Why always Balotelli and Owen nets in ‘Fergie time’ – classic Manchester derbies

Manchester United’s eight-match winning run will face its biggest test yet as Manchester City visit in the Saturday lunchtime kick-off.

The Manchester derby remains one of the stellar fixtures of the Premier League season and here the PA news agency takes a look back at some classic meetings.

Man City 3 Man Utd 1 – November 2002

City had been watching their rivals dominate English football while they were sinking as low as the third tier in the 1990s and it had been 16 games and 13 years since they had beaten United.

But, under Kevin Keegan, they finally stopped that rot at Maine Road after taking an early lead through Nicolas Anelka.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer levelled for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, but Shaun Goater’s double made it a memorable afternoon for City.

Man Utd 4 Man City 3 – September 2009

Under former United striker Mark Hughes, City were trying to unsettle the establishment following their takeover the previous year and their 2009 visit to Old Trafford was a classic.

Wayne Rooney put United ahead, only for Gareth Barry to quickly equalise. Darren Fletcher regained the hosts’ lead after half-time, but it only lasted for three minutes as Craig Bellamy levelled again.

Fletcher’s second in the 80th minute looked like giving United all three points only for Bellamy to score a memorable goal for City in added time to level at 3-3.

But the drama did not end there as United went up the other end and won it when Michael Owen converted with virtually the last kick.

Man Utd 1 Man City 6 – October 2011

Mario Balotelli revealed his famous t-shirt in Manchester City's 6-1 romp at Old Trafford
Mario Balotelli revealed his famous t-shirt in Manchester City’s 6-1 romp at Old Trafford (Martin Rickett/PA)


The ‘noisy neighbours’ highlighted the shift in power from red to blue in Manchester with a devasting result.

Mario Balotelli delivered his famous ‘Why always me’ moment when he put City in front midway through the first half and after Jonny Evans had been sent off for United, the Italian doubled his tally on the hour.

Sergio Aguero made it 3-0, with Darren Fletcher pulling one back, before a late blitz turned it into a rout.

Eden Dzeko scored twice and David Silva added a sixth as City handed down United’s heaviest home defeat in Premier League history – and went on to win the title ahead of their rivals on goal difference.

Man City 2 Man Utd 3 – December 2012

Robin van Persie scored a last-ditch winner for United in 2012
Robin van Persie scored a last-ditch winner for United in 2012 (Dave Thompson/PA)


City were defending champions following Sergio Aguero’s famous moment a few months earlier and the two sides were again going at it at the top of the Premier League.

Wayne Rooney’s two goals inside the opening half-hour put the visitors in control but Yaya Toure pulled one back and then Pablo Zabaleta appeared to have earned City a draw in the 86th minute.

But Robin van Persie had the final say, sending in a stoppage-time free-kick which sparked ugly scenes in the stands.

Man City 2 Man Utd 3 – April 2018

Pep Guardiola’s side had the mouthwatering prospect of sealing the Premier League title with victory over their city rivals.

They looked on course to do that as first-half goals from Vincent Kompany and Ilkay Gundogan put them 2-0 up at half-time.

But Jose Mourinho had other ideas and whatever he said to his United team at half-time worked wonders as United staged the ultimate second-half comeback.

Two Paul Pogba goals in three minutes drew them level and then Chris Smalling’s volley completed the turnaround and kept City’s champagne on ice.