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The List: Demolition derbies

The Manchester derby has produced some exhilarating encounters over the years, matched by some score-lines to relish. Here, we count down City’s biggest victories over our neighbours…

2011: United 1 City 6

Even the most optimistic of City fans couldn’t have been expecting this scoreline when the Blues visited Old Trafford in 2011. On a glorious afternoon, Roberto Mancini’s men inflicted a humiliating defeat on Manchester United as they ran rampant on the Reds’ own turf. Mario Balotelli was quick off the mark with the opening goal, and after Jonny Evans was dismissed the Blues couldn’t stop scoring. A second for Balotelli, a Sergio Aguero strike, plus a late goal for David Silva and a brace for Edin Dzeko ensured that neither set of fans would forget this one in a hurry…


1898: City 4 United 0

On Boxing Day 1898, City fans received a late Christmas present when the Blues put four past their rivals – then known as Newton Heath. A Second Division fixture that season, it would prove the last derby for four years as City finished Champions to earn promotion to the Football League’s top table. Billy Meredith, Billie Gillespie, George Dougal and Fred Williams completed the scoring.

1926: United 1 City 6

A famous scoreline, but a slightly less famous game. This 6-1 took place on 23 January 1926, with City displaying the pedigree of Champions from the league triumph the previous season. A crowd of 48,000 watched on at Old Trafford as the Blues dealt out a thrashing. Unfortunately, they couldn’t maintain this scintillating form and were relegated to Division Two at the end of the season.

1930: City 4 United 1

Fans arrived at Maine Road for this October 1930 derby hoping to witness only City’s second win of the league season. The Blues made it worth the wait, putting four past Alfred Steward in the Manchester United goal. A brace each for Bobby Marshall and Bobby Tait secured the very welcome points, and sent the Blue half of Manchester home happy. City would go on to finish eighth in the league that season, while rivals United were relegated.  

1955: United 0 City 5

City forward and future England boss, Don Revie, was the star of this match, even though his name didn’t end up on the scoresheet. The hosts had no answer for the Blues’ maestro, who created chance after chance on the frozen pitch. Two goals apiece for Joe Hayes and Paddy Fagan plus one for Johnny Hart ensured the points and plenty of bragging rights accompanied City back to Maine Road.

1969: City 4 United 0

The derby encounter in November 1969 finished 4-0 to the Blues, but it might have been five – Francis Lee had the ball in the net but it transpired that the referee had blown up for half time just moments before the shot. A brace from Colin Bell, a magnificent strike from Neil Young and an own goal ensured City would not rue the decision for long.  

1970: United 1 City 4

A fine victory for the Blues at Old Trafford in December 1970 was marred by the injury to Glyn Pardoe. The versatile City man was sidelined for nearly two years after a tackle from George Best broke his leg in the fixture. The visitors were already 1-0 up at that stage thanks to a Neil Young strike, and a special Francis Lee hat-trick reflected City’s dominance. It was current assistant manager, Brian Kidd, who grabbed Manchester United’s consolation goal.

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1989: City 5 United 1 

More than 43,000 fans packed into Maine Road in September 1989 to see the Blues go 3-0 up by half-time in a derby classic. David Oldfield and Trevor Morley both found the net in the first 13 minutes, sending the City fans into dreamland.  Ian Bishop added a third and Oldfield doubled his tally before Andy Hinchcliffe rubbed salt into red wounds with a fifth. Mark Hughes’ solitary strike for United couldn’t console the away supporters who headed for the exits early, but in the home end it was party time.

2004: City 4 United 1

In the 2003-04 season Manchester United were fighting for the title while City were battling at the other end of the table, but that mattered little when the first derby at the City of Manchester Stadium rolled around in March. Robbie Fowler certainly enjoyed putting the home side ahead after just three minutes, and Jon Macken doubled the advantage before Paul Scholes found the net for the visitors. Trevor Sinclair and Shaun Wright-Phillips added their names to the scoreboard for a stunning victory. 

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