Over the last decade or so, I think it’s fair to suggest that the Manchester derby has become more meaningful for United fans. Before the Sheikh’s oil money was delivered by the barrel at Eastlands, the Red Devils always used to look for games against Liverpool, Arsenal and even Chelsea.
Now, though, whether we like it or not our ‘noisy neighbours’ are here to stay. City, with Pep Guardiola at the helm are a real force. Tomorrow night at Old Trafford is probably the biggest encounter between the sides over the last five years.
For United, a place in next season’s Champions League could potentially be at stake while City are battling hard to win a Premier League title. As usual, bragging rights are firmly up for grabs.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to run down our top five derby day moments over recent years. These aren’t in any particular order, but there have been some cracking moments over the last decade or so…
Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick to win the 2011 derby 2-1.
Who can forget this one? The game was tight and on a knife edge. The fact that Wayne Rooney had the audacity to even attempt this tells you everything you need to know about just how well he was playing that season. Then to have the technique to execute it, under such pressure, was sensational.
This’ll always live long in our memories, while also probably being the best goal ever scored in a Manchester derby.
Manchester United’s 3-2 comeback win at The Etihad in 2018 to deny City the title.
United were 2-0 down at half-time, Jose Mourinho’s men were about to gift the Premier League title to City on derby day. Up steps Paul Pogba who put in an outrageously good second-half to turn the game on its head and silence The Etihad.
A Chris Smalling winner would seal all three points for United. Sure, City may have gone on to win the title but at least we spared our blushes and didn’t give them another stick to beat us with…
Robin van Persie injury time winer at The Etihad, United win it 3-2.
City had won the title the season before, United had to make a statement to wrestle it back. Robin van Persie was signed, what a season he had on the way to #20. His title-sealing hat-trick against Aston Villa was pretty special, but an equally important goal was scored in the 92nd minute of a crucial derby at Eastlands.
That’s why Robin van Persie was signed by Manchester United, Gary Neville stated on commentary. This game was key in the run-in to Sir Alex Ferguson’s final Premier League title in charge at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes’ late winner at The Etihad in 2010.
Just as City were starting to become a force at the turn of the decade, Paul Scholes stuck a dagger right through City hearts in injury time with a brilliant header.
I vaguely remember the celebration being rather disappointing, but what a time to strike, what a time to score and what a message Scholes sent to the old enemy.
Michael Owen’s 96th minute strike as United win 4-3 at Old Trafford.
This is probably the most dramatic derby I’ve watched over the last ten years or so. United led three times as City kept responding. The perfect way to ensure that doesn’t happen again? Score in the 96th minute to give your rivals no chance whatsoever.
That’s exactly what Michael Owen did in what was his finest moment in United colours. He’d go on to win a Premier League title at Old Trafford. Something he never managed while at Liverpool (haha).