The most expensive football game in history kicked off last weekend, with both squads boasting a combined value of over £600 million; the entire world was waiting in anticipation to see who will take the first step in the race to the Premier League title. Old Trafford provides the setting for these two huge titans to go to battle and with superstars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Paul Pogba and Kevin De Bruyne all on show we are sure that this is a contest you will not want to miss… But just in case you were teetering between the live action on Sky Sports 1 or a re-run of The Great British Bake Off were going to refresh your memory with some classic derby games of the past.
Man United 1-1 Man City, April 2001
This game isn’t remembered for its football, but the bitter ending of a four-year feud between Roy Keane and Alf-Inge Haland.
The story is familiar: Keane, still furious after Haland accused him of feigning injury when he played for Leeds in September 1997, 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 hit him hard. Take that” it became reasonably clear this was no accident.
Man United 4 – 3 Man City, Sep 2009
This was potentially the best derby of all time. United took the lead in this game three times, only to be pegged back by City each time.
Wayne Rooney slotted Sir Alex Ferguson’s men ahead inside two minutes, before City’s Gareth Barry bagged his first goal. Darren Fletcher headed home four minutes after the break, only for Craig Bellamy to curl home a beauty from the edge of the box soon after.
Fletcher would provide another with a header 10 minutes from time only for Bellamy, once again, to pounce in the last minute after Rio Ferdinand’s horrific blunder.
But that wasn’t the end. Deep into stoppage-time – the 96th minute to be exact – Ryan Giggs’s sumptuous through-ball found Michael Owen, who produced his most (and only?) memorable United moment to send Old Trafford into raptures.
Man United 2 – 1 Man City, Feb 2011
We all remember that goal right? One of the greatest goals in footballing history. Named by Wayne Rooney as his greatest goal ever. The stakes could not be higher and Wayne Rooney produced the greatest footballing goal in history to win the biggest game in footballing history, the Manchester Derby!