First vs second. Blue vs. Red. Pep vs. Jose. Manchester United vs. Manchester City. This weekend’s encounter between the two Manchester clubs has been built up to be the biggest derby yet.
It’s a derby that sees two of the worlds biggest managers going head to head. A heavy use of the checkbook bringing a total face-lift for both clubs. With town bragging rights up for grabs, both teams will be feeling the heat to perform and claim the psychological edge that is up for grabs. The Manchester derby has offered us with some spectacular and jaw-dropping moments over the last few seasons, so we’ll look at the top five.
THE TURF TOP FIVE
1. Gary Neville feeds the Goat
This one is a moment ‘real’ City fans will never forget. November 2002 saw the Citizen’s play their last ever Manchester Derby at their spiritual home of Maine Road. The match will be forever remembered for the heroics of City fan favourite Shaun Goater. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer canceled out Nicolas Anelka’s opener in the eighth minute, but Goater took matters in to his own hands. Goater was quick to pounce on Gary Neville’s mistake in the 26th minute, shooting past Fabien Barthez to give the Blues a 2-1 lead. Goater would then go on score City’s third goal of the game and reach a milestone of 100 career goals for the club.
2. Local lad Rashford wins it for United
In a league that has developed thanks to foreign influence, seeing local talent being thrown in to big games isn’t something you see very often. To everyone’s surprise, 18-year-old Marcus Rashford was called to lead the line for Red Devils. In his first senior Manchester Derby, Rashford had no qualms finding his feet, scoring the decisive goal giving United a much-needed win. The lively youngster latched on to Juan Mata’s through ball, while making a fool of Martin Demichellis in the process. Rashford slotted the ball past Joe Hart in the 15th minute with ease, and found himself becoming an instant favourite at Old Trafford.
3. Wayne Rooney stuns Old Trafford
February 2011 saw Wayne Rooney score arguably the best goal in Manchester Derby history. With the scores locked at 1-1 in the 77th minute, Nani found Wayne Rooney unmarked in the box. His picture perfect ball found the no.10 who produced a spectacular overhead volley to hit it past Joe Hart, and give Manchester United a boost in their bid for the league title.
4. Anyone for Fergie Time?
In a match that was described as ‘probably the best derby ever’ by Sir Alex Ferguson, United’s 4-3 win over their bitter local rivals was full of controversy. It was a game of back and forth as Wayne Rooney’s early goal was cancelled out by Gareth Bary in the first 15 minutes. In a repeat of the first half Scottish midfielder Darren Fletcher regained United’s lead. It looked all but over in the 90th, until Craig Bellamy became City’s savior, equalizing with a stunning curler. Both teams thought it was all but over, until unlikely hero Michael Owen put one past Shay Given in the 96th minute, sending the United faithful into raptures.
5. Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City
October 11th 2011 saw Manchester City claim their biggest derby win. The Sky Blues were title contenders that season and it showed when they traveled to Old Trafford to face their foes. City came out all guns blazing in the first half and were rewarded a goal thanks to Mario Balotelli in the 20th minute. With City heading into the break with a one-goal lead, no one would have expected the onslaught that was to come. Jonny Evans early second half send-off seemed to be the turning point in this derby. Balotelli clinched his brace and revealed to the world his ‘why always me’ shirt’, which became a famous memory in the derby’s recent history. Sergio Aguero, David Silva and Edin Dzeko went on a rampage, piling on four more goals to humiliate their neighbours.