The Manchester Derby

The Manchester Derby

During the golden years of Manchester United, when Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm, anything other than a victory against the noisy neighbours would have been deemed catastrophic. The latest match result has shown the shift of power from the red half of Manchester to the blue half. 

The 2-0 scoreline is not reflective of the match, and a combination of excellent goalkeeping from David De Gea and poor finishing from City flattered the most ardent United supporter. The defensive frailties of United once again came to the fore when Eric Bailly turned the ball into his own net after seven minutes. Chances were coming thick and fast, but only the brilliance of De Gea kept City from increasing their tally. It came as no surprise when another defensive blunder between Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire presented Bernardo Silva with an opportunity that he gleefully accepted.

United, 2-0 down at half-time, were expected to come out firing in the second half, but they looked flat and bereft of ideas. When they turned over possession, there was no pressing from the United players to get the ball back. They almost resigned themselves to a defeat that they may have considered acceptable compared to the 5-0 thrashing that they received at the hands of Liverpool a few weeks ago. Coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had no plan to change the game. He brought on Jadon Sancho, but he had little impact on the game. 

The rivalry between the Manchester teams dates back to 1881 when United beat City 3-0. Back then, United was known as Newton Heath, and City were called West Gorton. This rivalry continued through the years. The clubs have met a total of 184 times and 49 times in the Premier League. United winning 76 matches, City winning 55 with a total of 53 games drawn.  

United dominated this fixture in the 1990s after the formation of the Premier League – in fact, they went a decade without tasting defeat in Derby. The results since Ferguson’s retirement have tended to favour City, but the overall record in the Premier League is 49 matches played with United leading with 24 wins compared to City’s 16. There have been nine drawn matches. 

Man United vs Man City has proved to be a fiery fixture over the years, with eight red cards being dished out over the course of their matches. Cristiano Ronaldo is the only player to be sent off twice in this fixture, in 2006 and 2008. There have been some memorable wins for both teams in the derby, but no doubt the highlight for City was beating United 6-1 at Old Trafford in 2011. United’s biggest win in this fixture was in 1994 when they beat City 5-0 at Old Trafford. No player has scored more goals in this fixture than Wayne Rooney, who has netted 11 goals.

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