Manchester United squares off against their city rival- Manchester City on Sunday 12th April 2015 at the theatre of dreams in what is already billed the most anticipated derby in football history. There is everything to play for, for both sides as the race for top four finish hots on. There have been change of lots for both team in recent weeks as the Reds devils as Manchester United is fondly called have gone from the stuttering form that characterised their early season to a good run of form that has seen them beat the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa in recent weeks while Manuel Pellegrini boys have seen their early season form faded gradually.
The two teams will look to get the better of the other when they resume hostilities hence, we look into some of the histories and facts of this Manchester Derby.
The first Manchester derby occurred in November 12, 1881 when West Gorton (now Manchester City) hosted Newton Health (now Manchester United) and it ended 3-0 in favour of the Heathens (United).
The first league derby between the two side occurred in the 1894/95 season, with Manchester United (Newton Health) beating Manchester City 5-2 at Hyde Road.
The first meeting between the clubs at the highest level of English football took place on 3rd December 1906 with Manchester City this time winning 3-0.
The first floodlit Manchester derby was played on 26 February 1889 at the Belle Vue Athletic Ground with a crowd of 10,000 watching as United defeated Manchester City 3-2, though the first competitive floodlit derby was the Charity Shield match played in October 1956.
Manchester United dominated the derbies in the 1990s going unbeating for a full decade. The first Manchester derby after the creation of the Premier League in 1992/93 season was won by Manchester United 2-1 at Oldtraford on 6 December 1992 coincidentally marking the debut game for United legend Eric Cantona who would later go on to score 8goals in Manchester derbies over the next four seasons.
The 6–1 score was the biggest defeat suffered by Manchester United against City at Old Trafford since the 5–0 loss in 1955. It was also the first time since
1926 that City had scored six at Old Trafford, when the score that day also finished 6–1.
Till date, there have been 168 competitive meetings between the teams with Manchester United
winning 69 and City 49, the remaining 50 games finishing as draws.
The biggest victory in the derbies was Manchester United’s 7-1 win on 14 April 1941 during a war league derby match at Maine Road. However, this result has been omitted as the official league was suspended during this period though the derby match still went ahead.
The official biggest victories have been to City who have won 6–1 on two occasions in the official league (both times in the away fixture at Old Trafford) on 23 January 1926 and 23 October 2011.
The top goal scorer of the Manchester derby is United’s Wayne Rooney who have 11 derby goals till date closely followed by former City duo Joe Hayes and Francis Lee who are both on 10 derby goals.
Former Manchester United winger and now Assistant Coach Ryan Giggs has the most Manchester derby cap (36).