MANCHESTER UNITED and Manchester City are set to lock horns again this weekend in a derby that’s had more than its fair share of flashpoints over the years.
Even before the rise of Manchester City to Premier League dominance, this was one of the most fierce rivalries in the world of football.
There have been eight red cards in 49 Premier League Manchester derby matches, with United’s Cristiano Ronaldo the only player to have been sent off more than once in the fixture (January 2006 and November 2008).
And ahead of the 187th meeting of the two bitter rivals we take a look back at the five most violent moments from Man City vs Man United clashes over the years.
Manchester Derby: Most violent moments from Man City vs Man United
5. Fellaini’s heinous headbutt
Marouane Fellaini saw red figuratively and literally for a headbutt on Sergio Aguero in this tempestuous Thursday night derby back in 2017. With the game goalless, Fellaini caught the Argentine striker with a clumsy challenge late on, wiping him out from the side and bundling him over.
Not content with scything him down, the Belgian then proceeded to stick the nut on Aguero when he stood up to complain about his rough treatment. Fellaini and about six other United players surrounded the referee to protest but the red card had already been brandished and the midfielder was forced to accept his fate.
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) April 27, 2017
4. Ferdinand left bloodied by coin
Rio Ferdinand paid a hefty price after celebrating Robin van Persie’s winning goal in front the Manchester City fans at the Etihad in 2012. Ferdinand tweeted that he was hit by a 2p coin after the pulsating clash that United won 3-2.
“Whoever threw that coin, what a shot!” Ferdinand tweeted subsequently. “Can’t believe it was a copper 2p… could have at least been a £1 coin!” While trying to recover, a Manchester City fan ran on the pitch towards the United ace but was stopped by City goalkeeper Joe Hart before he could reach his target.
— Steve (@toontoon999) January 14, 2019
3. Scholes studs up on Zabaleta
This outrageous tackle left Zabaleta with a studded leg and Scholes with a long walk off the pitch as United were dumped out of the FA Cup by their rivals in 2011. The high, late and violent tackle put the seal on Manchester United’s semi-final cup exit after Scholes had only just come back from suspension after racking up ten yellow cards.
An unimpressed Sir Alex Ferguson said: “We have seen it before from him. He went in initially to get the ball but when it bounced up, he went too high. It has happened and we have to live with it because he has given us some great moments in his career.”
Very much “Paul Scholes vs Pablo Zabaleta, FA Cup semi in 2011” vibes. Definite red. https://t.co/PcScPA1QGB
— Chris Prior (@_ChrisPrior) October 9, 2021
2. Royal rumble in Old Trafford tunnel
This Battle Royale saw Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho hit on the head by an plastic bottle, have water squirted at him and get doused with milk from a flying carton as a melee ensued involving some 20 players and staff. Mourinho had reportedly demanded City players show ‘more respect’ as music blared out of their dressing room following their 2-1 victory.
Witnesses said some players tried to swing punches while police looked on in disbelief. Manchester City coach Mikel Arteta, one of Pep Guardiola’s assistants, received a cut to the head which left him bleeding. Spanish radio station Cadena SER have claimed that Arteta’s injury was caused by a bottle thrown by United striker Romelu Lukaku during the incident.
1. Keane’s infamous revenge
1. Roy Keane on Alf-Inge Haaland
Manchester United vs Manchester City, April 2001
There is no better – or worse – place to finish this list than Roy Keane’s shocking tackle on Alf-Inge Haland in the Manchester derby. pic.twitter.com/Vty7CZI3dh
— IG : Footybibleuk (@footybible_uk) April 27, 2020
Without a doubt the most violent Manchester derby incident is Roy Keane’s evisceration of Alf Inge-Haaland. Late in April 2001’s 1-1 draw, the combustible Irishman launched himself at Haaland, who had accused him of feigning injury while the Norwegian played for Leeds in September 1997. Keane took his frustrations out on the City man with a heinous knee-high tackle that left the defender in a crumpled heap.
Keane was originally slapped with a three-game ban and £5k fine, but after later admitting in his autobiography that he’d “waited long enough… I f***ing hit him hard. Take that you c***,” it became reasonably clear this was no accident.
With the stakes high ahead of this Manchester derby once again if you want to back a red card in the game Paddy Power have priced it up at 3/1 here.
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