Look back at five of City's best recent Manchester derby debut performances…

Pep Guardiola‘s side travel to Old Trafford on Sunday 29 October to contest the first meeting between the two city rivals in 2023/24.

During the 15:30 (UK) kick-off, there could be a first taste of this historic fixture for our summer recruits Mateo Kovacic, Josko Gvardiol, Jeremy Doku and Matheus Nunes.

Although none are strangers to high-pressured environments, they’ll be wanting to replicate the individual displays from those who have grabbed the headlines in their first derby matches.

Here we take a look at those who wasted little time in writing their name in Club folklore.


After scoring a remarkable 14 goals in his first eight City appearances, many were eagerly anticipating the Manchester derby of October 2022 – representing Erling Haaland’s first.

The prolific Norwegian frontman wasted little time in extending his sensational goalscoring exploits at the beginning of his sky blue career by hitting a hat-trick in a 6-3 win at the Etihad Stadium.

Guardiola’s side were 4-0 up at the interval thanks to two apiece from Phil Foden and Haaland which had the Etihad Stadium rocking.

Both players went on to complete their trebles in the second half, while goals from Antony and Anthony Martial (two) reduced the deficit for the visitors.


Similarly to Haaland, City’s record goalscorer Sergio Aguero enjoyed a superb start to life at the Etihad Stadium ahead of his first Manchester derby.

Having scored nine goals in 10 matches he struck the third goal in our epic 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October 2011 as Roberto Mancini’s side ripped through Manchester United.

Before the Argentine struck in impressive fashion by ghosting into the box and firing home a Micah Richards cross, a Mario Balotelli brace had already given us a strong lead.

The gloss was then added to result when an Edin Dzeko double and David Silva’s injury-time strike laid down a marker for a scintillating title race to come while also rendering Darren Fletcher’s goal as a consolation.


Not only was the clash in February 2008 Benjani’s first taste of a Manchester derby, but it was also his debut for the Club.

A late arrival from Portsmouth on transfer deadline day, the Zimbabwean made an incredible start to life at City with a fine header at Old Trafford in a 2-1 win for Sven-Goran Eriksson’s side.

Darius Vassell broke the deadlock against Sir Alex Ferguson’s men, and we doubled our advantage before half-time when Martin Petrov’s recycled corner was flicked home by Benjani – sending the away support wild.

Michael Carrick pulled a goal back after the interval which jangled a few nerves, but the day belonged to City’s newest recruit as we did the double over our city rivals.


Geovanni’s time at the Club ultimately proved short, but his deciding piledriver against Manchester United in 2007 ensured his stay will be sweetly remembered.

A new-look Blues under Eriksson had won our opening two games of the 2007/08 season and we extended that 100% record to three Premier League matches thanks to the Brazilian’s first-half strike.

In a hard-fought encounter, the summer signing from Cruzeiro unleashed a venomous effort from the edge of the area which proved to be the game’s only goal as we held on for a famous victory.


In an emotional affair in the last Manchester derby at Maine Road, Nicolas Anelka’s goal after just four minutes almost lifted the roof off our famous, old home in 2002.

The former France international showed his striker’s instinct to pinch the ball from Rio Ferdinand before slotting home after Fabien Barthez had failed to hold Shaun Goater’s effort.

Club legend, ‘the Goat’, would then go onto bag a memorable brace as Kevin Keegan’s exciting side won in impressive fashion.