It is always exciting to watch the two best English clubs with a long history of rivalry with each other fight to prove their footballing superiority. Just last season when City got away with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford, the Red Devils responded well and took their revenge by winning at the Etihad 3-2.
Below are the three most memorable Manchester derbies ever:
1963 Manchester derby
Manchester United and Manchester City battled an extremely important match in the 1962-63 season. The result of this derby match was very important for each team’s survival in the First Division.
To City fans’ mortification, their former hero Dennis Law was playing in this match as his first season for Manchester United. It was the Blues who took the dominating position early on as Alex Harley scored in the 9th minute to take the lead. They could have doubled their lead if their goal had not been disallowed for offside. The match also saw a fierce clash between the players resulting in the booking of Pat Crerand and Dave Wagstaffe.
As the game was nearing its end, Denis Law intercepted a City pass and could have scored a goal before he was brought down by City’s goalkeeper Harry Dowd. As a result, United was awarded a penalty. Albert Quixall took that penalty and scored. This draw meant that United stayed in the First Division while City was relegated to the Second Division.
1968 Manchester derby
This derby match was important for Manchester City to win the 1967-68 League title. The Blues had already lost the first derby match in which Sir Bobby Charlton had starred for United. In the second match though, City pulled off a special performance to win by 3-1 at Old Trafford. Joe Mercer, the City manager, later confessed that he was ‘in tears’ after winning the match.
Before the match, City was lagging 2 points behind the Red Devils who were also to play their European Cup semi-final match soon. City would later grab the league title by the difference of 2 points with the old rivals while United would later become the European champions.
When the game started, it was United who got the lead first. George Best scored a goal to which City responded very well. First, Colin Bell scored in the 18th minute, then George Heslop found the nets with a brilliant header. By the time Francis Lee scored, City had settled the fate of the game, but managed a victory against that season’s European Cup winning team.
1989 Manchester derby
This derby match in 1989 is popularly known as the ‘Demolition Derby’. Sir Alex Ferguson himself dubbed this match as “the most embarrassing defeat’ of his career. According to the legendary manager, he was so disappointed that he went directly to his bed after the match and could hardly answer his wife’s questions.
Fighting had broken out before the match causing 8 minutes delay. And when the game actually started, the Red Devils’ dismal defense was obvious. United’s Bryan Robson was not playing in this game and the expensive Gary Pallister was not playing well at all.
The Blues scored their first in just 11 minutes followed by four more by the end of time. David Oldfield scored 2 goals in the game while Trevor Morley, Ian Bishop and Andy Hinchliffe each added one more. The lone goal by Mark Hughes could make no difference to appease the United fans.
After the match, angry United fans were calling for the sacking of Sir Alex Ferguson, however, he was able to keep his job after winning the FA Cup that season.