Monday 21 October 2019

Five Manchester derbies that made a difference

A look at some high-stake Manchester derbies.

David Silva
David Silva

By Andy Hampson, Press Association Sport

Manchester City host rivals Manchester United on Saturday knowing that victory will see them secure the Premier League title.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at some other Manchester derbies when the stakes have been high.

March 1968, First Division: Man Utd 1 Man City 3

Francis Lee was on target when City won at United in 1968

United led City by two points at the top of the table but the side from Maine Road swung the title race in their favour by coming from behind at Old Trafford. George Best opened the scoring for United with an individual effort after just one minute but Colin Bell levelled. Centre-back George Heslop headed City ahead before Francis Lee wrapped up a famous win from the spot. City went on to become champions two months later but United eclipsed them by winning the European Cup.

April 1974, First Division: Man Utd 0 Man City 1

Denis Law's final act for City all but confirmed United would be relegated

Denis Law was crestfallen as he scored for City with an audacious backheal against United – a goal which he knew meant his former club would probably be relegated. The Red Devils had needed to win to have any hope of avoiding the drop and Law’s lack of celebration, underling his love for a club where he is revered, indicated their chances were gone. In the end it did not matter as results elsewhere rendered the scoreline academic, but Law was so upset he never kicked a ball competitively again.

April 2011, FA Cup semi-final: Man City 1 Man Utd 0

Yaya Toure fired City to victory at Wembley

United held a stranglehold over their neighbours in derby meetings throughout the 1990s and early 2000s but City’s deserved Wembley victory underlined their emergence as a force following their 2008 takeover by Sheikh Mansour. Yaya Toure scored the only goal of the game early in the second half, with United’s frustrations compounded late on by the sending off of Paul Scholes. City went on to win the trophy, ending a 35-year wait for silverware.

April 2012, Premier League: Man City 1 Man Utd 0

Vincent Kompany's header put City in control of the title race in 2012

A title race of numerous twists and turns seemed over when City lost at Arsenal to fall eight points behind United with six games remaining. But Roberto Mancini’s men rallied and headed into the derby, their third last game of the season, trailing by just three points. Vincent Kompany then headed the only goal on a tense night at the Etihad Stadium to send City top on goal difference. They went on to clinch the title, albeit in even more dramatic circumstances on the final day.

December 2017, Premier League: Man Utd 1 Man City 2

Pep Guardiola's City claimed a significant win over United in December

City took complete control of the Premier League with this victory over their closest rivals. Defeat would have pulled United back within five points but goals from David Silva and Nicolas Otamendi, either side of a Marcus Rashford effort, saw City stretch their advantage at the top to 11 points. Headlines afterwards were chiefly made by clashes outside the dressing rooms but the title race has seemed a procession for City ever since.

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