The Manchester derby is one of the biggest games in the English football calendar and the drama has been cranked up a notch following the arrivals of Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho in the dugouts. The pair’s historic rivalry brings another edge to this contest and the fact that neither has dropped a point yet only adds to the pressure.
Ahead of the game Le Buzz has picked out some of the most amazing moments to feature in the Manchester rivalry. These events all grabbed the headlines and with the amount of stars on show on Saturday it seems almost inevitable that we will be treated to more magic.
Why always me?
On the eve of the first derby of the 2011-12 season the newspapers were full of a story surrounding Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli, namely that the fire brigade had been called after he had caused a fire by setting off fireworks in his own home.
Balotelli, who was in good form at the time, retained his place in Roberto Mancini’s starting XI and scored the opening two goals in the 6-1 rout, unveiling his now infamous “Why always me shirt?”
Neville’s rude gesture and Tevez’s celebration
It’s fair to say that Carlos Tevez was not the most popular man at Old Trafford following his switch to their rivals in blue in 2009. In his first season at the club the two teams were drawn together in the semi-finals of the Carling Cup. Tevez angered a lot of United fans with his exuberant celebrations after he scored a penalty.
Sir Alex Ferguson played down the incident, saying he didn’t think it was such a big deal, but Gary Neville clearly didn’t share his manager’s views on the matter…
Tevez’s Fergie dig
A couple of years later, City finally had their first Premier League title thanks to Sergio Aguero’s dramatic winner against QPR, but their celebrations were overshadowed somewhat when Tevez was pictured holding up a placard directed at Ferguson.
Both City and Tevez later apologised for what had happened, with suggestions that the banner had been given to Tevez by a fan, but by that stage the damage had already been done. The banner was believed to be a reference to Ferguson’s claim that City would not be a bigger club than United “in my lifetime.”
City’s money certainly made them players on the Premier League stage and even before one of the most famous derby games of all they had already beaten United once or twice.
However the 6-1 was the real game changer: it was on the way to their first Premier League title and it was a huge statement from City. The game was coloured by Balotelli’s antics but this shot of the scoreboard at Old Trafford will always be remembered too.
Give us a kiss
In 2010, United and Ferguson were battling with Carlo Ancelotti’s Chelsea for the title and they went into the derby in April knowing that anything other than a win would be catastrophic.
Heading into the final seconds of the game it seemed as if City would be putting a spanner in their rivals’ title charge but then Paul Scholes popped up with a dramatic headed winner. It left Gary Neville totally overcome with emotion.
Another late winner
Manchester United’s signing of Michael Owen still ranks as one of the strangest made by a big club but this one moment may have justified the move.
Owen’s first competitive goal at Old Trafford was a vital one, as he found himself unmarked in the box in the 96th minute and secured a 4-3 win with a calm finish past Shay Given. Ferguson described this match as the greatest derby of them all and few would disagree with him.
The Denis Law game
One of the most dramatic games in the history of the derby as former United man Law scored the only goal of the game for City in 1974. At the time it was assumed that the goal had relegated United, prompting a pitch invasion and Law to immediately retire from football.
It later transpired that a win for Birmingham City had meant the result of the game was irrelevant and United were down regardless – however, Law said that what he had done haunted him for decades.
The biggest fool in Manchester
The 6-1 defeat was tough for a lot of United fans to take but was at least sandwiched in between a good amount of success. The 2013-14 season was altogether harder, with the club adjusting to the retirement of Ferguson and by the time the derby came around the fans had already turned on David Moyes.
The resulting 3-0 defeat, in which City were almost strolling at times, did nothing to lighten the mood around the club and it gave rise to one of the most famous fan rants of them all by Andy Tate.
Arguably one of the most iconic goals in the history of the derby, as well as possibly the entire Premier League era. It is also probably one of the most debated goals, with many fans believing that the goal was nothing more than a shin.
Regardless of your opinion nothing can detract from the impact and importance Rooney’s strike had in 2011, and the sheer audacity from the striker to even attempt it.
When Bolt met Aguero
In the build-up to the first derby of the 2013-14 season, Puma decided to produce a video with two of their biggest stars, Usain Bolt and Sergio Aguero.
The premise behind the video was for Bolt to try and wear Aguero out, but it doesn’t seem to quite work out like the Jamaican intended.