Manchester United face their great rivals Manchester City Wednesday night in a crunch clash in the EFL Cup.
Fixtures between the two sides have always been traditionally competitive games, but due to Man City’s emergence as a major force in recent years, the game now takes on an even greater significance for supporters
Add in the fact that the two men in charge of City and United are two of the most high-profile managers in world football, then it has all the ingredients to be another fiery encounter.
The game is very important for both sides who are desperate to end their poor run of form.
City may well be top of the Premier League, but they’ve haven’t won in five games in all competitions.
It’s a mini-crisis, with Guardiola’s footballing philosophy coming under intense scrutiny from those who say they’re guilty of ‘overplaying’ at the back.
‘This isn’t La Liga’ – ‘Can do they it on a wet night at Stoke’ sort of guff is being spouted by the so-called ‘experts’, but with Man City’s fragile defence and suspect goalkeeper continuing to make mistakes that criticism won’t go away until it is eradicated.
Manchester United on the other hand are reeling after a devastating 4-0 defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
City have already inflicted defeat on them in the league in Old Trafford, and with Mourinho spending big in the summer, some of those fickle Manchester United fans are starting to grow restless.
A win against City in the cup tomorrow would be the perfect tonic to put Sunday’s horror show behind them, another defeat and the pressure would continue to mount against Mourinho and his underperforming side.
Andrei Kanchelskis later played for Manchester City but it was his hat-trick for Manchester United that lit up the derby in November 1994 as the home side ran out 5-0 winners at Old Trafford.
Kanchelskis was a huge player during his spell at Old Trafford, before his surprise departure from the club in 1995, along with other stars such as Paul Ince and Mark Hughes.
Many United fans felt his exit from Old Trafford was premature, but they’ve always reserved a warm place in their hearts for the Russian, and much of that was down to this sensational derby performance in 1994.
The date was November 9th, 2002, and it was a poignant occasion at Maine Road.
It was the last time the famous venue would play host to a Manchester Derby and it was imperative they got a result.
Manchester City were struggling at the wrong end of the table under the stewardship of Kevin Keegan.
However, Man City legend Shaun Goater inspired City to a famous, famous win over their fierce rivals by helping himself to a brace.
Nicolas Anelka gave City an early lead, but that was cancelled out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, before Goater etched his name in the history books.
Gary Neville was also guilty of making a spectacular error to make a great day even better for the long suffering City fans!
It’s been voted the greatest ever goal scored in a Manchester derby, and is without doubt one the best goals ever scored in the Premier League.
With the game evenly poised with just twelve minutes to go, it looked like a moment of magic was required in order to find a winner.
And that’s exactly what happened, Nani whipped a cross into a box with Rooney lurking near the penalty spot, he elevated to the heights by readjusting his position and sending an acrobatic, unstoppable overhead kick high past startled City keeper Joe Hart.
It was a memorable goal, worth of deciding any derby.
Joe Hart had no hope.
Fast forward five years, and Rooney is facing a fight to save his United career, he’s out of form and favour under Mourinho.
How he could do with another moment of magic tomorrow night.
Why always me? That was the t-shirt Mario Balotelli unveiled when he scored in this astonishing derby clash from October 2011.
The fiery Italian opened the scoring and then added a second shortly after the break, that was followed by a lovely goal from Aguero, before Fletcher gave the hosts hope.
That was extinguished in brutal fashion by David Silva and a brace from Edin Dzeko to inflict a painful and embarrassing defeat for Alex Ferguson’s side.
It was their worst home defeat during his reign and their heaviest in 56 years.
Man United would eventually lose the league title on goal difference to City, so the late collapse proved very costly.
The build-up to this clash was dominated by the transfer of Carlos Tevez from Old Trafford to Man City.
A massive billboard was erected of Carlos Tevez with a slogan which read…. ‘Welcome to Manchester’.
He stoked the emotions and provided the foundations for a truly classic encounter.
Former United hero Mark Hughes was City manager, and there was no love lost between him and his former gaffer, and that added to the intrigue prior to kick-off.
What transpired was a sensational game of football, probably in my opinion the best ever derby clash between the sides, it was relentless and full of drama right to the very end.
Michael Owen never endeared himself to Manchester United fans, primarily due to his success at their most bitter rivals Liverpool earlier in his career.
However, he did win over some of the supporters with this stunning injury-time winner that sent Old Trafford into utter delirium.
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