that year, one place and three points clear of United.
2. Man Utd 1-6 Man City - October 23 2011

This was United’s worst home defeat since 1955 and it was made even harder to take as it came against their local rivals. City were yet to win the Premier League in their new era of wealth and this was a serious warning shot to the rest of the Premier League that they were ready to compete with the very best. Mario Balotelli got the first two goals before Sergio Aguero made it 0-3 to Roberto Mancini’s side. Darren Fletcher got a consolation for the home side but they unravelled at the end as Eden Dzeko scored twice and David Silva netted at the death. City went on to win the title that season, dramatically sealing victory on the final game of the season.

1. Man Utd 4-3 Man City - September 20 2009

The most dramatic finish to a Manchester derby came in 2009 when Michael Owen proved to be the unlikely hero for the Red Devils. In a pulsating contest, United had lead three times and City had pegged them back after each goal. When Craig Bellamy made it 3-3 in the 90th minute it seemed that it was going to be an afternoon of frustration for the home team. But then Ryan Giggs found Michael Owen in the 96th minute with a sublime pass and the England hero slotted it home to seal an incredible win.

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