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Manchester Derby – 10 defining moments in the Man Utd vs Man City rivalry

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The Manchester derby is widely viewed as one of the biggest football rivalries in the world.

Meetings between City and United often produce memorable moments, and that has certainly been the case over the past few years.

Ahead of the Premier League clash between the two sides on Sunday, we look at 10 recent defining moments of the rivalry.

Benjani shows United no mercy

United staged a memorial for the 50-year anniversary of the Munich air disaster ahead of their game against City in February 2008.

The City fans and players showed their class by playing a respectful part in proceedings, but the gloves came off when the action got underway.

Goals from Darius Vassell and Benjani secured a 2-1 victory for City – the first time they had won at Old Trafford in the league since 1974.

Owen the unlikely hero

The two sides started the 2009/10 Premier League campaign in fine form, with each racking up four successive wins ahead of their meeting in September.

The game was an entertaining affair that looked destined to end as a 3-3 draw when City forward Craig Bellamy scored a late equaliser.

However, Michael Owen’s goal in the sixth minute of stoppage time sealed a memorable victory for United.

Pucker up Paul

The derby game in April 2010 was a dull affair, with neither side able to create much in the way of clear-cut chances during the 90 minutes.

United eventually secured the victory courtesy of a 93rd-minute header by Paul Scholes – sparking an unusual celebration from Gary Neville.

All that was missing from Neville’s kiss on Scholes’ lips was a smoochy backing track – Sky Sports missed a trick with that one!

Rooney rocks Old Trafford

Wayne Rooney produced one of the most memorable moments in Premier League history with the winner against City in February 2011.

His overhead kick sealed a memorable 2-1 win as United continued their march towards another league title.

Rooney subsequently described the goal as his most important for the Red Devils – it is difficult to argue with that assessment.

City end trophy wait

City had gone 35 years without winning a major trophy, but they finally ended their long wait by lifting the FA Cup in 2011.

Yaya Toure was the driving force behind their success, bagging the winner against United in the semi-final.

The Ivorian also scored the only goal in the final as City edged home against Stoke City to end their long wait for silverware.

‘Why always me?’

The first derby of the 2011/12 season produced a famous goal celebration after Mario Balotelli put City in front.

Balotelli’s unpredictable nature often saw him court controversy, and he decided the embrace this ethos by revealing a ‘Why always me?’ T-shirt after scoring.

City went on to demolish United after Jonny Evans was sent-off, adding another five goals to secure an impressive 6-1 win.

Kompany breaks United’s hearts

Later the same season, United were eight points ahead of City with six games remaining, and the title looked to be theirs.

However, City narrowed the gap to three points before defeating United 1-0 to move to the top of the table on goal difference.

Vincent Kompany’s headed goal was the difference between the two sides and set up the famous ‘Aguerooooooo’ moment on the final day.

United bounce back

United gained their revenge the following season, winning the title by an 11-point margin ahead of City.

Robin van Persie was the difference-maker for United, bagging 26 goals to finish as the Premier League’s top scorer.

The Dutchman’s superb free-kick against City in December 2012 was a standout moment, helping United snatch a valuable 3-2 win.

City celebrations delayed

United were party-poopers in April 2018, delaying City’s relentless march to the title with a superb comeback victory.

City looked well on their way when they opened up a two-goal lead, but United roared back after the break to record a 3-2 victory.

Pep Guardiola’s side eventually got the job done, but at least United didn’t have to witness them celebrating their success.

United hand initiative to Liverpool

United produced a stunning counter-attacking performance to put a massive dent in City’s title hopes in December 2019.

Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial put United 2-0 in front, and although Nicolas Otamendi pulled one back for City, the result was never in doubt.

However, the result was a bitter-sweet one for United as it improved Liverpool’s hopes of ending their long wait to win their first-ever Premier League title.

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