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The biggest Manchester derby of all-time?
Few would argue. City had clawed back United’s lead at the top of the Premier League and going into what was the third from last game of the campaign, the Blues knew that victory would mean leaping above the Reds to pole position in the Premier League with just two games remaining.
It was a tight affair, with Sir Alex Ferguson’s United playing an uncharacteristically cagey game knowing a point would keep them in the box seat.
It was fairy-tale stuff for the skipper and it proved enough on the night with the Reds unable to respond. The rest, as they say, is history.
United had been thrashed 6-1 on their own turf two years prior to this derby at the Etihad and for 50 minutes of this match, looked on course for an even bigger thrashing.
The Blues were irrepressible. Sergio Aguero had put City ahead on 16 minutes and approaching half-time, the game was far from won. Then, a devastating 10 minutes for the hosts either side of half-time.
First, on 45 minutes, City doubled the lead when Yaya Toure scored and them two minutes after the re-start, Aguero made it 3-0. With United on the ropes and reeling, Samir Nasri struck a fourth with just 50 minutes gone and suddenly, it was only a case of how many the Blues would score.
As it turned out, a late consolation from Wayne Rooney was the only other goal of the game as City recorded a handsome 4-1 win – though it probably should have been more.
The game both sets of fans wanted and a repeat of the 1969 League Cup showdown, it was the Reds who drew first blood in the first leg of this Carling Cup clash, but this was to be Carlos Tevez’s night at an electric Etihad Stadium.
Trailing 0-1 five minutes before the break, Craig Bellamy was tugged back by Rafael just inside the box and referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot.
Tevez hammered home the penalty as then he sent the home crowd wild as he scored a second on 69 minutes, bravely stooping to head home Kompany’s cross and give the Blues something to defend in the second leg.
Ultimately, Rooney’s injury time header proved enough to edge the second leg, but there were happier days ahead for City…
The first City of Manchester Stadium (as once was) derby was, as it turned out, just as enjoyable as the final Maine Road battle of the Manchester giants was - though the Blues went one better on this occasion.
An early goal from Robbie Fowler (3 minutes) and a second from Jon Macken (32) gave the hosts a commanding 2-0 lead and though United pulled one back before the break through Paul Scholes, Trevor Sinclair added a third on 73.
With time running out, Shaun Wright-Phillips then scored one of the best derby goals in recent memory, picking the ball up on the right-hand touchline, jinking one way, then the other before slamming a drive in off the underside of the bar to make it 4-1 and send the City fans wild.
On paper, United looked strong favourites to win this game with the Blues, managed by Stuart Pearce, struggling to find any consistency in the league in mid-table.
The Reds knew that, with leaders Chelsea already 15 points clear at the top, any more slip-ups and any lingering hopes of catching the West Londoners would all but evaporate.
City were up for the challenge, however, and raced into a 2-0 lead with goals from Trevor Sinclair and Darius Vassell and then Cristiano Ronaldo was given his marching orders, much to the delight of the sell-out crowd.
The Reds pulled one back after the break but a late Robbie Fowler strike sealed the game and a satisfactory 3-1 win for the Blues.
We've got some rousing words from skipper Vincent Kompany, Premier League analysis from a former player, plus a detailed looked at manager Pep Guardiola's achievements from the New York Times to pick you up!