Manchester City v Manchester United. One of the biggest rivalries in English football reignites this weekend, as the Premier League’s top two face off at Old Trafford.
Ahead of Sunday’s showdown, we take a trip down memory lane to look at the incredible drama this fixture has thrown up in recent times.
From a former Liverpool legend performing heroics for United, to an injury-time mauling from the Citizens, here are the moments that have made this game unmissable.
Owen books his place in Man United history
Michael Owen arrived at Old Trafford having played 297 games for the Red Devils’ bitter rivals Liverpool. He’d also netted the winner against them in a League Cup Final six years prior. So he had plenty to do to win United fans over.
And he did so in spectacular fashion, one sunny day in September 2009.
This thrilling Manchester derby was tied at 3-3 in injury time. United had led three times on their own patch, only to allow Mark Hughes’ City back in every time.
Then, in the seventh minute of injury time, ex-United man Carlos Tevez gave away a cheap free-kick. The ball eventually reached Ryan Giggs, who slotted through to Owen.
The then 29-year-old took one touch, and slotted past Shay Given to send the home fans wild – and earn his place in United folklore.
Citizens run riot in late masterclass
With both clubs looking like serious title contenders, October 2011’s meeting at Old Trafford was expected to be a tight, tense affair. The outcome? United’s heaviest home defeat since 1955.
Mario Balotelli bagged the opener and wound up the home fans with his ‘Why Always Me?’ t-shirt. And things continued to go the visitors’ way. Jonny Evans’ red card was followed by two more City goals.
A City win was inevitable, though Darren Fletcher appeared to have added some respectability to the scoreline with a goal on 80 minutes. And then…
An over-confident United continued to push forward, and were ruthlessly punished on the break.
Edin Dzeko netted from a corner in the 90th minute, before David Silva struck superbly to make it 5-1. The Bosnian then bagged another on the counter attack, finishing off a flowing move to hit United for six and turn the Theatre of Dreams into a nightmare for Sir Alex Ferguson.
Dutch dynamo wins it at the death
After City pipped their rivals to the Premier League title in the most dramatic fashion in 2011-12, United were on the warpath at the Etihad.
The visitors raced into a 2-0 lead with a neatly-taken Wayne Rooney double. And it looked to be all over when Ashley Young netted after the break – only for the Red Devils’ winger to see his goal wrongly chalked off.
City pulled it back to 2-2, before once again this fixture gave us some unforgettable injury-time drama.
A last-gasp free-kick came United’s way. Step forth, Robin van Persie. The Dutchman’s effort clipped off Samir Nasri, before nestling in the corner of the net. Cue wild scenes in the away end, and a big step towards the title for Fergie’s boys.
Dzeko heaps misery on United boss Moyes
After months of underachievement in 2013-14, March’s 3-0 home defeat to Manchester City may well have been the match that sealed David Moyes’ fate. He was sacked just three games later.
City dominated their opponents at Old Trafford from the first whistle to the last. Dzeko found the net in the first minute, with an instinctive close-range finish.
By the time he got his and the Citizens’ second just after the interval, they could have easily been three or four goals ahead.
Yaya Toure finished things off for the visitors, who made it 3-0 and took another step towards their eventual Premier League title win.
Local lad Rashford makes derby history
With Marcus Rashford now a household name with 15 England caps under his belt, it’s easy to forget just how sudden and meteoric his rise was.
The lad from Wythenshawe made his debut in the 5-1 defeat of FC Midtjylland in February 2016, netting twice in the process. He then grabbed another brace – this time against Arsenal – in his second outing.
Both were impressive feats, but how would the 18-year-old fare less than a month later against a strong City side at the Etihad?
Very well, it turned out. Rashford bagged the only goal of the game 15 minutes in, and caused the Sky Blues problems throughout – with his energy and trickery.
In the process, he became the youngest ever player to score in a Manchester derby. To quote our own Chris Kamara, it was truly “unbelievable!”.
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