The Manchester United vs Manchester City Rivalry


Manchester United, aka the Red Devils, was the first team to be established in 1878, and two years later, Manchester City was founded. The first match between these two teams was in 1881, more than a century ago. During this time, Manchester City was still known as St. Mark’s, while Manchester United was known as Newton Heath. In this first match between these teams, the win went to Manchester United, and since then, they have continued to rule their games.

This winning spree continued until recently when Manchester City proved they are worthy competitors.

The rivalry between the two teams started almost a century into their friendly matches. Until an unexpected violent match occurred between the teams when Manchester City won the derby games, this was in the 1970s. A series of injuries and the outcome of a rough game to different players caused controversy, making fans divide and support their preferred teams. The introduction of the Premier League has further created space between both teams.

Over the years, Manchester City has grown stronger and is unafraid to battle against their once-dominant rival. Having invested well in their players, the salaries especially, they have been rewarded with the success that has made them one of the best football teams in the world.

Revenue-wise, they are both among the top ten teams. However, Manchester City has yet to achieve as much as its counterparts have over the years. Manchester United has won numerous and has held multiple football league titles, including winning the Premier League 20 times. In comparison, Manchester City has had 24 trophies and won the league title only six times. Manchester United has also had the benefit of hosting some of the best football players and managers in the world and is the team in England that has achieved the most, being the most successful club.


While Sir Alex Ferguson was the manager, he stood with Manchester United for 26 years, which included 22 Premier League games against Manchester City. Manchester United won 13 out of their Premier League games during his tenure. It was undoubtedly the leading team in the league until the rival of Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal and the addition of Chelsea. After he left, four different managers have since joined the club who have been unable to create the same impact.

On the other hand, Manchester City has had 17 managers and caretaker managers, as they have only ever served for an average of one to two years. Some of Manchester City’s managers that served longest include Joe Royle, Kevin Keegan, and Roberto Mancini. The ownership takeover in 2008 was a major turning point in the performance of Manchester City.

Under Manuel Pellegrini’s and Roberto Mancini’s leadership, Manchester City won four consecutive derbies, their biggest achievement in their series against Manchester United.


Manchester City made a statement when they beat Manchester United with a 6-1 victory at Old Trafford to win the FA Cup in 2011. The introduction of Pep Guardiola has furthermore sealed the victory spirit of the Manchester City team, as most of their games have ended well for City. Also 2017/18, they won a hundred points campaign in which Manchester United finished 19 points behind.

In total, these two teams have played 184 matches together, with Manchester United winning 77 times and Manchester City winning 58 and having 53 draws. Their last derby game was in October 2022 and ended as a 6-3 win for City. It was the Manchester derby with the highest goals ever.

Manchester City started the 2022 season by losing their community shield to Liverpool in a 3-1 loss. But at the end of 2022, they were already placed second in the league. Their new striker, Erling Haaland made new records after scoring 21 goals in his first 20 games. One of the highlights of the season.

Manchester United lost their first game to Brighton and Hove Albion, Brentford, and other games, which will be the first time after 1992/93 of losing matches consecutively, making them fall far down the league table. However, they achieved a break when they played with City in an away game and acquired better results ever since then.

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Key Moments in the Rivalry

The rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City has seen some unforgettable moments in English football. Here are some of the key moments that have defined the rivalry between the two clubs over the years.

Early Matches Between the Two Clubs

The rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City dates back to the early 1900s when the two clubs first met in a league match. The early matches between the two clubs were fiercely contested, with both teams eager to establish dominance over their rivals.

The 1969 Manchester Derby

One of the most memorable moments in the rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City was the 1969 Manchester derby. The game took place at Maine Road, and Manchester City won 1-0, ending a run of 13 consecutive wins for Manchester United. The win was particularly significant for Manchester City, as it helped them to avoid relegation from the First Division.

The 2011-12 Premier League Title Race

The 2011-12 Premier League season saw one of the most dramatic title races in English football history. Manchester City and Manchester United were the two main contenders for the title, and the race went down to the wire. The decisive moment of the season came in the final game, when Manchester City scored two late goals to beat QPR 3-2 and win the title on goal difference. The win denied Manchester United their 20th league title and marked a significant moment in the rivalry between the two clubs.

Other Memorable Moments

The rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City has seen many other memorable moments over the years. These include the famous “Fergie time” goal by Michael Owen in the 2009 Manchester derby, a game that ended in a 4-3 victory for Manchester United. Another memorable moment was the 6-1 victory for Manchester City over Manchester United in 2011, which marked one of the heaviest defeats for Manchester United in the Premier League era.

Overall, the rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City has seen some unforgettable moments in English football history. These moments have helped to define the rivalry and make it one of the most intense and fiercely contested in the world of football.