by americawriter on 23/10/11 at 11:06 am
The Manchester United – Manchester City rivalry is a strong rivalry because of the geographical proximity of the two teams. This is the only conceivable way in which the two teams are equals. In every other area, Manchester United towers over Manchester City. So the expectations for the two teams are different. Manchester City could finish 15th in the League but their year could be made because they defeated Manchester United. That is the power of the Manchester City – Manchester United rivalry.
The Manchester DerbyRivalry Summary on Manchester United vs. Manchester City – History & HighlightsThe whole subject of Manchester is an interesting point. Manchester City fans like to claim that Old Trafford is not in Manchester and neither are 98% of Manchester United fans.
For the most part there was a friendly rivalry between the teams but the Manchester United – Manchester City rivalry turned a bit ugly and personal in the 1970s. George Best broke the leg of Glyn Pardoe. He nearly had to have his leg amputated but fought back to be able to make a comeback. Then there was a fiery game in 1973 where Lou Macari and Mike Doyle were both sent off but refused to leave the field. It wasn’t until the referee threatened to call off the game that the players left.
The most famous Manchester Derby is the game now commonly referred to as the Denis Law game. It was the last game of the 1973-74 season and Manchester United needed to win to avoid relegation. Former United champion and legend, Denis Law, backheeled the ball into the goal to give Manchester City a 1-0 game with just 10 minutes left. Manchester United lost the game and Law was devastated by the impact his goal had had. It hit him incredibly hard and he would never play a league football again. Even though Manchester United would have been relegated with a win, Law’s goal is still famous. The Red Devils were relegated along with Norwich City and Southampton. The next year they won the Second Division to go immediately straight back up to the First Division. The year after that they were up to third in the First Division to cap a tumultuous time for the Red Devils.
Since then, for the most part, Manchester United has had its own way with Manchester City. Sometimes the Manchester City – Manchester United rivalry has had nothing to do with football. Roy Keane got in a feud with Alf-Inge Haaland. It all started when Haaland played for Leeds. Keane was injured and Haaland yelled at him, accusing of faking. Three years later, Keane went at Haaland with his studs up and basically ended his career in a sickening challenge.
Until recent times, the Manchester United – Manchester City rivalry was put on hold because City were not playing in the Premier League. The two not playing any matches against each other meant no Manchester Derby. Between April 1996 and November 2000 they didn’t play a league game against each other. The Derby’s return has been a nice addition to the football scene. Manchester City did the double over Manchester United in 2007-08. It was the first time since April 1974 that they had defeated the Red Devils in the League at Old Trafford and it was the first time they had done the double since 1969-70.
For some players, the Manchester City – Manchester United rivalry brought out the best in them. Manchester City’s Joe Hayes and Francis Lee are the leading scorers in the Manchester Derby with 10 a piece. Bobby Charlton is next with nine goals. Eric Cantona and Brian Kidd both scored eight. Kidd is also one of the players who has appeared for both teams.
Peter Schmeichel, who was a favorite son of Manchester United, spent a year playing for Manchester City. He has the distinction of never playing in the losing side in a Manchester Derby.
Schmeichel played in the 1990s when United were too good for City. In 1994, Manchester United hammered Manchester City 5-0. The Blues simply had no answer for the likes of Cantona and Andrei Kanchelskis.
This was a long was removed from the 1989 loss Manchester United received from the hands of Manchester City. They lost 5-1 at Maine Road in a defeat that Sir Alex Ferguson has never ever forgotten. “We were slaughtered 5-1 at Maine Road in the most embarrassing defeat of my management career,” he said. “After the game I went straight home, got into bed and put the pillow over my head.”
Another aspect to the Manchester City – Manchester United rivalry is the hiring of Mark Hughes to be the manager of Manchester City. Hughes was a favorite son of Manchester United and his appointment has definitely added another element to the Manchester United – Manchester City rivalry. He understands the psyche of Manchester United – what they are thinking and how they operate. It is this insight which would be valuable for Manchester City as they try and make some inroads into the juggernaut which Manchester United is.
The truth of the matter though is that the two sides are now gulfs apart. Manchester United could by Manchester City many times over. City has the ability to compete with United in two matches head to head during the season. This is all they have. They could never compete with United in the league standings. It just isn’t achievable in today’s day and age.