There have been some phenomenal Manchester derby matches over the past 119 years with the first one being a seven goal thriller with the then Newton Heath triumphing over Manchester City with a 5-2 victory at Hyde Road.
Since then, the early 20th century saw both teams battle out very tight games and following the emergence of the blue side of Manchester and thanks to their financial power, games have become tighter than ever.
But what are the best five matches that have happened between the two Manchester clubs over the years?
5. Manchester United 5-1 Manchester City | Saturday 31st December 1960.
Just 22 months after the Munich Air Disaster, United recorded their second biggest win over their arch rivals Manchester City. It was a team which was mainly comprised of United’s younger crop of players due to the loss of the main set of their first team squad in the tragedy of February. Led by a fully fit Matt Busby who had recovered from the crash, United played in front of a crowd of 61,213 at Old Trafford.
And they didn’t disappoint. United ran away with a 5-1 victory thanks to two Bobby Charlton goals and a hat-trick from the then Scottish sensation Alex Dawson who remarkably missed the flight from Munich. United finished the 1960/61 season in seventh place with a young Bobby Charlton leading the way in terms of goals with 21 in all competitions.
4. Manchester City 3-4 Manchester United | Wednesday 5 May 1971
This result came just as United had finished a very successful decade with the club winning no less than six major trophies between 1960 and 1970. In a team that included some of the greatest players to grace the home dressing room at Old Trafford with the likes of Law, Best, Crerand, Charlton and Stepney all in the United XI, the game was set to be a thriller – and it was.
United battled to a 4-3 win with a brace from Best and goals from Charlton and Law which sealed a magnificent victory. Despite the win, United finished a disappointing eighth place in the first division under the guidance of Sir Matt Busby who was in his second spell of management at the club after Wilf McGuinness was sacked in late December of 1970.
3. Manchester United 5-0 Manchester City | Thursday 10 November 1994
United’s biggest victory over Manchester City came back in the 1994/95 when they destroyed City as they played in front of a crowd of 43,738 at Old Trafford. Having won the double in 1993/94, United were always the favourite’s to beat City who had finished a disappointing 16th in the previous season.
United took the lead lead through King Eric but he was to be out done by a superb hat-trick from Andrei Kanchelskis. Mark Hughes all but ended the tie in the 70th minute with his only goal of the game and Kanchelskis grabbed his third just before the final whistle. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop United losing the title on the last day of the season…
2. Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United | Sunday 9 December 2012
In the 2011/12, United cruelly had the title stolen by the last kick of the Premier League season as City won their first league title since 1968. So, United were going into the winter warmer clash with revenge in the back of their minds.
Two early Wayne Rooney goals put United in a commanding position at half time but City gave themselves some hope as Yaya Toure powered through to make the scoreline 2-1 to United with half an hour left. Pablo Zabaleta then completed what we thought was the Manchester City comeback with a low strike in the 86th minute.
But with only one minute of added time remaining, Robin Van Persie’s free kick deflected off City’s wall and nestled in Joe Hart’s goal. Euphoria. What a derby debut from van Persie.
The Etihad was flooded with chants from the United end with the Poznan no where to be seen. ‘Oh it’s all gone quiet over there’. City’s unbeaten home run had gone, United were now cruising at the top of the Premier League and since then, we’ve never looked back.
1. Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City | Sunday 20 September 2009
Without doubt the greatest, most tense and unpredictable derby. In front of a full house, United went ahead early on as Wayne Rooney fired home in the second minute but City quickly replied through Gareth Barry.
With the scores 1-1 at half time, the game looked like it had more goals in it and the second half didn’t disappoint. Darren Fletcher put United ahead in the 49th minute but like the first goal, it brought a reaction out of City and Craig Bellamy equalised just three minutes later.
It was like a game of ice hockey, end to end action. Darren Fletcher then grabbed his second in the 80th minute and it looked like United had won it, but no – Craig Bellamy equalised with just three seconds of the 90 minutes to be played.
Both teams pressed and looked for a winner in added time but with the game all but finished and the referee with his whistle in his mouth, Michael Owen latched onto a pinpoint Ryan Giggs pass to poke past Shay Given in the 96th minute – Fergie time. Cue madness at Old Trafford.
What a game, what a day, what a result. Undoubtedly the greatest ever Manchester derby.