Derby Draw

On this day (16 November) in 1991 the Manchester derby ended goalless at Maine Road but so many, many chances went City’s way! It was a frustrating draw for the Blues and came at a time when neither side had won the League since the 1960s (City in 1967-68 if you want to know). It was felt that momentum was building at Maine Road. This is one of those periods when football history could’ve gone in a different direction.

There was pressure on United boss Alex Ferguson. He had brought the ECWC and FA Cup to United by this time but it was the League that the club craved. City had ended 1990-91 in fifth place and United were 6th. Had City had a bit of fortune around this time they may well have found some success.

Arsenal had won the League in 1991 but no team dominated the League year after year. The birth of the Premier League was coming (1992) and the new riches that came with that meant that the teams that did find League success from then on could potentially dominate in a way no club had before. With United’s title success in 1992-93, United and Arsenal became the two clubs that benefited most from the riches of the Premier League. That created a gap that only strong investment could bridge.

Ah well! Money and football is nothing new. Anyway, here are a few highlights of the derby:

Fergie’s Flops

On this day (23rd September) in 1989

Attendance: 43,246; City 5 United 1

Ferguson’s £9m side are destroyed in the most one-sided Manchester derby in years by Machin’s bargain basement Blues.  By the 36thminute City race to a remarkable three goal lead and, despite a magnificent goal from Hughes, they are rampant. “Fergie Out” cry the United fans as the fifth enters the net.

Decisive Derbies: April 30, 2012

It was one of the most important Manchester derby matches of all time. Second placed City, who were still searching for their first League title since 1968, were to face League leaders United at the Etihad Stadium in a crucial game. United led the table by three points but City’s goalscoring exploits in recent games had swung goal difference back the Blues’ way. With two games left after the derby a victory for United would almost end City’s chance of winning the title, while a City victory would put the Blues in the driving seat.  

Here for subscribers to my site is the story of this monumental derby game.

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Mayhem in Manchester

On this day (April 7) in 1992 a Keith Curle penalty, in front of an Old Trafford crowd of 46,781, helped Manchester City to a 1-1 draw in a controversial Manchester derby.  The game was viewed as being highly significant in the title race as only four days earlier the Blues had beaten title-hopefuls Leeds 4-0 at Maine Road. Here’s the story of that game including quotes from an interview I performed with Neil Pointon, who gives his views on a controversial incident that was pivotal to this derby…

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