Five Manchester derbies that influenced the Premier League title race

Yahoo Sport UK
Vincent Kompany scores the winner for Manchester City against Manchester United in 2012.
Vincent Kompany scores the winner for Manchester City against Manchester United in 2012.

The Manchester derby is known for its drama, fan rivalry and iconic moments, but when mixed with a title race for either or both clubs, it becomes an even greater spectacle.

Manchester City can leapfrog Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table tomorrow night, if they beat their fiercest rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

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United fans will be hoping more than anything that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Red Devils can beat Pep Guardiola’s Citizens to affect the title race.

It wouldn’t be the first time that a result in the derby has played a part in who wins the title though.

Man City 2-3 Man United, Nov 1993:

Manchester City led 2-0 in this game in November 1993 as Niall Quinn scored a brace before half time.

But the match changed dramatically in the second period, Eric Cantona scored a double of his own before Roy Keane popped up at the back post to tap in the winner with three minutes remaining.

It meant that United stayed top with their 19th win in 22 games, continuing their momentum towards the Premier League title, it would be their second under Sir Alex Ferguson.

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Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United, April 1996:

Another victory for Manchester United at Maine Road and another title for the red half of the city as well.

United were looking to chase Newcastle United to the Premier League title and anything but a victory here would have been catastrophic for Sir Alex’s side.

Ryan Giggs struck a 77th minute winner in a game that they led on three separate occasions and United took all three points. They went on to win the title and Manchester City were relegated from the Premier League on goal difference.

Ryan Giggs of Manchester United celebrates during an FA Carling Premiership match against Manchester City at Maine Road.
Ryan Giggs of Manchester United celebrates during an FA Carling Premiership match against Manchester City at Maine Road.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United, March 2004:

City ended United’s chances of catching Arsenal at the top of the Premier League table as City beat them 4-1 at the City of Manchester Stadium.

United were on a three match winless run but Kevin Keegan’s City made things a lot worse for the Red Devils as Robbie Fowler, Jon Macken, Trevor Sinclair and Shaun Wright-Phillips all found the target for a relegation threatened Manchester City.

Arsenal’s invincibles went on to win the title in an unbeaten season. United simply could not match them.

Manchester City 1-0 Manchester United, April 2012:

In the closest title race between the two rivals, City put themselves in the driving seat with two games to go in the Premier League by beating United at the Ethihad Stadium.

Vincent Kompany struck the winner on 45 minutes, in a result that ultimately secured them the title.

Roberto Mancini’s side still almost slipped up, trailing 2-1 to lowly QPR on the last day of the season, they did the unthinkable and scored two goals in second half stoppage time to win their first Premier League title.

United thought they’d won the league and even celebrated on the pitch at the Stadium of Light following their 1-0 win over Sunderland on the same day, but Sergio Aguero denied them, in a moment that City fans will never forget.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United, April 2018:

Last season City had the chance to secure the league title at the earliest date since 1956, if they could beat United at the Etihad stadium.

United had other ideas though and despite going two goals down, a fight-back started by a Paul Pogba brace was completed by Chris Smalling with an unlikely winner.

City’s third Premier League title had to wait. However, Jose Mourinho’s United lost 1-0 to West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford in the very next game handing the title to Pep Guardiola’s team.

Chris Smalling scores during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium.
Chris Smalling scores during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium.

Both sides come into this match following recent Champions League exits at the quarter-final stage, but they’ve both played a league game since then.

United are out of form and were thrashed by Everton on the weekend in their worst result under Solskjaer, while City beat Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, the team that knocked them out of Europe’s elite competition last week.

City are still on for the treble after already winning the League Cup and will play in the FA Cup final, but this will be a crucial match they will have to overcome if they are to win the Premier League title.

The game kicks off at 8pm

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