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City vs United: The Top 5 Manchester Derbies (as voted for by you!)

We’re on the last few days of the countdown before the Manchester derby arrives. Have the nerves kicked in yet? If not, they’re sure to soon.

Last week, I was asked to pick my top five Manchester derbies from across the years, and realistically there wasn’t a chance I would be able to narrow it down. As a result, we asked City Watch readers to vote for their favourite clash and we now have our five.

We’ve been treated to some absolute crackers, so I thought there should be an honorary mention for 3-1 victory in 2002 – famous for “feed the Goat and he will score”, when Gary Neville courteously slipped Shaun Goater through on goal.

5) Manchester City 5-1 Manchester United (Maine Road, 1989)

Coming in at number five is one for the older generation, a game in which the Blues quite easily dispatched of that lot from Stretford in a six goal thriller. United had splashed the cash (United don’t spend money though, remember, they earn it) under a new owner, and Ferguson’s men would have taken the short trip to Maine Road in high hopes – expecting to cast City aside.

However, it wasn’t to be, goals from Oldfield (x2), Morley, Bishop and Hinchcliffe were enough to seal victory in what was a truly tight game in Moss Side, with City fans leaving the ground to a chorus of “easy” and “Ferguson out”.

4) Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United (Etihad Stadium, 2013)

Another game in which we had easily tossed aside United on home turf, this time courtesy of Sergio Aguero, Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri and well known football genius David Moyes.

The home side had no mercy on a poor United side, going into the break with a 2-0 lead. City were quick to capitalise after an inspirational team talk from Moyeseh, with Aguero and Nasri doubling the lead within 5 minutes of the second half.

A late free kick from Shrek wasn’t enough to save United from an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Manuel Pellegrini’s men, with City providing loyal supporters another reason to leave the ground to a chorus of “easy”.

3) Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (Wembley Stadium, 2011)

Well, well, well. It was the year that Manchester City were to reach a Wembley final, thanks to a 1-0 victory over arch rivals Manchester United. It was the year that Manchester City then went on to lift the famous FA Cup trophy, the first piece of silverware for 35 years.

Around 40,000 Mancs took the trip down the London, where they were to collide with 40,000 cockneys (that old chestnut), and it was the Mancs who would come out victorious.

Roberto Mancini had stated that Manchester City would reach the FA Cup final after he watched his side fall to a 3-0 hammering at Anfield the Monday before, and that they did.

It was of course Yaya Toure who came up with the goods during the second half, with a blistering strike almost bursting Edwin Van der Sar’s goal and leaving the Dutch goalkeeper helpless.

Then there was Mario Balotelli – rarely far from controversy. The Italian stirred up a bit of trouble after brandishing the Manchester City badge towards already angry United fans, prompting a reaction from Rio Ferdinand and Anderson.

It was Manchester City who were victorious that day, returning to Manchester with a Wembley memory to cherish.

2) Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United (Etihad Stadium, 2012)

Phenomenally, Mancini’s men had somehow nearly completed the turnaround of an eight point deficit, and a win against Manchester United would see them leapfrog Fergie’s side into first place with only a few games remaining.

We’re all familiar with how that season ended, the best Premier League title race of all time – it went something along the lines of “Manchester City are still alive here… Balotelli… Agueroooooooo!”.

En route to that famous and last day was possibly one of the most high pressure derbies in a long time, where points dropped wasn’t a real option for either side (although a draw could have suited United), a real six pointer.

Cometh the hour, cometh the captain.

Who better to step up to the mark than inspirational skipper and adopted Manc, Vincent Kompany? The centre back’s stoppage time header in the first half was enough to ensure that the blue half of Manchester would be sat firmly within the driving seat, a far superior goal difference allowing them to place one hand on the prestigious Premier League trophy.

A true Manchester derby, with so much at stake, it was one where passion shone bright. You could see what it meant, as Kompany’s celebration nearly lifted him outside of the stadium.

We are now down to number one, and I’m sure you have all noticed the absence of it so far. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that you have guessed it, it is of course the tantalising game that had us all on the edge of our seats – the marvellous 0-0 draw in 2010, the Manchester derby at it’s finest!

You may also have noticed the hint of sarcasm there, so, of course, the best Manchester derby as voted by you, was the 6-1 demolition of Manchester United at Old Trafford.

1) Manchester United 1-6 (SIX) Manchester City (Old Trafford, 2011)

The day that City showed that they really had arrived – leaving their unforgiving mark on Manchester United. The day that City left a sick swan in Stretford. The day that the tables in Manchester really turned.

It’s a game that doesn’t need much bigging up, as Mike Summerbee said to City Watch earlier this week – “it will take a lot of beating”.

United, not just beaten, humiliated.

Edin Dzeko asking how many.

A pinpoint pass from David Silva, carving through the United defence.

*That* Mancini smile.

Mark Clattenburg actually sending off a United player at Old Trafford.

The game had everything you could possibly hope for – and of course, Mario Balotelli and the famous “Why Always Me?”.

It’s a day we could relive thousands of times without ever getting bored, so let’s have a quick recap:

  1. Mario Balotelli opens the scoring with the first 25 minutes, revealing his famous “why always me?” undershirt.
  2. The score is then doubled 15 minutes into the second half, with Balotelli capping off a magnificent Manchester City move.
  3. Number three came not long after, with Sergio Aguero adding salt to the wounds.
  4. Believe it or not, number four comes just a few minutes before the end of the game, with Joleon Lescott producing a rare assist for an Edin Dzeko goal.
  5. David Silva then inflicted more pain on the already fallen Stretford army, making the score 1-5 just in the 91st minute.
  6. And we get to number six, the most perfect pass you will ever see slices through the Manchester United men much to Fergie’s delight, with Edin Dzeko slotting the ball passed the helpless David de Gea – remember though, you shall not pass.

And there you have it, the top 5 Manchester derbies as voted for by you. Will Sunday’s game produce yet another memorable clash? Only time will tell.

In my opinion, there’s absolutely no doubt that passion is going to be the deciding factor. Both sides are playing relatively poorly, and this will be the main contributor to the outcome.

The 171st Manchester derby is nearly upon us – feeling nervous yet?

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