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Top Five Manchester Derby Moments

The Manchester Derby has been home to clashes between two of the Premier League’s best sharing the same city. Manchester United and Manchester City – a fixture filled with eye-catching moments and promises over the years. In a buildup to the intense weekend ahead for the city rivals, we look at the top five moments in this EPL heavyweight clash.

Pep Guardiola’s dominance, Erik Ten Hag’s revival, the English Premier League has been touted as the most intriguing league in the world in terms of competitiveness and intensity of the league and both managers go head-to-head this weekend in a crunchy lunch fixture.

Owen Owns Manchester City

The free signing from Newscastle Micheal Owen scored a decisive goal for Manchester United. Manchester City, led by their recent signing Carlos Tevez, came back from behind thrice in the contest to keep the scores level. The game looked poised to end in a draw after Rio Ferdinand’s late error. In the 96th minute, a gorgeous through ball from Ryan Giggs found Michael Owen, who squeezed the ball past Hart and into the net to the delight of the Old Trafford faithful.

Mourinho’s Comeback

With Pep’s City side 19 points ahead of Manchester United, who sat second, they headed into the fixture in a bid to seal the premier league trophy. Forty-five minutes into the match, the citizens were on a 2-0 lead after a lackluster performance from Mourinho’s side before the break.

“I told my midfield players that they didn’t need to improve because they were playing very well even in the first half.I think it’s very difficult to be a midfield player against Manchester City and Paul [Pogba], Ander [Herrera], and [Nemanja] Matic were playing well but I need more from [Jesse] Lingard and Alexis [Sanchez], I need them to connect our good football in midfield and especially I need my defenders to be a little more confident.”

Those were Mourinho’s words to his team, who lacked confidence after being domineered by their rivals. He further went ahead to demand an explosive performance in the second half else they become subject to mockery if it ends in a defeat.

United battled back to claim a stunning and unlikely 3-2 win. Double strikes from Paul Pogba, whose newly tinted hair was subject to criticism from the United faithful, and Chris Smalling turned the fortunes around and sealed all three points delaying Pep’s title-clinching party.

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Rashford Announces His Name

An injury to Anthony Martial earned the English youngster his opportunity to represent the Red Devils in a Europa League fixture against Midtjylland.

The inexperienced forward, in his first game for the Manchester outfit, produced a masterclass scoring two goals that helped United overturn their first leg deficit.

Three days after his debut heroics, the then 18-year would make his premier league debut against historical arch-rivals Arsenal.

Arsenal was heading into the match hoping to close the gap between them and then-leaders and eventual winners Leicester but succumbed to defeat at Old Trafford. Rashford once again stole the show as he netted another brace and provided an assist to keep the North London side at bay.

About three weeks later, the fast-rising youngster was once again pivotal in ending their City rival’s title hopes with a sublime solo finish to the delight of the visiting fans. Marcus Rashford lit up the Manchester derby bamboozling Martin Demichelis before slotting it before Joe Hart to seal the game.

He became the youngest player to score in the fixture in the Premier League era, breaking Wayne Rooney’s record.

Why Always Me?

A signatory phrase that Italian international Mario Balotelli has always donned since his celebration boils down to the criticism he has always received from the media.

In the 11/12 season, Manchester City tipped United to the Premier League title via goal difference in a much-heated title race between the local rivals.

The title race ended most bizarrely as Sergio Kun Aguero completed Manchester City’s comeback after going two goals down. That moment of individual brilliance is one to note in the history of the Premier League, but that was not the only fascinating moment that year.

Manchester United in October welcomed their local rival to their helm, a game that delivered as it promised. Goals from Mario Balotelli, Sergio Agüero, Edin Dzeko, and David Silva were enough to inflict and pile misery on Sir Alex Ferguson’s men.

Balotelli, after his second goal of the game, raised his shirt with his inner wear having the inscription “Why always me” and stirred the cheering fans. The inscription was a response to the media’s outburst on his off-the-pitch lifestyle.

Rooney’s Overhead Kick

Splashing 27 million euros for a 19-year-old Wayne Rooney was one of the smartest investments United has made in the modern era. Snapped from Everton as the Englishman rose to the timeline, Rooney continued to become undroppable in the United team sheet. He was ever-present in United’s attacking force which featured Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Nani, Dimitar Berbatov, and Carlos Tevez.

United had lost Ronaldo to Real Madrid three years ago, but the English outfit continued to build their team around the tenacious Rooney. Running out of contract in 2012, arch-rival Manchester City came knocking at the Englishman’s door with better terms and a salary increase.

Rooney’s indecisiveness sparked a rift with Sir Alex Ferguson, but the Scottish Manager still had a glimpse of hope in Rooney. Much to the delight of the fans, he opted for the unsettled Wayne Rooney to lead the attack in what he called the most important derby of his life.

With the game tied at 1-1, United passed the ball around in search of spaces behind the City defense to pounce. Nani produced a sublime cross into the 18-yard box that Rooney reacted to with a sublime overhead kick past the still Joe Hart- a goal Sir Alex Ferguson labeled the best he has ever seen.


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