Dubbed the “greatest derby ever” before a ball had even been kicked, yesterday’s contest proved exactly that – for the Blue half of Manchester at least!
Roberto Mancini’s 100th game in charge set the perfect backdrop to inflict the heaviest defeat of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 54-year career.
The 6-1 reverse was United’s first defeat at home since April 2010. Old Trafford had proved an impregnable fortress over the last 18 months – the Red Devils unbeaten in 25 and on a run of 19 consecutive home wins – but both records were smashed as City achieved only their second victory across Manchester since April 1974.
Not since a similar 5-0 derby day drubbing in February 1955 have United suffered such a heavy home defeat and while it was only the fourth time that City had put more than four past their arch rivals, it was also the first time since 1930 that the Reds have shipped six on home soil as they slipped to their heaviest ever Premier League loss.
Despite equalling the club’s biggest ever derby day goal margin with a repeat of the 1926 6-1 drubbing and surpassing the epic 5-1 derby win of September 1989, Roberto Mancini was right to be cautious in his post-match interviews, undoubtedly aware that United suffered 5-0 thrashings at the hands of rivals Newcastle and Chelsea during their title-winning seasons of 1996 and 1999 respectively.
Encouragingly, City’s start to the season far outdoes the five wins, one draw and three losses from the start to the 1967/68 title-winning campaign, City’s ‘super six’ doubled the amount of goals that United had conceded in their previous eight matches, while the Blues current total tally of 33 smashed the record for goals scored in the opening nine games of a Premier League campaign.