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Was the 44-pass Manchester derby goal the best?

City’s stunning third goal against United wooed the Etihad and Match of the Day pundits alike.

It was described as ‘perfect’ by Alan Shearer and as the goal was replayed, it wasn’t hard to understand why.

It wasn’t just a case of passing for passing’s sake – there was intricate triangles, incisive threaded balls, clever movement, shimmies and feints before Bernardo’s superb cross found Ilkay Gundogan to seal three points and settle the 177th Manchester derby.

But was it the best the best derby goal ever scored?

Here are five contenders that, at the very least, were in the same neighbourhood…

Andy Hinchcliffe 1989

City’s fifth and final goal in this derby almost blew the roof off Maine Road.

Trevor Morley won possession on the halfway line and then played a simple ball to Ian Bishop.

Bishop looked up, spotted the run of David White on the right wing and played a 30-yard pass to his feet.

All White had to do was look up and then cross the ball in – which he did to perfection – and left-back Hinchcliffe met the cross full on to power an unstoppable header past United keeper Jim Leighton and complete an unforgettable 5-1 win over the Reds.

Sergio Aguero 2014

The move for this memorable effort began when Matija Nastasic cleared the ball with a headed pass to Samir Nasri.

Nasri took the ball forward down the left and waited for support – when it arrived in the shape of Aleks Kolarov’s overlapping run, Nasri back-heeled the ball into the Serbian’s path and the resulting cross picked out Sergio Aguero who adjusted his run to volley home from six yards.

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City v United: Brief highlights

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Mario Balotelli, 2011

A quickfire passing move down the right was enough to undo the Reds and double City’s lead.

David Silva played a short ball to Micah Richards who, in turn, played out wide to James Milner.

Milner spotted Silva in space on the corner of the box, passed it and then saw space to run into – and did – and Siva slipped a reverse pass into his path and with all the time in the world, Milner crossed low to the far post and Mario Balotelli made no mistake from a few yards out.

A classy team goal that put the Blues en route to a 6-1 triumph.

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Highlights

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United v City: 60 second highlights

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Ian Bishop, 1989

Another goal from the 5-1 win.

This move began when Steve Redmond cut out a pass near the edge of the City box.

The Reds, already 2-0 down, had left gaps at the back and Redmond played the ball to Paul Lake before receiving it back on the right flank.

The City skipper hit a precision pass down the right wing to David Oldfield who skipped away from one challenge before sending a cross into the box where the diving head of Bishop headed home City’s third just before the break.

Cue mayhem around Maine Road.

Kevin De Bruyne 2016

Certainly not a 44-pass team goal, but one that started with the goalkeeper and was in United’s net 10 second later!

Claudio Bravo played a short pass to Aleks Kolarov who looked up-field and played a 60-yard pass towards Kelechi Iheanacho.

The Nigerian striker glanced the ball backwards and De Bruyne just nipped in ahead of the United defender to run clear on goal before slotting a low shot past David De Gea to give the Blues the lead at Old Trafford.

ALL SMILES: Fernandinho, Nolito and Iheanacho after the second goal

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United v City: Brief highlights

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So, just five crackers – you may have your favourites – but these weren’t bad!

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