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Dublin: 4°C Friday 22 January 2021

'Welcome to Manchester': The Top 6 City/United derby moments

Do you remember the goal that relegated Manchester United?

FEW WILL HAVE predicted just a couple of months ago that this weekend’s Manchester derby would kick off with United sitting above their ‘noisy neighbours’ in the Premier League table.

The dramatic change in fortunes has only added to a fixture that has a long history filled with drama, goals and memorable moments.

From Roy Keane’s infamous tackle to Michael Owen’s late late winner, we’ve picked out six of our favourites moments as we gear up for Super Sunday…

6. RVP’s Stoppage Time Free-Kick

Source: Toon Noravich/YouTube

It was the moment Roberto Mancini had feared from the day the deal was done. Robin Van Persie’s move to Manchester United had been the big talking point from the summer’s transfer window and people wondered could he fire them to their 20th league title.

The moment came in December 2012, as Van Persie stood over the ball on the edge of City’s penalty area in second-half injury time. Wayne Rooney had fired United into a 2-0 lead before goals from Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta brought the home side back level.

Not only did the goal set United on a path to winning the 2013 Premier League title but it will also be remembered as Sir Alex’s last derby at City.

5. ‘Why Always Me?’

Source: TheLovelyberry123/YouTube

The first derby of the 2011/12 season ended in disaster for Manchester United. After Jonny Evans was sent off early in the second half, the wheels came off for the Sir Alex’s men.

Manchester City ended up putting an unprecedented six goals past their rivals that day, scoring five in the final 30 minutes. The fact that United were the home side made it all the more humiliating.

One of the lasting memories from this derby will be Mario Balotelli’s first half goal and his celebration, where he unveiled his “Why Always Me?” t-shirt.

r4. Denis Law relegates United

Source: rednumber9/YouTube

Denis Law’s derby winner for City at Old Trafford in 1974 might not be one of the first moments to sprint to mind, especially for younger fans, but it is remembered very fondly by the blue half of the city.

It’s known as the goal that relegated Manchester United. The man who had represented United for 11 years himself, scored the back-heel that confirmed they would drop down to the second division for the very first time.

3. Michael Owen’s late winner

Source: stani2829/YouTube

A back-and-forth derby in September 2009 seemed destined to end in a stalemate when Craig Bellamy scored a 90th minute goal to draw City level at 3-3.

But as the game went deep into “Fergie Time”, Michael Owen took a pass from Ryan Giggs and found himself in space in the City penalty area. He poked the ball past on onrushing Shay Given and sent the fans at Old Trafford crazy.

2. Kompany’s title-winning header

Source: TheQuality786/YouTube

This was a season defining game for Manchester City. Vincent Kompany’s header put them top on goal difference, just three weeks after they had trailed United by eight points.

The win sent City on their way to that famous Aguero goal on the final day of the season, and their first championship for 44 years.

1. Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick

Source: shauf6/YouTube

Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick at Old Trafford in February 2011 is undoubtedly our number one. With the sides level, Nani’s deflected cross managed to wrong foot everyone in the City box. Everyone except Wayne Rooney.

It remains the only time a commentator has mentioned “beauty” and “Rooney” in the same breath.

The best of the rest:

Roy Keane’s challenge on Alfie

roy-keane-on-haaland-vicious-soccer-tackles Source: Totalprosports

Yaya’s Wembley Winner

Source: thefacup/YouTube

  Feed the Goat!

Source: soakpatrolalpha/YouTube

Benjani spoils the party

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford Source: EMPICS Sport

They are our favourite moments – but what do United and City fans think? What are your favourite moments from down the years? 

– First published 06.30

Read: Reinvention or departure? What now for Van Persie at Manchester United?

Read: How the once-maligned Marouane Fellaini is key to Man United’s resurgence

About the author:

Donal Lucey

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