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Manchester United vs Manchester City: Five memorable derbies

Most of the hype this time has centred on the two coaches, Jose Mourinho of Manchester United and Pep Guardiola of Manchester City. Photograph: (Getty)

Reuters London, United Kingdom Sep 10, 2016, 09.58 AM (IST)
The arrival of old adversaries Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola into the respective Manchester United and Manchester City hotseats has made Saturday's Old Trafford derby one of the most eagerly-anticipated for years.

Unprecedented global viewing figures are expected for the lunchtime (5 pm India time) clash, 900 million by some estimates, while the starting line-ups are expected to be the most costly in the history of the sport.

Despite all the hype, however, the match will do well to live up to some of the Manchester derby tussles down the years.

Here are five of the most memorable:

April 1974 - Man United 0 Man City 1

One of the most talked-about derbies ever. Former United great Denis Law decided the match with a backheel but he refused to celebrate in front of the Old Trafford faithful, thinking his goal had condemned United to relegation from the top flight.

A pitch invasion meant the game was not completed but the result stood, although as it turned out United would have gone down anyway. Law, who scored 237 goals in 404 appearances for United, was draped in a United scarf by a fan soon after scoring and never played another league game for City.

September 2009 - Man United 4 Man City 3

Regarded as the most exciting derby ever, United were pegged back three times by big-spending City before Michael Owen scored a 96th-minute winner to spark delirium in the stands.

City, with a 100 million pounds worth of summer signings including former United striker Carlos Tevez, in their ranks were upwardly mobile with the new Abu Dhabi owners' investing heavily on dragging the club out of United's shadow.

Wayne Rooney put United ahead inside two minutes before Gareth Barry levelled for Mark Hughes's side. Darren Fletcher then headed home but Craig Bellamy levelled again.

Bellamy cancelled out another Fletcher goal in the final minute but as City searched for a winner United broke and Ryan Giggs's superb through ball found Owen who scored an unforgettable stoppage-time winner.

Hughes was sacked two months later and replaced by Roberto Mancini who eventually delivered the Premier League title.

October 2011 - Man United 1 Man City 6

A landmark early-season victory for City who delivered the ultimate slap in the face to their rivals by inflicting their worst home defeat since 1955, leaving United manager Alex Ferguson to rue his "worst ever day" in charge.

Mancini's side, who went on to snatch United's title on an epic final day of the season, were leading with Mario Balotelli goals either side of the interval and went on the rampage after United had Jonny Evans sent off.

Edin Dzeko also scored twice as the club Ferguson derided as "noisy neighbours" offered emphatic evidence of a shift in power in Britain's north west.

November 1993 - Man City 2 Man United 3

United talisman Eric Cantona often proved a thorn in City's side, scoring eight times in seven meetings, and so it proved again in a topsy-turvy clash at Maine Road.

United were smarting from a midweek Champions League exit against Galatasaray and things looked to be going from bad to worse when, against the run of play, Niall Quinn scored twice past Peter Schmeichel to give City a 2-0 halftime lead.

Mark Hughes was lucky not to receive a red card for United but they hit back with Cantona halving the deficit and levelling from a Ryan Giggs cross after 78 minutes.

Roy Keane arrived at the far post to turn in a late winner.

April 2001 - Man United 1 Man City 1

If any derby encapsulated the passions aroused by the fixture, this late-season offering was it. A messy game would not have stood out long in the memory but for an awful, and now infamous, knee-high assault by Roy Keane on Alf-Inge Haaland.

A long-running feud between the pair, stemming from when Haaland accused Keane of feigning injury while the Norwegian played for Leeds in 1997, boiled over when Keane produced a lunged in wildly with a tackle that left Haaland in a heap.

Keane, who was banned for three games, later admitted in his autobiography it had been a pre-meditated attack, saying he had "waited long enough".

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