Over the last five years the Manchester derby has taken on a whole different meaning. Once it was just geographical, United dominated the landscape of English football whilst Manchester City struggled to hold down a place in the echelon of English football.
But in 2009 the noisy neighbours turned up at Old Trafford with a team that included Yaya Toure and former red Carlos Tevez. United had won three titles on the bounce but City were making noises that they’d be challenging for the trophy soon and on a hot summer’s day in September five years ago, one of the greatest Manchester derbies of recent times played out at Old Trafford.
Michael Owen’s 96th minute was controversial given the timing but it topped off an incredible match in which United had thrown the lead away on three occasions.
First, Gareth Barry cancelled out Wayne Rooney‘s opener after a gaff from Ben Foster and despite two goals from the inspirational Darren Fletcher, a brace of his own from Craig Bellamy ensured City would surely leave with a point after Rio Ferdinand’s horrendous error allowed the Welshman to equalise in the last minute.
The goal flattened the Theatre of Dreams until Michael Owen popped up with his first Old Trafford goal for the club in added time to added time. It left United fans delirious, Gary Neville sprinting down the touchline and a furious Mark Hughes storming down the tunnel after a cursory handshake with Sir Alex Ferguson. A superb game befitting of such rivalry.