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:

Horton’s Blues At QPR

On this day (25 October) in 1994 Manchester City faced QPR in the League Cup in what was an incredible game that kept fans on the edge of their seats. The Blues had already disposed of Barnet 5-2 on aggregate in the second round and clearly expected to put in a good performance at Loftus Road. Sadly, within a minute they conceded a goal just as they had in the earlier League Cup match at Barnet and Brian Horton’s side suffered for a while. By the 37th minute they managed to get their act together a little and Summerbee equalised with a 20 yard volley. A minute later Rangers took the lead again. 

Fortunately, in the 46th minute Keith Curle netted a penalty to bring City level once again, followed eight minutes later by a magnificent Beagrie volley which made it 3-2 and brought a series of somersaults from the popular ex-Evertonian. Five minutes later, the same player headed through to Lomas who made it 4-2. 

In the 87th minute Rangers pulled a goal back to keep City on their toes, but the referee’s whistle signalled the start of a party for the fans while their QPR equivalents began to demonstrate against their chairman.  Apparently, some unhappy QPR fans were keen to listen to the advice of a few experienced Mancunian demonstrators! 

You can watch highlights of the game here:

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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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