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British volunteers killed in Syria given military send-off

A military ceremony has been held in Syria for two British volunteers with a Kurdish group fighting Islamic State in Raqqa, who were killed while clearing mines in the city. The coffins of Oliver Hall from Portsmouth and Jac Holmes from Bournemouth, both 24, were draped in the flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Hall from Portsmouth had been trying to make safe booby traps laid by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in the recently liberated city of Raqqa when he was caught in a blast on Saturday. The former engineering student had only joined the YPG three months ago and had no previous military experience. Foreign volunteers remember Oliver Hall and Jac Holmes, both killed while clearing mines in Raqqa Credit: Facebook Jac Holmes, a 24-year-old from Bournemouth, died also clearing mines in Raqqa in October. He was the longest-serving British volunteer. Their coffins were carried by other foreign volunteers, including Briton Kimmie Taylor, who gave a short speech at the service.  "Jac was everyone's best friend," Miss Taylor, from Blackburn, told the BBC. "His determination to see the freedom of the Kurdish people and to see the fall of Daesh (IS) showed his strength. "I hope his family can understand the impact he had." The coffins were given a guard of honour as they were taken across the Semelka border crossing into Iraq where they will be repatriated to the UK. Their coffins were taken to Iraq and will be repatriated to the UK. Credit: Facebook His death underscored the dangers of clearing a city which Islamic State group fighters had  rigged with large amounts of explosives. Dozens civilians have been killed by IEDs after returning to their homes before the city has been completely cleared.  Seven Britons in total have been killed while fighting with the YPG, including Mehmet Aksoy, 32, Luke Rutter, 22, Ryan Lock, 20, Dean Evans, 22, and Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25.

British volunteers killed in Syria given military send-off

A military ceremony has been held in Syria for two British volunteers with a Kurdish group fighting Islamic State in Raqqa, who were killed while clearing mines in the city. The coffins of Oliver Hall from Portsmouth and Jac Holmes from Bournemouth, both 24, were draped in the flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Hall from Portsmouth had been trying to make safe booby traps laid by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in the recently liberated city of Raqqa when he was caught in a blast on Saturday. The former engineering student had only joined the YPG three months ago and had no previous military experience. Foreign volunteers remember Oliver Hall and Jac Holmes, both killed while clearing mines in Raqqa Credit: Facebook Jac Holmes, a 24-year-old from Bournemouth, died also clearing mines in Raqqa in October. He was the longest-serving British volunteer. Their coffins were carried by other foreign volunteers, including Briton Kimmie Taylor, who gave a short speech at the service.  "Jac was everyone's best friend," Miss Taylor, from Blackburn, told the BBC. "His determination to see the freedom of the Kurdish people and to see the fall of Daesh (IS) showed his strength. "I hope his family can understand the impact he had." The coffins were given a guard of honour as they were taken across the Semelka border crossing into Iraq where they will be repatriated to the UK. Their coffins were taken to Iraq and will be repatriated to the UK. Credit: Facebook His death underscored the dangers of clearing a city which Islamic State group fighters had  rigged with large amounts of explosives. Dozens civilians have been killed by IEDs after returning to their homes before the city has been completely cleared.  Seven Britons in total have been killed while fighting with the YPG, including Mehmet Aksoy, 32, Luke Rutter, 22, Ryan Lock, 20, Dean Evans, 22, and Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25.

British volunteers killed in Syria given military send-off

A military ceremony has been held in Syria for two British volunteers with a Kurdish group fighting Islamic State in Raqqa, who were killed while clearing mines in the city. The coffins of Oliver Hall from Portsmouth and Jac Holmes from Bournemouth, both 24, were draped in the flag of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG). Hall from Portsmouth had been trying to make safe booby traps laid by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) in the recently liberated city of Raqqa when he was caught in a blast on Saturday. The former engineering student had only joined the YPG three months ago and had no previous military experience. Foreign volunteers remember Oliver Hall and Jac Holmes, both killed while clearing mines in Raqqa Credit: Facebook Jac Holmes, a 24-year-old from Bournemouth, died also clearing mines in Raqqa in October. He was the longest-serving British volunteer. Their coffins were carried by other foreign volunteers, including Briton Kimmie Taylor, who gave a short speech at the service.  "Jac was everyone's best friend," Miss Taylor, from Blackburn, told the BBC. "His determination to see the freedom of the Kurdish people and to see the fall of Daesh (IS) showed his strength. "I hope his family can understand the impact he had." The coffins were given a guard of honour as they were taken across the Semelka border crossing into Iraq where they will be repatriated to the UK. Their coffins were taken to Iraq and will be repatriated to the UK. Credit: Facebook His death underscored the dangers of clearing a city which Islamic State group fighters had  rigged with large amounts of explosives. Dozens civilians have been killed by IEDs after returning to their homes before the city has been completely cleared.  Seven Britons in total have been killed while fighting with the YPG, including Mehmet Aksoy, 32, Luke Rutter, 22, Ryan Lock, 20, Dean Evans, 22, and Konstandinos Erik Scurfield, 25.

Tony Blackburn remembers Keith Chegwin: We were like brothers

Celebrity Big Brother Launch 2015 – Hertfordshire

Tony Blackburn remembers Keith Chegwin: We were like brothers

The pair worked together for decades.

Tony Blackburn remembers Keith Chegwin: We were like brothers

The pair worked together for decades.

Tony Blackburn remembers Keith Chegwin: We were like brothers

The pair worked together for decades.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

Derby day: From one-sided fixtures to tight affairs - how will Merseyside and Manchester clashes play out?

It is a fact not lost on Merseyside that a generation of young Everton fans have never seen their side win at Anfield. More than 18 years have passed since the Toffees last took three points home with them on the short trip back across Stanley Park, with David Moyes, Roberto Martinez and Ronald Koeman all trying and failing to build a side capable of breaking the Anfield curse. It now falls to Sam Allardyce to rekindle the spirit of September 1999, when an early Kevin Campbell goal, created by a young Francis Jeffers, was enough to secure victory in a typically fiery encounter. Jeffers was later sent off, along with Liverpool goalkeeper Sander Westerveld, and they were soon joined by a fresh-faced Steven Gerrard, making just his second appearance in a Merseyside derby. Everton have beaten Liverpool at Goodison Park on just four occasions since then, making their rivalry one of the most one-sided in recent history. Liverpool have dominated Everton in recent years Credit: Getty There has, however, been plenty of competition down the years for the title of football’s most unbalanced derby. In some cases, a local derby serves as an equaliser, when better teams are routinely pegged back by smaller rivals. In others, the derby atmosphere has the opposite effect, causing one side to shrink and another to thrive… One-sided derbies Everton are by no means alone in consistently struggling against their local rivals. Famously, Atletico Madrid did not beat Real Madrid, home or away, for 14 years. When they finally broke that duck, it was in the Santiago Bernabeu in the final of the Copa del Rey. “If you had made the fans an offer in which you had said we won’t win against them for 14 years but when we do, it will be in the Cup final at their stadium, with them scoring first, hitting the post three times and us winning in extra time, they would have signed up for that,” said manager Diego Simeone afterwards. Elsewhere in Spain, Barcelona have won 97 of 167 derbies with Espanyol, and have lost just three of the last 41 meetings with their local rivals. It is a similar story in west London, where Chelsea have won 46 games against neighbours Fulham, losing just 11. Although they have not always been in the same division, Chelsea have been defeated by Fulham just once, in 2006, since 1979. Chelsea have had the upper hand over Fulham Credit: Getty Images Over in Germany, Bayern Munich have dominated the Munich derby, winning 104 games against 1860 Munich and losing just 50. And on an international level, it is hard to find a more barren run of form than in the early decades of the USA’s rivalry with Mexico. After the Americans won in their first meeting, at the 1934 World Cup, Mexico went on an unbeaten run against the USA that stretched over 46 years and 26 matches until they were finally defeated in 1980. The anomalies In most of these cases, the results are an obvious consequence of the reflective sizes of the two clubs involved. It is no surprise, for example, that a club of Barcelona’s stature is so dominant over the comparably small Espanyol. But sometimes the derby serves as an equaliser, when the size of the various trophy cabinets has no impact on results. The so-called ‘smaller’ clubs can regularly claim the scalps of their ‘bigger’ rivals, or matches between sides at similar levels can become inexplicably uneven. Just look at the recent history of the ‘M23 derby’, between Crystal Palace and Brighton. Palace have had the upper hand, losing just one of the last eight games between the two. The 'M23 derby' is a fiercely-contested derby Credit: Getty And then there’s the East Anglian derby between Ipswich Town and Norwich City, two sides who, by and large, exist at the same echelons of English football. Norwich have not lost to Ipswich in nine matches since 2009. It is also an odd quirk that Stoke City have gone six matches without victory over Port Vale, and have won just two of the last 13 meetings between the two (that said, they have not faced each other since 2002, so those particular figures can appear misleading at first). What of Birmingham and Aston Villa? Here are two sides that played each other regularly in the Premier League in the 00s and have since faced off three times in the Championship, yet Birmingham have not won a league game between them in 11 attempts. The same applies to Sunderland and Newcastle. Both have generally operated at the lower end of the Premier League for the last five years, yet Sunderland’s record is one you would expect of a Champions League team playing a League One side: six wins in their last seven derbies, and no defeats in their last nine. Oxford United and Swindon Town have a similarly unbalanced recent record, with Oxford winning seven of the last eight meetings and going unbeaten in seven matches, in both league and cup competitions, since 2011. Too tight to call Of course, there are also those derbies that are so tightly-contested it is almost impossible to divide the two teams. For this, look no further than Nottingham Forest v Derby. Forest have won 39 times, while Derby have won 37. Burnley’s record against Blackburn Rovers is similarly tight: Burnley have won 41 while Blackburn have won 42. El Clasico is one of the tighest, high-profile rivalries Credit: AP Fulham may not have had much luck against Chelsea, but it’s a far tighter affair with fellow west Londoners QPR, who they have beaten 16 times but lost on 14 occasions. The ultimate in close derbies, though, is El Clasico. Barcelona and Real Madrid have played 172 times, with Real winning 72 and Barcelona winning 68. There’s also just seven goals between them: Real have scored 280, while Barcelona have scored 273.

What's on TV tonight: John Noakes: TV Hero, the Strictly semi-final and more

Saturday 9 December John Noakes: TV Hero BBC Two, 5.30pm One quarter of the definitive Blue Peter foursome, alongside Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and Shep, John Noakes was both its longest-serving presenter and one of its very finest. A gifted communicator, earnest when he had to be but more often game for anything, whether that be a laugh or a lunatic stunt. This affectionate profile of Noakes, who died in May, aged 83, after many years with Alzheimer’s, pivots on perhaps his two best-loved moments. First, there’s a climb up Nelson’s Column, sans ropes or safety harnesses, that was every bit as daft and dangerous as it looked and ample testament to his dauntlessness. That impish sense of humour is demonstrated by the notorious appearance of Lulu the elephant, who relieved herself on the floor before rampaging across the studio and over Noakes’s foot. Ever the entertainer, he milked both for all they were worth. His relationship with the series was an equivocal one and he reportedly resented his clownish persona, but this tribute skirts any controversy in favour of warm nostalgia, with familiar Blue Peter faces including Biddy Baxter and Lesley Judd recalling the man and his work. GT Premier League Football: West Ham United v Chelsea Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am Having recovered from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 last Saturday, with Eden Hazard helping himself to a brace, Chelsea travel across London to face West Ham United. The home side, who are currently in the relegation zone, will have taken plenty of positives from their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday – namely, their defensive display. A similarly obdurate performance here and new manager David Moyes might get a share of the spoils this time. When these sides met at the London Stadium last season, West Ham lost 2-1. PS European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath Sky Sports Main Event, 5.15pm Two wins from two reads the stats for both sides so far in this season’s European Champions Cup – at least one of these 100 per cent records will end at Stade Mayol. Bath come into this match on the back of a 42-29 defeat by Exeter, but before that they’d won four on the bounce, with Freddie Burns impressing at fly-half. After the autumn internationals, director of rugby Todd Blackadder now has an embarrassment of riches from which to pick: most notably, England backs Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph. Toulon, meanwhile, ended a three-match losing streak on Saturday when they beat Lyon 39-11. PS Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.45pm The five remaining couples must perform two routines in this semi-final, and with barely a strand of lace between them, expect forensic criticism from the judges. Sunday’s results show will reveal the final four and there will be a performance from Craig David. GT Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.20pm Wringing his contacts book dry, McIntyre ropes in guests including TV presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes (taking part in the game Send to All) and pop rock band The Vamps for more fun. GT Witnesses: a Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Even in this saturated market for foreign-language thrillers, Witnesses stands out for its lack of gimmicks – though without ever quite scaling the heights of The Bridge or Spiral. Here, Sandra’s (Marie Dompnier) pursuit of the killer takes her into a forest and an orphanage. GT The White Princess Drama, 9.00pm and 10.20pm The excellent Jodie Comer anchors the series to its conclusion tonight with another double bill, as Elizabeth of York (Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) struggle to maintain a united front. GT Peter Blake: Pop Art Life Sky Arts, 9.00pm While there is more to Peter Blake’s work than his cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, music has played a crucial role in the development of his art and reputation. This engaging film digs deeply into a mutually fruitful relationship. GT Casualty BBC One, 9.20pm Christmas approaches, bringing annual trauma and discord for the A&E team. Tonight finds Elle’s (Jaye Griffiths) tearaway son Blake (Kai Thorne) going off the rails in response to her suggestion that she spend the festive period with her new boyfriend. Polly (Sophia Di Martino), meanwhile, continues to be unimpressed by Max (Jamie Davis). GT Through the Keyhole: I’m a Celebrity… get me out of here! ITV, 9.50pm The living, breathing definition of an acquired taste, Keith Lemon returns for a fifth series of the show once helmed by David Frost. Guests include Jimmy Carr, Myleene Klass and Tony Blackburn. GT Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) ★★★☆☆ Christmas Gold, 9.40pm Whereas Joe Dante’s original monster hit was a deliciously dark horror flick (and staple Christmas hit) with touches of wry humour, this inferior sequel is essentially a straight-up, riotous comedy, replete with in-jokes and movie references. This time, the gremlins run amok in a Manhattan high-rise building called Clamp Tower, owned by John Glover’s Donald Trump-like mogul. The Cider House Rules (1999) ★★★☆☆ BBC Two, 11.15pm John Irving’s adaptation of his own 1985 novel features a fine Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine, who won an Oscar (only his second at the time). Irving won one too, for Best Screenplay, and there’s no doubt the story is moving, though this version – about an orphan (Maguire) and a doctor (Caine) who performs illegal abortions – is at times a bit saccharine. Paul Rudd co-stars; Lasse Hallström directs. The Drop (2014) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 11.35pm Tom Hardy anchors this tale of simmering malfeasance as the tender of a Brooklyn bar designated as the drop for ill-gotten gains. Dennis Lehane adapts his own short story Animal Rescue, and makes a perfect team with Belgian director Michaël R Roskam, who gets a tamped-down, shuffling and beautifully calibrated star turn out of Hardy. Sopranos star James Gandolfini adds a burly gravitas in what would be his final movie. Sunday 10 December Jumbo with keeper Matthew Scott in 1882 Credit: BBC Attenborough and the Giant Elephant BBC One, 9.00pm Can we ever have too much Attenborough? It seems not, as right in the foaming wake of the fabulous Blue Planet II (which concludes tonight, see preview below) comes this absorbing, bittersweet tale of the world’s first animal superstar – Jumbo the elephant. It’s a sad story, really. Jumbo shot to fame shortly after his arrival at London Zoo as an orphan in around 1861, but he didn’t get much from the deal. As Attenborough says, his captive life was “troubled, fuelled by alcohol, terrifying fits of violence, a near mystical relationship with his keeper and a tragic end that seems hard to believe”. Which is more than enough to hold the attention for an hour as he joins an international team examining Jumbo’s preserved skeleton at New York’s Museum of Natural History. Attenborough also pokes about in archives at London Zoo, sanctuaries in the Maasai Mara and Tennessee, and Ontario where Jumbo met his very sad end, building as complete a picture of this magnificent creature and his global travels as has ever been assembled. All the while it spreads a positive conservationist message and gives thanks that attitudes are more enlightened now than in Victorian times. GO Premier League Football: Liverpool v Everton & Manchester United v Manchester City Sky Sports Main Event, 1.15pm & 4.15pm “Super Sunday” lives up to its hyperbolic billing, with two potentially exhilarating derbies. First up, we’re at Anfield where Liverpool, fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Brighton, host Everton, who found some form last week, following up their 4-0 win at home to West Ham United with a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield. Later, in the 4.30pm kick-off, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew rivalries as second-placed United host leaders City at Old Trafford. Expect it to be tight. PS Britain’s Wildest Weather 2017 Channel 4, 6.30pm This year has not, so far, been as extreme as some but, given the number of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping footage of every extreme weather event that occurred, among them devastating floods, tornadoes and hair-raising lightning strikes. GO  Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm This extraordinary series concludes with an undeniably depressing assessment of mankind’s impact on the marine environment. But David Attenborough, as ever, prefers to put the emphasis on hope. So there’s plenty of uplift too with stories of species brought back from extinction’s brink. GO Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm Julie Walters heads for Cornwall on the Great Western route, recalling her childhood holidays in Torquay. She then boards a steam train at Paignton, hears tales of smugglers in Polperro and fills up on cakes in Penzance. GO Leonora Carrington: the Lost Surrealist BBC Four, 9.00pm This fascinating film tells the story of rebellious upper-class British artist Leonora Carrington, who worked alongside Ernst, Breton and Éluard in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement, yet died in 2011 all but forgotten in Mexico. Director Teresa Griffiths mixes interviews and biographical material with experimental animation and tableaux to bring Carrington’s work vividly to life. GO I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 9.00pm Seventeen series in and the public appetite for watching celebrities endure humiliation and repulsion shows little sign of drying up. This year’s launch pulled in ITV’s biggest audience of 2017. The final will no doubt draw as big a crowd again. GO Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, from 9.00pm Three more atmospheric episodes of the gripping crime series set in the bohemian, political Weimar Germany of the late Twenties. Detective Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigation uncovers dangerous evidence of a shocking military conspiracy. GO The Sky At Night BBC Four, 10.00pm As well as more stargazing from the Royal Observatory, Maggie Aderin-Pocock is in Norway to see the Northern Lights. GO Ben-Hur (1959) ★★★★★ ITV3, 2.45pm A majestic slice of Hollywood history, this Roman-era melodrama directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston won 11 Academy Awards (not equalled until Titanic in 1997). It still makes for magnificent viewing. Set in 26AD, it tells the story of a Jewish prince who clashes with the Roman governor and ends up enslaved, desperately plotting his revenge. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 3.00pm Jerry Bruckheimer gives the famous sequence from Disney’s Fantasia a fun, live-action reboot. Student Dave (Jay Baruchel) inherits Merlin’s powers, placing him in a power struggle between Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Sadly there are just two scenes with broomsticks to link it to the original. Toby Kebbel is amusing as a stage musician co-opted by the forces of evil. Toy Story (1995) ★★★★★ BBC One, 3.35pm The idea of the first fully computer-generated animated film didn’t have those who had been weaned on the hand-drawn delights of Disney jumping for joy. However, with this beautiful tale, Pixar pushed animation to a new level – the premise, pace and emotion are all pitched perfectly. Whether it’s your first or 400th viewing, the story of toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a joy. Monday 11 December Faye Marsa, Sarah Parish and Amara Karan in Bancroft Credit: ITV Bancroft ITV, 9.00pm With so many crime dramas clogging up the television schedules it can be hard for a new series to stand out and at first ITV’s latest four-parter seems unlikely to break the mould. There’s an ambitious female cop with a possibly troubled past (the always reliable Sarah Parish), a striving younger cop who is desperate to move up the ranks (Faye Marsay) and the usual crop of jobsworths and strivers (Charles Babalola is particularly good as the married fellow officer Marsay’s Katherine should be steering well clear of). It’s all perfectly well done with a solid script from Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge) but it seems like nothing special. Then, three quarters of the way through this first episode, something genuinely interesting happens: Bancroft’s secrets are revealed to be very dark indeed just as Katherine’s cold case involving the break-in and violent murder of a young woman in 1990 starts hotting up. With the stakes suddenly raised Bancroft spins off into a dark tale of the lengths that people go to keep the past buried and the stage is set for an intriguing game of secrets and lies. Smart scheduling sees the rest of the story play out over consecutive nights. SH Street Auction BBC One, 11.00am Paul Martin returns with a new series of the surprisingly addictive show in which people band together to raise funds for a member of their community by auctioning off hidden treasures. The fun comes from the unusual objects unearthed from garages and attics. SH Nigella’s Christmas Table BBC Two, 8.00pm If anything is guaranteed to Nigella put into purring overload it’s Christmas. The food on offer includes roast duck with orange, soy and ginger, but this is really about mood rather than food. SH   Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Episode three of this genial series sees Hollywood looking back over his career and his time spent working at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire. There’s also a festive get-together in Merseyside and some seasonal Danish pastries, which look delicious. SH The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm It’s always a pleasure to find a series that sheds new light on a subject, and so it is with artist Alinka Echeverria’s enthralling films about Mexico’s art. Of course, there are the key points: conquest, independence, dictatorship, revolution and figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but what the commentary gives us here is the context for both the history and the artists. This is true of this episode that looks at the relationship between art and power, colonialism and control while examining the enduring power of Kahlo’s work and myth. SH Handmade in Mexico BBC Four, 10.00pm The focus here is on Mexico’s celebrated Tree of Life sculptures, those gaudy, gorgeous interpretations of everything from the creation myth to the resurrection of Christ and the Day of the Dead. It’s a fascinating half-hour in which we see the amount of work and detail that goes into each piece. SH White Right: Meeting the Enemy: Exposure ITV, 10.40pm; STV, 11.05pm; UTV, 11.40pm; Wales, 11.10pm This intriguing-sounding documentary sees the Bafta-nominated Deeyah Khan (Jihad: A Story of the Others) investigate white extremism in the US. Khan visits white nationalist groups, attends a far-right rally and asks why this poisonous ideology is resurgent. SH The Black Swan (1942) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 2.35pm No, this is not the film about the ageing ballet dancer and the young ingénue; this is about high adventure on the seven seas. When Laird Cregar’s Captain Morgan becomes Governor of Jamaica, he promises to put an end to piracy. But things don’t go smoothly, especially when his assistant (Tyrone Power) kidnaps the ex-governor’s beautiful daughter (Maureen O’Hara). This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello. Mamma Mia! (2008) ★★★☆☆ ITV3, 7.50pm This musical comedy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and set to Abba’s hits, is pure escapism. It’s naff, but that’s its selling point, as stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters place tongues firmly in cheeks. At 59, Streep deserved more credit for doing the splits than for her role as a boho mother living on a Greek island whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried) tries to find out who her biological father is. Blood Diamond (2006) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm The diamond industry of Sierra Leone is the subject of this striking thriller. Djimon Hounsou stars as a fisherman forced to work in the fields, who finds and hides a rare pink gem. His life is changed when he meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-serving mercenary and Jennifer Connelly’s well-meaning journalist. DiCaprio was Oscar-nominated, but lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Tuesday 12 December Paul Ready, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell-Martin Credit: BBC Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm Dispensing with the calamitous set pieces of previous episodes and instead documenting the quiet desperation of this ill-starred band of sisters (plus one brother), this superb, exhausting sitcom from a writing supergroup including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan has been an exquisitely painful delight. We join Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) in an unusually good place, with everything running smoothly thanks to her new Australian nanny, Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall). The kids are clean and happy, the school run is easy, the fridge is stocked – but could she be too good to be true? Amanda (Lucy Punch) has gone to ground after the revelation over her threesome, while her hapless confidant, Kevin (Paul Ready), is desperate to avoid having to get a job. And, should all the mugging get too much, there’s deadpan Liz (Diane Morgan), negotiating tricky relations with her dismal ex and his new, pregnant partner. After an orgy of passive aggression and desperate people in denial, the façades crack, just a little. Happily everyone reverts to fundamentally appalling type just in time for the end of the series and a surely inevitable recommission. GT Judd Apatow: the Return Netflix, from today After 25 years away from stand-up, the comedy zelig whose fingerprints are over everything from Knocked Up and Girls to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids returns for a special set in Montreal, recorded in July. GT Masterchef: the Professionals BBC Two, 8.00pm After the hopefuls have tackled an invention test and rustled up a dish dedicated to one of their inspirations, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galletti and Gregg Wallace eliminate another two contenders, leaving only six in the contest. GT The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Joe’s (brilliant Max Vento) family comes together for an end of year show at his old school – tears, acrimony and reconciliation ensue in the conclusion of Peter Bowker’s finely wrought, well-performed drama. A third series should surely be a formality. GT Invasion! with Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm While not quite attaining Lucy Worsley levels of gonzo history, Dr Sam Willis is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host not above the odd stunt to prove a point. This second episode of a series documenting the incursions that have shaped our nation and its bloodline examines the differing techniques and goals of the invaders. There are the Barbary Corsaire pirates who settled on Lundy Island, King Louis the Lion, invited to invade and crowned by disgruntled nobles, and the Dutch forces that negotiated the Medway just a year prior to the Glorious Revolution. Further proof, if any were needed, that Britain is a mongrel nation and all the better for it. GT The World’s Most Expensive Presents Channel 4, 9.00pm Eyeball-melting opulence and appalling lack of taste do battle with considerable craftsmanship and class in this startling film featuring everything from gold-plated pushbikes to a poker set in alligator-hide case. GT Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The Contenders BBC One, 10.45pm; Wales, 11.10pm; Scotland, 11.45pm With reigning title-holder Andy Murray’s injury-hit year effectively ruling him out of contention, Anthony Joshua, Chris Froome, Lewis Hamilton, Jo Konta and Mo Farah will be headlining this year’s roster after another 12 months of outstanding achievement in British sport. The runners and riders are introduced tonight. GT Shane (1953) ★★★★☆ Film4, 3.45pm There are few Westerns that examine the depths of human emotions, but this film by George Stevens is one of them and has become a landmark of cinema. Shane (Alan Ladd) is a cowboy who finds himself idolised for the way that he handles himself in the face of a landowner’s heavies. The climax is a face-off between Shane and smiling, whispering, Oscar-nominated Jack Palance, as the original man in black. A must-see. Mr & Mrs Smith (2005) ★★★☆☆ 5STAR, 9.00pm A daft comedy thriller which is perhaps best remembered for being the film that introduced Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. They play a couple whose failing marriage is spiced up dramatically when each discovers that the other secretly works as an assassin. Let down by a weak script, the film is held together by the chemistry between its two leads. Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody co-star. Moonraker (1979) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm The 11th film in the Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the dapper MI6 agent, involves the theft of a space shuttle. It’s one of the weaker Bond films and at times seems more of a comedy than a tense action adventure, but it’s enjoyably frivolous. Michael Lonsdale plays resident baddie Hugo Drax who pinches the aforementioned space shuttle to help along his plan to wipe out the world’s population. Wednesday 13 December Barbara Schulz in Vanished by the Lake Credit: Channel 4 Vanished by the Lake Channel 4, 10.00pm This haunting French crime drama centres on a teenage girl who goes missing at a festival. It’s hardly an original set-up, but much like last year’s hit Gallic import The Disappearance, based on an almost identical premise, the mix of youthful promise cut short and fierce small-town intrigue quickly compels. The girl in question is Chloé Delval (Charlie Joirkin), and as news of her disappearance spreads, memories of a similar 15-year-old case in which two other girls vanished at the same celebration are revived. Into the fray steps striking Parisian detective Lise Stocker (Barbara Schulz), who has returned home to look after her ill mother, but is soon swept up by the case as its personal implications begin to unfold. All of the hallmarks of the Nordic noir genre are present, from the evocative setting (here a Broadchurch-style coastal backdrop) to the close-knit neighbours with secrets to hide. Nevertheless, this opening episode is an effective tension builder and the human impact of the mystery – particularly on Chloé’s fracturing parents – is powerfully moving. Once episode one finishes, the full series will be available to watch on All 4. TD Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry rounds off her tour of Britain’s stately homes at Goodwood House, where she is suitably gushing over its royal history and grand interiors. Berry is treated to a hair-raising lap of the nearby motor circuit and whips up a four-tier cake for the cricket tea. TD The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm The plight of the endangered Javan green magpie is on the agenda as keepers at Chester Zoo attempt to breed youngster Permata with older bird Netuba. Elsewhere, a zebra battle breaks out when newcomer Okoth arrives. TD Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm A burst of gunfire opens the penultimate episode of period gangster antics, as Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) faces off against mafia honcho Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). An army colonel, meanwhile, questions Ada (Sophie Rundle) about her Communist past. TD The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm The fallout from Project Nemo, the new underwater electricity cable being laid between Belgium and Britain, is explored. We follow the Nemo manager struggling to avoid costly delays and the fisherman whose catch is being compromised by the work. TD Royal Academy: Painting the Future Sky Arts, 9.00pm Virtual reality (VR) is predicted to become the go-to place for everything from entertainment to work. The Royal Academy is getting in on the act with a new exhibition which explores the potential of the medium. This film follows the show’s creation with the artists, including sculptor Antony Gormley, portraitist Jonathan Yeo and Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare, who are producing works that use the technology to trace the history of the body in art. TD David Hockney: Time Reclaimed Sky Arts, 10.30pm This tribute to David Hockney aims to get beyond the glamour that surrounds his reputation, and focus on the personal aspects of his work. Anecdotes, images and analysis of the pictures themselves highlight the individuality expressed in each period of Hockney’s career, suggesting a diverse oeuvre that defies classification. TD Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.00am George Roy Hill directed two of the most popular films ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). But this indifferent Julie Andrews musical of the flapper era was first. There’s much to enjoy in the story of a naive woman who leaves her rural roots behind to seek fortune and romance in Twenties New York. James Fox, as a spiffing salesman, is a particular highlight. The Three Musketeers (2011) ★★☆☆☆ E4, 8.00pm Paul W S Anderson’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel is faithful in plot – Porthos, Athos and Aramis (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans), and disciple d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), are sent to retrieve the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) necklace. The tone, however, is half action-pantomime, half candy-coloured steampunk comic – fun but terribly slapdash. Poltergeist (1982) ★★★★☆ TCM, 11.15pm Director Tobe Hooper, who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tones down the gut-churning horror but still ramps up the tension to nightmare levels in this Steven Spielberg-produced chiller. It has one of cinema’s most spine-tinglingly scary moments: “They’re here,” sing-songs a little girl kneeling before the TV. “They” are the spirits, at first playful then increasingly malevolent, who terrorise a suburban family. Thursday 14 December Lord Sugar Credit: BBC The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC One, 8.00pm In the wake of last night’s excoriating interview round, and with this Sunday’s final rapidly approaching to decide who will win a £250,000 investment and the mentoring opportunity of a lifetime, Lord Sugar makes his most personal appearance of the series. Other than those brief to-camera inserts that roll out as taxi cabs ferry freshly defenestrated candidates away from Sugar Towers to forever dream of fortunes that might have been made, this is one of few occasions in each “process” when Lord Sugar appears on screen away from the wannabe tycoons and talking to viewers directly. And he makes the most of it with his trademark witty-gritty line in East End charm, although professionalism usually prevents him from really dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on why he thought 16 of them worthy only of the tip of his boot. Instead he looks back over this 13th series identifying the key commercial and strategic errors that led to each of his firing finger decisions, and what ultimately marked out the two finalists from the others. It’s a lot to get through in an hour but, as series recaps go, it’s usually a hoot. GO Ashes Cricket: Australia v England BT Sport 1, 1.30am The enduring Ashes Down Under conundrum: wake up early to watch it or stay up late? The third Test, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, gets under way in the early hours of Thursday morning, with England hoping to bounce back from two demoralising defeats. Lose this one and captain Joe Root will have to surrender the urn to the Aussies. PS European Tour Golf: The Indonesian Masters Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am It’s the opening day of the tournament at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won the title last year. Saksansin shot an overall score of 270 to finish on -18, five strokes ahead of joint runners-up Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and fellow Thai players Phachara Khongwatmai and Suradit Yongcharoenchai. PS Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special Channel 4, 8.00pm George Clarke and his inventive sidekick Will Hardie travel to Norway’s remoter parts to check out why this small country on the edge of Europe punches above its weight in architecture and design. Could it be something to do with the cold weather, they wonder? GO Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s drama about the romance of working at a Leeds registry office delivers on melodrama, if not subtlety. In this penultimate episode Kate (Ashley Jensen) struggles to make a decision after Rob’s (Adrian Bower) surprise proposal. GO Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm The final edition looks at the horrific impact of German incendiary bombs, in particular one that set a church ablaze in Bristol in November 1940 and started a firestorm that ravaged the city’s historic centre. GO The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm Sky’s award-winning version of The Bridge (its milieu that of British and French police teams linked by the Channel Tunnel) returns for a third and final run. A pity, as Stephen Dillane as spiky detective and Clémence Poésy as his emotionally remote French opposite number make an appealing pair. This first of six episodes packs in plenty of action as the pair set out to find the link between a burnt-out trawler and a maintenance worker attacked by a plague of rats. GO Extraordinary Teens: School of Life and Deaf Channel 4, 10.00pm This absorbing film follows a year in the life of Mary Hare Boarding School for deaf pupils in Berkshire. Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old about to undergo a potentially life-changing cochlear implant, this film gives a profound sense of the physical and emotional complexities of growing up deaf. GO The Russell Howard Hour Sky One, 10.00pm We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this excellent topical comedy series. It’s little more than an extended version of BBC Three’s (and later BBC Two’s) Good News but that’s exactly what fans (and Sky, who snapped Howard up) wanted and he has delivered, pushing his brand of highly topical, politically aware, positive reinforcement stand-up with aplomb. GO Life (2017) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm Daniel Espinosa’s Earth-orbiting suspense flick was released less than two months before Ridley Scott’s new chapter in his Alien franchise, and bears many of the same hallmarks. It’s also a little bit Gravity. Ryan Reynolds is one of a crew of astronauts aboard a space station conducting research into life on Mars. In terms of entertainment, the film does its baseline job of getting you to chew your nails off. There’s Something About Mary (1998) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm There are bad taste jokes in abundance in this comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller stars as Ted, a shy man who realises he’s still in love with Mary (Cameron Diaz, proving her comic abilities), the date he tried to take to prom 13 years ago. So, to track her down, he hires an oily private eye (Matt Dillon) who also fallsin love with her and sets out to keep the pair apart. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) ★★★☆☆ Universal Channel, 9.00pm Nicolas Cage has top billing in Dominic Sena’s remake of the 1974 cult film – a mind-numbingly testosterone-laced ride. Cage and Angelina Jolie are among a crew of thieves who must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to stop the murder of Cage’s brother. It’s more than serviceable entertainment, plus car aficionados will have fun spotting the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Friday 15 December Paul, Andy, Cynthia and Diana in The Sweet Makers Credit: BBC The Sweet Makers at Christmas BBC Two, 9.00pm Following their enjoyable three-part series earlier this year, BBC Two’s Sweet Makers return for this one-off Christmas special looking at changing treats from Georgian times to the Twenties. As before, the show is a lovely mix of baking and interesting social history with Emma Dabiri and Dr Annie Gray, who fill us in on how each era viewed Christmas and how confectionery changes over time. The show’s highlight comes during the Victorian Era, also known as the moment when Christmas as we know it was invented, as chocolatiers Paul A Young and Diane Short, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale recreate a Boar’s Head cake. “That’s the most bonkers thing we’ve ever made,” notes Young, looking at the finished result, which is rich in chocolate, beautifully decorated and featuring unnervingly glazed eyes. He’s right but it also looks fabulous, as do the intricate Twelfth Cakes, a speciality in Georgian times. The Twenties brings with it the wonderful news that before Terry’s invented the chocolate orange they introduced the chocolate apple to the world, before looking to the future and the invention of Lord Mackintosh’s Quality Street. SH Jean-Claude Van Johnson Amazon Prime Video, from today This delightfully silly new series sees Jean-Claude Van Damme as a retired action film star with a secret: he’s a special agent and he wants back in the game. It’s inspired mayhem anchored by a winning performance from the laconic Van Damme. SH Trollhunters Netflix, from today Guillermo del Toro’s inventive animation returns for a second series, and it features the voice of the late Anton Yelchin as reluctant hero Jim Lake Jnr. The story continues where the first series left off, and sees Jim adventure deeper into the Troll world to battle the leader of the Darklands. This series also features Mark Hamill and Game of Thrones’s Lena Headey. SH Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm; not STV or UTV; Wales, 11.10pm Judge Rinder’s reboot of classic Seventies series Crown Court might lack the big-name actors of the original but its meld of real-life crime and courtroom drama is just as addictive. Tonight, the jury decides if James Byron (Rupert Young) murdered his wife. SH Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Sarah Millican is a brave guest of Oliver and Doherty – brave because it swiftly transpires that cooking really isn’t her thing. But Oliver manages to bite his tongue while showing her how to cook her favourite microwave meal from scratch. SH Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The 54th series of the satirical news quiz comes to an end with the ever-reliable David Tennant in the host’s chair. It has been a patchy series, which was marked by a new low when Jo Brand had to explain why sexual harassment jokes weren’t funny to the male panellists. So let’s hope it goes out on a high. SH Roy Orbison: Love Hurts BBC Four, 9.30pm Roy Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Roy Jnr and Alex, take centre stage to discuss their father in this emotional documentary. SH The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi overload as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill join Norton on the sofa. Don’t expect any spoilers but there’s sure to be some nice eulogies to the late Carrie Fisher. SH Before I Go to Sleep (2014) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in this uninvolving thriller based on SJ Watson’s twisty bestseller. Kidman plays a woman who, after suffering a head injury, has no idea who she is or who the man sleeping next to her might be (it’s Colin Firth, playing her husband). She keeps a daily video diary but starts to notice discrepancies between what she’s recorded and what Firth tells her. The Pledge (2001) ★★★★☆ Sony Movie Channel, 9.00pm A tense mystery directed by Sean Penn with a fine cast including Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart and Vanessa Redgrave. Nicholson is a detective who has to handle a horrific case on the day of his retirement – the murder of a seven-year-old girl. He promises to bring the killer to justice, only to find that the case is far from straightforward. A powerful, unsettling film. Hyena (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.15pm This violent thriller about corrupt drug-squad officers is very violent indeed, so be prepared to cover your eyes for some parts of writer-director Gerard Johnson’s film. Michael Logan (an intense Peter Ferdinand) is the leader of this special force, assigned to tackle drug trafficking among the Balkan gangs. Stephen Graham, as his dubious boss, is as reliable as ever. Above all, it’s a grisly exploration of the criminal mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: John Noakes: TV Hero, the Strictly semi-final and more

Saturday 9 December John Noakes: TV Hero BBC Two, 5.30pm One quarter of the definitive Blue Peter foursome, alongside Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and Shep, John Noakes was both its longest-serving presenter and one of its very finest. A gifted communicator, earnest when he had to be but more often game for anything, whether that be a laugh or a lunatic stunt. This affectionate profile of Noakes, who died in May, aged 83, after many years with Alzheimer’s, pivots on perhaps his two best-loved moments. First, there’s a climb up Nelson’s Column, sans ropes or safety harnesses, that was every bit as daft and dangerous as it looked and ample testament to his dauntlessness. That impish sense of humour is demonstrated by the notorious appearance of Lulu the elephant, who relieved herself on the floor before rampaging across the studio and over Noakes’s foot. Ever the entertainer, he milked both for all they were worth. His relationship with the series was an equivocal one and he reportedly resented his clownish persona, but this tribute skirts any controversy in favour of warm nostalgia, with familiar Blue Peter faces including Biddy Baxter and Lesley Judd recalling the man and his work. GT Premier League Football: West Ham United v Chelsea Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am Having recovered from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 last Saturday, with Eden Hazard helping himself to a brace, Chelsea travel across London to face West Ham United. The home side, who are currently in the relegation zone, will have taken plenty of positives from their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday – namely, their defensive display. A similarly obdurate performance here and new manager David Moyes might get a share of the spoils this time. When these sides met at the London Stadium last season, West Ham lost 2-1. PS European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath Sky Sports Main Event, 5.15pm Two wins from two reads the stats for both sides so far in this season’s European Champions Cup – at least one of these 100 per cent records will end at Stade Mayol. Bath come into this match on the back of a 42-29 defeat by Exeter, but before that they’d won four on the bounce, with Freddie Burns impressing at fly-half. After the autumn internationals, director of rugby Todd Blackadder now has an embarrassment of riches from which to pick: most notably, England backs Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph. Toulon, meanwhile, ended a three-match losing streak on Saturday when they beat Lyon 39-11. PS Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.45pm The five remaining couples must perform two routines in this semi-final, and with barely a strand of lace between them, expect forensic criticism from the judges. Sunday’s results show will reveal the final four and there will be a performance from Craig David. GT Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.20pm Wringing his contacts book dry, McIntyre ropes in guests including TV presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes (taking part in the game Send to All) and pop rock band The Vamps for more fun. GT Witnesses: a Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Even in this saturated market for foreign-language thrillers, Witnesses stands out for its lack of gimmicks – though without ever quite scaling the heights of The Bridge or Spiral. Here, Sandra’s (Marie Dompnier) pursuit of the killer takes her into a forest and an orphanage. GT The White Princess Drama, 9.00pm and 10.20pm The excellent Jodie Comer anchors the series to its conclusion tonight with another double bill, as Elizabeth of York (Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) struggle to maintain a united front. GT Peter Blake: Pop Art Life Sky Arts, 9.00pm While there is more to Peter Blake’s work than his cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, music has played a crucial role in the development of his art and reputation. This engaging film digs deeply into a mutually fruitful relationship. GT Casualty BBC One, 9.20pm Christmas approaches, bringing annual trauma and discord for the A&E team. Tonight finds Elle’s (Jaye Griffiths) tearaway son Blake (Kai Thorne) going off the rails in response to her suggestion that she spend the festive period with her new boyfriend. Polly (Sophia Di Martino), meanwhile, continues to be unimpressed by Max (Jamie Davis). GT Through the Keyhole: I’m a Celebrity… get me out of here! ITV, 9.50pm The living, breathing definition of an acquired taste, Keith Lemon returns for a fifth series of the show once helmed by David Frost. Guests include Jimmy Carr, Myleene Klass and Tony Blackburn. GT Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) ★★★☆☆ Christmas Gold, 9.40pm Whereas Joe Dante’s original monster hit was a deliciously dark horror flick (and staple Christmas hit) with touches of wry humour, this inferior sequel is essentially a straight-up, riotous comedy, replete with in-jokes and movie references. This time, the gremlins run amok in a Manhattan high-rise building called Clamp Tower, owned by John Glover’s Donald Trump-like mogul. The Cider House Rules (1999) ★★★☆☆ BBC Two, 11.15pm John Irving’s adaptation of his own 1985 novel features a fine Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine, who won an Oscar (only his second at the time). Irving won one too, for Best Screenplay, and there’s no doubt the story is moving, though this version – about an orphan (Maguire) and a doctor (Caine) who performs illegal abortions – is at times a bit saccharine. Paul Rudd co-stars; Lasse Hallström directs. The Drop (2014) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 11.35pm Tom Hardy anchors this tale of simmering malfeasance as the tender of a Brooklyn bar designated as the drop for ill-gotten gains. Dennis Lehane adapts his own short story Animal Rescue, and makes a perfect team with Belgian director Michaël R Roskam, who gets a tamped-down, shuffling and beautifully calibrated star turn out of Hardy. Sopranos star James Gandolfini adds a burly gravitas in what would be his final movie. Sunday 10 December Jumbo with keeper Matthew Scott in 1882 Credit: BBC Attenborough and the Giant Elephant BBC One, 9.00pm Can we ever have too much Attenborough? It seems not, as right in the foaming wake of the fabulous Blue Planet II (which concludes tonight, see preview below) comes this absorbing, bittersweet tale of the world’s first animal superstar – Jumbo the elephant. It’s a sad story, really. Jumbo shot to fame shortly after his arrival at London Zoo as an orphan in around 1861, but he didn’t get much from the deal. As Attenborough says, his captive life was “troubled, fuelled by alcohol, terrifying fits of violence, a near mystical relationship with his keeper and a tragic end that seems hard to believe”. Which is more than enough to hold the attention for an hour as he joins an international team examining Jumbo’s preserved skeleton at New York’s Museum of Natural History. Attenborough also pokes about in archives at London Zoo, sanctuaries in the Maasai Mara and Tennessee, and Ontario where Jumbo met his very sad end, building as complete a picture of this magnificent creature and his global travels as has ever been assembled. All the while it spreads a positive conservationist message and gives thanks that attitudes are more enlightened now than in Victorian times. GO Premier League Football: Liverpool v Everton & Manchester United v Manchester City Sky Sports Main Event, 1.15pm & 4.15pm “Super Sunday” lives up to its hyperbolic billing, with two potentially exhilarating derbies. First up, we’re at Anfield where Liverpool, fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Brighton, host Everton, who found some form last week, following up their 4-0 win at home to West Ham United with a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield. Later, in the 4.30pm kick-off, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew rivalries as second-placed United host leaders City at Old Trafford. Expect it to be tight. PS Britain’s Wildest Weather 2017 Channel 4, 6.30pm This year has not, so far, been as extreme as some but, given the number of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping footage of every extreme weather event that occurred, among them devastating floods, tornadoes and hair-raising lightning strikes. GO  Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm This extraordinary series concludes with an undeniably depressing assessment of mankind’s impact on the marine environment. But David Attenborough, as ever, prefers to put the emphasis on hope. So there’s plenty of uplift too with stories of species brought back from extinction’s brink. GO Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm Julie Walters heads for Cornwall on the Great Western route, recalling her childhood holidays in Torquay. She then boards a steam train at Paignton, hears tales of smugglers in Polperro and fills up on cakes in Penzance. GO Leonora Carrington: the Lost Surrealist BBC Four, 9.00pm This fascinating film tells the story of rebellious upper-class British artist Leonora Carrington, who worked alongside Ernst, Breton and Éluard in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement, yet died in 2011 all but forgotten in Mexico. Director Teresa Griffiths mixes interviews and biographical material with experimental animation and tableaux to bring Carrington’s work vividly to life. GO I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 9.00pm Seventeen series in and the public appetite for watching celebrities endure humiliation and repulsion shows little sign of drying up. This year’s launch pulled in ITV’s biggest audience of 2017. The final will no doubt draw as big a crowd again. GO Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, from 9.00pm Three more atmospheric episodes of the gripping crime series set in the bohemian, political Weimar Germany of the late Twenties. Detective Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigation uncovers dangerous evidence of a shocking military conspiracy. GO The Sky At Night BBC Four, 10.00pm As well as more stargazing from the Royal Observatory, Maggie Aderin-Pocock is in Norway to see the Northern Lights. GO Ben-Hur (1959) ★★★★★ ITV3, 2.45pm A majestic slice of Hollywood history, this Roman-era melodrama directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston won 11 Academy Awards (not equalled until Titanic in 1997). It still makes for magnificent viewing. Set in 26AD, it tells the story of a Jewish prince who clashes with the Roman governor and ends up enslaved, desperately plotting his revenge. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 3.00pm Jerry Bruckheimer gives the famous sequence from Disney’s Fantasia a fun, live-action reboot. Student Dave (Jay Baruchel) inherits Merlin’s powers, placing him in a power struggle between Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Sadly there are just two scenes with broomsticks to link it to the original. Toby Kebbel is amusing as a stage musician co-opted by the forces of evil. Toy Story (1995) ★★★★★ BBC One, 3.35pm The idea of the first fully computer-generated animated film didn’t have those who had been weaned on the hand-drawn delights of Disney jumping for joy. However, with this beautiful tale, Pixar pushed animation to a new level – the premise, pace and emotion are all pitched perfectly. Whether it’s your first or 400th viewing, the story of toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a joy. Monday 11 December Faye Marsa, Sarah Parish and Amara Karan in Bancroft Credit: ITV Bancroft ITV, 9.00pm With so many crime dramas clogging up the television schedules it can be hard for a new series to stand out and at first ITV’s latest four-parter seems unlikely to break the mould. There’s an ambitious female cop with a possibly troubled past (the always reliable Sarah Parish), a striving younger cop who is desperate to move up the ranks (Faye Marsay) and the usual crop of jobsworths and strivers (Charles Babalola is particularly good as the married fellow officer Marsay’s Katherine should be steering well clear of). It’s all perfectly well done with a solid script from Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge) but it seems like nothing special. Then, three quarters of the way through this first episode, something genuinely interesting happens: Bancroft’s secrets are revealed to be very dark indeed just as Katherine’s cold case involving the break-in and violent murder of a young woman in 1990 starts hotting up. With the stakes suddenly raised Bancroft spins off into a dark tale of the lengths that people go to keep the past buried and the stage is set for an intriguing game of secrets and lies. Smart scheduling sees the rest of the story play out over consecutive nights. SH Street Auction BBC One, 11.00am Paul Martin returns with a new series of the surprisingly addictive show in which people band together to raise funds for a member of their community by auctioning off hidden treasures. The fun comes from the unusual objects unearthed from garages and attics. SH Nigella’s Christmas Table BBC Two, 8.00pm If anything is guaranteed to Nigella put into purring overload it’s Christmas. The food on offer includes roast duck with orange, soy and ginger, but this is really about mood rather than food. SH   Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Episode three of this genial series sees Hollywood looking back over his career and his time spent working at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire. There’s also a festive get-together in Merseyside and some seasonal Danish pastries, which look delicious. SH The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm It’s always a pleasure to find a series that sheds new light on a subject, and so it is with artist Alinka Echeverria’s enthralling films about Mexico’s art. Of course, there are the key points: conquest, independence, dictatorship, revolution and figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but what the commentary gives us here is the context for both the history and the artists. This is true of this episode that looks at the relationship between art and power, colonialism and control while examining the enduring power of Kahlo’s work and myth. SH Handmade in Mexico BBC Four, 10.00pm The focus here is on Mexico’s celebrated Tree of Life sculptures, those gaudy, gorgeous interpretations of everything from the creation myth to the resurrection of Christ and the Day of the Dead. It’s a fascinating half-hour in which we see the amount of work and detail that goes into each piece. SH White Right: Meeting the Enemy: Exposure ITV, 10.40pm; STV, 11.05pm; UTV, 11.40pm; Wales, 11.10pm This intriguing-sounding documentary sees the Bafta-nominated Deeyah Khan (Jihad: A Story of the Others) investigate white extremism in the US. Khan visits white nationalist groups, attends a far-right rally and asks why this poisonous ideology is resurgent. SH The Black Swan (1942) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 2.35pm No, this is not the film about the ageing ballet dancer and the young ingénue; this is about high adventure on the seven seas. When Laird Cregar’s Captain Morgan becomes Governor of Jamaica, he promises to put an end to piracy. But things don’t go smoothly, especially when his assistant (Tyrone Power) kidnaps the ex-governor’s beautiful daughter (Maureen O’Hara). This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello. Mamma Mia! (2008) ★★★☆☆ ITV3, 7.50pm This musical comedy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and set to Abba’s hits, is pure escapism. It’s naff, but that’s its selling point, as stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters place tongues firmly in cheeks. At 59, Streep deserved more credit for doing the splits than for her role as a boho mother living on a Greek island whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried) tries to find out who her biological father is. Blood Diamond (2006) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm The diamond industry of Sierra Leone is the subject of this striking thriller. Djimon Hounsou stars as a fisherman forced to work in the fields, who finds and hides a rare pink gem. His life is changed when he meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-serving mercenary and Jennifer Connelly’s well-meaning journalist. DiCaprio was Oscar-nominated, but lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Tuesday 12 December Paul Ready, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell-Martin Credit: BBC Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm Dispensing with the calamitous set pieces of previous episodes and instead documenting the quiet desperation of this ill-starred band of sisters (plus one brother), this superb, exhausting sitcom from a writing supergroup including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan has been an exquisitely painful delight. We join Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) in an unusually good place, with everything running smoothly thanks to her new Australian nanny, Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall). The kids are clean and happy, the school run is easy, the fridge is stocked – but could she be too good to be true? Amanda (Lucy Punch) has gone to ground after the revelation over her threesome, while her hapless confidant, Kevin (Paul Ready), is desperate to avoid having to get a job. And, should all the mugging get too much, there’s deadpan Liz (Diane Morgan), negotiating tricky relations with her dismal ex and his new, pregnant partner. After an orgy of passive aggression and desperate people in denial, the façades crack, just a little. Happily everyone reverts to fundamentally appalling type just in time for the end of the series and a surely inevitable recommission. GT Judd Apatow: the Return Netflix, from today After 25 years away from stand-up, the comedy zelig whose fingerprints are over everything from Knocked Up and Girls to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids returns for a special set in Montreal, recorded in July. GT Masterchef: the Professionals BBC Two, 8.00pm After the hopefuls have tackled an invention test and rustled up a dish dedicated to one of their inspirations, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galletti and Gregg Wallace eliminate another two contenders, leaving only six in the contest. GT The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Joe’s (brilliant Max Vento) family comes together for an end of year show at his old school – tears, acrimony and reconciliation ensue in the conclusion of Peter Bowker’s finely wrought, well-performed drama. A third series should surely be a formality. GT Invasion! with Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm While not quite attaining Lucy Worsley levels of gonzo history, Dr Sam Willis is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host not above the odd stunt to prove a point. This second episode of a series documenting the incursions that have shaped our nation and its bloodline examines the differing techniques and goals of the invaders. There are the Barbary Corsaire pirates who settled on Lundy Island, King Louis the Lion, invited to invade and crowned by disgruntled nobles, and the Dutch forces that negotiated the Medway just a year prior to the Glorious Revolution. Further proof, if any were needed, that Britain is a mongrel nation and all the better for it. GT The World’s Most Expensive Presents Channel 4, 9.00pm Eyeball-melting opulence and appalling lack of taste do battle with considerable craftsmanship and class in this startling film featuring everything from gold-plated pushbikes to a poker set in alligator-hide case. GT Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The Contenders BBC One, 10.45pm; Wales, 11.10pm; Scotland, 11.45pm With reigning title-holder Andy Murray’s injury-hit year effectively ruling him out of contention, Anthony Joshua, Chris Froome, Lewis Hamilton, Jo Konta and Mo Farah will be headlining this year’s roster after another 12 months of outstanding achievement in British sport. The runners and riders are introduced tonight. GT Shane (1953) ★★★★☆ Film4, 3.45pm There are few Westerns that examine the depths of human emotions, but this film by George Stevens is one of them and has become a landmark of cinema. Shane (Alan Ladd) is a cowboy who finds himself idolised for the way that he handles himself in the face of a landowner’s heavies. The climax is a face-off between Shane and smiling, whispering, Oscar-nominated Jack Palance, as the original man in black. A must-see. Mr & Mrs Smith (2005) ★★★☆☆ 5STAR, 9.00pm A daft comedy thriller which is perhaps best remembered for being the film that introduced Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. They play a couple whose failing marriage is spiced up dramatically when each discovers that the other secretly works as an assassin. Let down by a weak script, the film is held together by the chemistry between its two leads. Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody co-star. Moonraker (1979) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm The 11th film in the Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the dapper MI6 agent, involves the theft of a space shuttle. It’s one of the weaker Bond films and at times seems more of a comedy than a tense action adventure, but it’s enjoyably frivolous. Michael Lonsdale plays resident baddie Hugo Drax who pinches the aforementioned space shuttle to help along his plan to wipe out the world’s population. Wednesday 13 December Barbara Schulz in Vanished by the Lake Credit: Channel 4 Vanished by the Lake Channel 4, 10.00pm This haunting French crime drama centres on a teenage girl who goes missing at a festival. It’s hardly an original set-up, but much like last year’s hit Gallic import The Disappearance, based on an almost identical premise, the mix of youthful promise cut short and fierce small-town intrigue quickly compels. The girl in question is Chloé Delval (Charlie Joirkin), and as news of her disappearance spreads, memories of a similar 15-year-old case in which two other girls vanished at the same celebration are revived. Into the fray steps striking Parisian detective Lise Stocker (Barbara Schulz), who has returned home to look after her ill mother, but is soon swept up by the case as its personal implications begin to unfold. All of the hallmarks of the Nordic noir genre are present, from the evocative setting (here a Broadchurch-style coastal backdrop) to the close-knit neighbours with secrets to hide. Nevertheless, this opening episode is an effective tension builder and the human impact of the mystery – particularly on Chloé’s fracturing parents – is powerfully moving. Once episode one finishes, the full series will be available to watch on All 4. TD Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry rounds off her tour of Britain’s stately homes at Goodwood House, where she is suitably gushing over its royal history and grand interiors. Berry is treated to a hair-raising lap of the nearby motor circuit and whips up a four-tier cake for the cricket tea. TD The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm The plight of the endangered Javan green magpie is on the agenda as keepers at Chester Zoo attempt to breed youngster Permata with older bird Netuba. Elsewhere, a zebra battle breaks out when newcomer Okoth arrives. TD Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm A burst of gunfire opens the penultimate episode of period gangster antics, as Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) faces off against mafia honcho Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). An army colonel, meanwhile, questions Ada (Sophie Rundle) about her Communist past. TD The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm The fallout from Project Nemo, the new underwater electricity cable being laid between Belgium and Britain, is explored. We follow the Nemo manager struggling to avoid costly delays and the fisherman whose catch is being compromised by the work. TD Royal Academy: Painting the Future Sky Arts, 9.00pm Virtual reality (VR) is predicted to become the go-to place for everything from entertainment to work. The Royal Academy is getting in on the act with a new exhibition which explores the potential of the medium. This film follows the show’s creation with the artists, including sculptor Antony Gormley, portraitist Jonathan Yeo and Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare, who are producing works that use the technology to trace the history of the body in art. TD David Hockney: Time Reclaimed Sky Arts, 10.30pm This tribute to David Hockney aims to get beyond the glamour that surrounds his reputation, and focus on the personal aspects of his work. Anecdotes, images and analysis of the pictures themselves highlight the individuality expressed in each period of Hockney’s career, suggesting a diverse oeuvre that defies classification. TD Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.00am George Roy Hill directed two of the most popular films ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). But this indifferent Julie Andrews musical of the flapper era was first. There’s much to enjoy in the story of a naive woman who leaves her rural roots behind to seek fortune and romance in Twenties New York. James Fox, as a spiffing salesman, is a particular highlight. The Three Musketeers (2011) ★★☆☆☆ E4, 8.00pm Paul W S Anderson’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel is faithful in plot – Porthos, Athos and Aramis (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans), and disciple d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), are sent to retrieve the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) necklace. The tone, however, is half action-pantomime, half candy-coloured steampunk comic – fun but terribly slapdash. Poltergeist (1982) ★★★★☆ TCM, 11.15pm Director Tobe Hooper, who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tones down the gut-churning horror but still ramps up the tension to nightmare levels in this Steven Spielberg-produced chiller. It has one of cinema’s most spine-tinglingly scary moments: “They’re here,” sing-songs a little girl kneeling before the TV. “They” are the spirits, at first playful then increasingly malevolent, who terrorise a suburban family. Thursday 14 December Lord Sugar Credit: BBC The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC One, 8.00pm In the wake of last night’s excoriating interview round, and with this Sunday’s final rapidly approaching to decide who will win a £250,000 investment and the mentoring opportunity of a lifetime, Lord Sugar makes his most personal appearance of the series. Other than those brief to-camera inserts that roll out as taxi cabs ferry freshly defenestrated candidates away from Sugar Towers to forever dream of fortunes that might have been made, this is one of few occasions in each “process” when Lord Sugar appears on screen away from the wannabe tycoons and talking to viewers directly. And he makes the most of it with his trademark witty-gritty line in East End charm, although professionalism usually prevents him from really dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on why he thought 16 of them worthy only of the tip of his boot. Instead he looks back over this 13th series identifying the key commercial and strategic errors that led to each of his firing finger decisions, and what ultimately marked out the two finalists from the others. It’s a lot to get through in an hour but, as series recaps go, it’s usually a hoot. GO Ashes Cricket: Australia v England BT Sport 1, 1.30am The enduring Ashes Down Under conundrum: wake up early to watch it or stay up late? The third Test, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, gets under way in the early hours of Thursday morning, with England hoping to bounce back from two demoralising defeats. Lose this one and captain Joe Root will have to surrender the urn to the Aussies. PS European Tour Golf: The Indonesian Masters Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am It’s the opening day of the tournament at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won the title last year. Saksansin shot an overall score of 270 to finish on -18, five strokes ahead of joint runners-up Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and fellow Thai players Phachara Khongwatmai and Suradit Yongcharoenchai. PS Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special Channel 4, 8.00pm George Clarke and his inventive sidekick Will Hardie travel to Norway’s remoter parts to check out why this small country on the edge of Europe punches above its weight in architecture and design. Could it be something to do with the cold weather, they wonder? GO Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s drama about the romance of working at a Leeds registry office delivers on melodrama, if not subtlety. In this penultimate episode Kate (Ashley Jensen) struggles to make a decision after Rob’s (Adrian Bower) surprise proposal. GO Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm The final edition looks at the horrific impact of German incendiary bombs, in particular one that set a church ablaze in Bristol in November 1940 and started a firestorm that ravaged the city’s historic centre. GO The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm Sky’s award-winning version of The Bridge (its milieu that of British and French police teams linked by the Channel Tunnel) returns for a third and final run. A pity, as Stephen Dillane as spiky detective and Clémence Poésy as his emotionally remote French opposite number make an appealing pair. This first of six episodes packs in plenty of action as the pair set out to find the link between a burnt-out trawler and a maintenance worker attacked by a plague of rats. GO Extraordinary Teens: School of Life and Deaf Channel 4, 10.00pm This absorbing film follows a year in the life of Mary Hare Boarding School for deaf pupils in Berkshire. Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old about to undergo a potentially life-changing cochlear implant, this film gives a profound sense of the physical and emotional complexities of growing up deaf. GO The Russell Howard Hour Sky One, 10.00pm We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this excellent topical comedy series. It’s little more than an extended version of BBC Three’s (and later BBC Two’s) Good News but that’s exactly what fans (and Sky, who snapped Howard up) wanted and he has delivered, pushing his brand of highly topical, politically aware, positive reinforcement stand-up with aplomb. GO Life (2017) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm Daniel Espinosa’s Earth-orbiting suspense flick was released less than two months before Ridley Scott’s new chapter in his Alien franchise, and bears many of the same hallmarks. It’s also a little bit Gravity. Ryan Reynolds is one of a crew of astronauts aboard a space station conducting research into life on Mars. In terms of entertainment, the film does its baseline job of getting you to chew your nails off. There’s Something About Mary (1998) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm There are bad taste jokes in abundance in this comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller stars as Ted, a shy man who realises he’s still in love with Mary (Cameron Diaz, proving her comic abilities), the date he tried to take to prom 13 years ago. So, to track her down, he hires an oily private eye (Matt Dillon) who also fallsin love with her and sets out to keep the pair apart. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) ★★★☆☆ Universal Channel, 9.00pm Nicolas Cage has top billing in Dominic Sena’s remake of the 1974 cult film – a mind-numbingly testosterone-laced ride. Cage and Angelina Jolie are among a crew of thieves who must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to stop the murder of Cage’s brother. It’s more than serviceable entertainment, plus car aficionados will have fun spotting the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Friday 15 December Paul, Andy, Cynthia and Diana in The Sweet Makers Credit: BBC The Sweet Makers at Christmas BBC Two, 9.00pm Following their enjoyable three-part series earlier this year, BBC Two’s Sweet Makers return for this one-off Christmas special looking at changing treats from Georgian times to the Twenties. As before, the show is a lovely mix of baking and interesting social history with Emma Dabiri and Dr Annie Gray, who fill us in on how each era viewed Christmas and how confectionery changes over time. The show’s highlight comes during the Victorian Era, also known as the moment when Christmas as we know it was invented, as chocolatiers Paul A Young and Diane Short, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale recreate a Boar’s Head cake. “That’s the most bonkers thing we’ve ever made,” notes Young, looking at the finished result, which is rich in chocolate, beautifully decorated and featuring unnervingly glazed eyes. He’s right but it also looks fabulous, as do the intricate Twelfth Cakes, a speciality in Georgian times. The Twenties brings with it the wonderful news that before Terry’s invented the chocolate orange they introduced the chocolate apple to the world, before looking to the future and the invention of Lord Mackintosh’s Quality Street. SH Jean-Claude Van Johnson Amazon Prime Video, from today This delightfully silly new series sees Jean-Claude Van Damme as a retired action film star with a secret: he’s a special agent and he wants back in the game. It’s inspired mayhem anchored by a winning performance from the laconic Van Damme. SH Trollhunters Netflix, from today Guillermo del Toro’s inventive animation returns for a second series, and it features the voice of the late Anton Yelchin as reluctant hero Jim Lake Jnr. The story continues where the first series left off, and sees Jim adventure deeper into the Troll world to battle the leader of the Darklands. This series also features Mark Hamill and Game of Thrones’s Lena Headey. SH Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm; not STV or UTV; Wales, 11.10pm Judge Rinder’s reboot of classic Seventies series Crown Court might lack the big-name actors of the original but its meld of real-life crime and courtroom drama is just as addictive. Tonight, the jury decides if James Byron (Rupert Young) murdered his wife. SH Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Sarah Millican is a brave guest of Oliver and Doherty – brave because it swiftly transpires that cooking really isn’t her thing. But Oliver manages to bite his tongue while showing her how to cook her favourite microwave meal from scratch. SH Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The 54th series of the satirical news quiz comes to an end with the ever-reliable David Tennant in the host’s chair. It has been a patchy series, which was marked by a new low when Jo Brand had to explain why sexual harassment jokes weren’t funny to the male panellists. So let’s hope it goes out on a high. SH Roy Orbison: Love Hurts BBC Four, 9.30pm Roy Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Roy Jnr and Alex, take centre stage to discuss their father in this emotional documentary. SH The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi overload as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill join Norton on the sofa. Don’t expect any spoilers but there’s sure to be some nice eulogies to the late Carrie Fisher. SH Before I Go to Sleep (2014) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in this uninvolving thriller based on SJ Watson’s twisty bestseller. Kidman plays a woman who, after suffering a head injury, has no idea who she is or who the man sleeping next to her might be (it’s Colin Firth, playing her husband). She keeps a daily video diary but starts to notice discrepancies between what she’s recorded and what Firth tells her. The Pledge (2001) ★★★★☆ Sony Movie Channel, 9.00pm A tense mystery directed by Sean Penn with a fine cast including Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart and Vanessa Redgrave. Nicholson is a detective who has to handle a horrific case on the day of his retirement – the murder of a seven-year-old girl. He promises to bring the killer to justice, only to find that the case is far from straightforward. A powerful, unsettling film. Hyena (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.15pm This violent thriller about corrupt drug-squad officers is very violent indeed, so be prepared to cover your eyes for some parts of writer-director Gerard Johnson’s film. Michael Logan (an intense Peter Ferdinand) is the leader of this special force, assigned to tackle drug trafficking among the Balkan gangs. Stephen Graham, as his dubious boss, is as reliable as ever. Above all, it’s a grisly exploration of the criminal mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

Six of One - Iconic Manchester derby pictures ... and the stories behind them

Welcome to Six of One, our series in which we pick six of the best examples of a theme and contrast them with half a dozen others. This episode's theme is inspired by the Manchester derby and its rich history. Instead of the usual format of taking six outstanding things and balancing them with six execrable ones, here we have opted for six great photographs centred on United and six on City and try to tell the stories behind them.  As in the past it is obviously very much a subjective evaluation so please feel free to nominate your own favourites in either category in the comments section or tell your own stand-out derby stories.  Manchester United photographs 1. Alex Dawson 1960-61 Manchester United endured a torrid start to the 1960-61 season, losing 10 of their first 18 matches including defeats by Everton, Arsenal, Cardiff City and Aston Villa. It is often forgotten that they finished second in 1958-59, the season after the Munich Disaster, and seventh in 1959-60 but by mid-November 1960 they were 17th and looking in desperate need of fresh blood. That month Matt Busby bought the stylish Noel Cantwell from West Ham for £29,500, a record fee for a full-back, and the charming, erudite Irishman would go on to captain United and become a profound influence in the club's renaissance over the next eight years. His immediate impact was none too shabby and United swept through December, defeating Preston, drawing 4-4 with Fulham and beating Blackburn. The Christmas double header against Chelsea was overcome with a 2-0 away victory on Christmas Eve followed by a 6-0 thrashing at Old Trafford on Boxing Day in which Alex Dawson scored a hat-trick, Jimmy Nicholson two goals and Bobby Charlton one. By the time of the home derby on New Year's Eve 1960, United were in far ruder health and had climbed to 11th while City, eighth six weeks earlier, were on a dreadful run of six defeats in seven games. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images That's Dawson in the dark shirt in the picture, framed against the Stretford sky, arching his body to flick the ball on and captured by the photographer dead in the middle of the floodlight pylon on the left corner of the Scoreboard End. Romantics can imagine the smoke from a passing steam train adding to the hazy ambience but the season and hour are likely to be more responsible for the oystery murk. Dawson scored his second hat-trick in successive matches in this game and Charlton, from the left-wing, hit two more past Bert Trautmann. Only Colin Barlow could reply for Manchester City and any Blues would be excused by the 5-1 defeat for telling first-footers' calling on them later that night to stuff their lump of coal where the sun doesn't shine. Dawson was a broad bullock of a centre-forward who had unforgettably scored a hat-trick in the FA Cup semi-final against Fulham in 1958 during United's emotional charge to Wembley. He scored 45 league goals in 80 appearances and suffered City fans adopting the Camptown Races melody to assail him thus: "Who's that fella with the big fat a---? Dawson, Dawson." He had many qualities but not the exhilarating flair that Busby coveted so highly and he was sold to Preston in 1961 where he became known as 'The Black Prince of Deepdale' and bagged more than a hundred goals over six seasons of frisky service. Deliciously, to the right of the photograph in the City No10 shirt and adjusting his body perhaps to launch himself acrobatically at the ball, is Denis Law, a forward with all the class and spirit Busby desired. It would take the United manager another 20 months to get his man.   2. Eric Cantona 1994 On March 19 1994 Manchester United, the champions and league leaders went to the County Ground to play their only top-flight match against Swindon Town who were 47 points below them and not so much at the foot of the Premiership but at the bottom of its Mariana Trench. But Swindon, by virtue of two equalisers, held on for a point and United were left with 10 men when Eric Cantona was sent off for stamping on John Moncur's solar plexus. A little over 72 hours later on March 22, United were again pegged back after twice taking the lead at Arsenal and Cantona was sent off for two yellow cards, the first for a foul on Ian Selley, the second two minutes later for wild swipes at Nigel Winterburn and Tony Adams. For his sins Cantona was given a five-match suspension and defeats by second-placed Blackburn and Wimbledon in his absence left United still leading Rovers at the top of the table but solely on goal difference though they had played one match fewer. Cantona returned for their 38th game of the 42-match season, the Manchester derby on St George's Day and may have read, on the morning of the match, a warning from City's full-back Terry Phelan, who pledged that his team-mates would "wind Eric up left, right and centre" and rotate the opportunity to "take a bite out of him" because he "doesn't like it when you get him at it" which must rank as one of the worst psychological assessments in recent memory.  Credit: Anton Want/ALLSPORT/Getty Images In the end Phelan did not make the starting XI and City's attempts to rile the Player of the Year were faced, at least initially, by the rarely seen "other cheek" of United's No7. In the five minutes before half-time he scored twice, tapping in an Andrei Kanchelskis centre from a yard and then sweeping a right-foot shot under Andy Dibble when the keeper thought he was going to be chipped. Kanchelskis had a peculiar way of using his arms when running that suggested forgetting to extract the coathanger before putting his shirt on but was devastatingly direct and quick and he stands in the background, about to be embraced by Lee Sharpe, one winger acutely aware that the other deserves most praise for the opening goal. Yet it's the central figure of Cantona that dominates and by contrast to the near identical pose of Michel Vonk, appealing vainly for offside, he smiles with something of the radiant pleasure he could still demonstrate. For the remaining three seasons of his career, more so after Selhurst Park in 1995, Cantona sometimes seemed to be wedded to an image of himself wearing a crown of thorns and often posed messianically after scoring, not so much in 'redemption' mode as with a confrontational attitude of there-will-be-a-reckoning-for those-who doubted-me.   Here, though, there is joy still unconfined, an elation that burgeoned over the next three weeks after United's 2-0 victory. In their five remaining games they wrapped up the Premier League title by eight points and defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final to earn their debut Double.  "No matter what the tempo is Eric's got the ability to compose himself on the ball," said Alex Ferguson after the match, burnishing the divine mystique. "In the maelstrom of League football that in itself is a miracle."  3. Roy Keane 2001  One should not forget that Roy Keane’s vendetta against Alfie Haaland was provoked by a word not a deed. In September 1997 at Elland Road, Keane injured himself fouling Haaland, then playing for Leeds, severing his own cruciate ligament when his studs caught in the turf and put himself out of the game for 11 months’ of gruelling rehabilitation. In his first autobiography Keane claims that Haaland and his team-mate David Wetherall stood over him and accused him of faking the injury, an act of slander so defamatory to his professional code, so uncharitable, that Keane stoked the embers of his grudge for almost four years. The fact that Haaland may have been responding in the moment after 85 minutes of rancour between the two, that Keane’s fall was in the penalty area at the end of a game Manchester United were losing 1-0, or that he could be excused of savouring the irony that someone who had tried to hurt him had succeeded only in hurting himself did not diminish Keane’s festering resentment. Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien In Keane’s absence, Manchester United eventually blew an 11-point lead in the championship race and Arsenal won the Double but by April 2001 and the Old Trafford derby, Keane was well on course to raise his third successive Premier League title as club captain. It was a drab match - Steve Howey had scored the equaliser with seven minutes to go after Paul Scholes had missed a penalty before Teddy Sheringham converted one - until Keane exploited the proximity of Haaland in the 86th minute to lunge right-foot first, studs up, into the side of the City midfielder’s knee. Haaland had just executed a forceful clearance and had his leg off the turf in his followthrough when Keane hit him with the full weight of his body driven through his lunge, tipping his victim up so that he slammed shoulder-first into the grass. Paul Hayward, who was there for The Telegraph, takes the story up in his live report: Keane by name, and manically keen by nature, Manchester United's captain struck Alfie Haaland with a tackle so vindictive that it would have aroused the interest of the constabulary had it been made in an ale-speckled pub that Saturday night. 'Gotcha!' is what Keane apparently said to his old enemy as Haaland clutched his leg to make sure all the components of a limb were still there. Blackjack dealers have delivered cards less swiftly than David Elleray did in reaching for red. In his 2002 autobiography Keane revealed the key message he delivered was two letters shorter than ‘Gotcha’. "I'd waited long enough. I f------ hit him hard," he wrote. "The ball was there (I think). Take that you c---. And don't ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. And tell your pal [David] Wetherall there's some for him as well." While there is no denying that it’s precisely what he meant, he would have had to rattle through it like Michael O’Hehir on amphetamine sulphate to deliver it verbally in the two seconds he spoke before leaving the pitch. Ever since, seemingly depending on the likelihood of legal repercussions for his words, Keane revels in it but see-saws on whether he meant irreparably to harm Haaland, who would play only 48 minutes more in his professional career during various comebacks but retired mainly because of an injury to his left knee. Some Manchester United fans see Keane at this moment as a kind of warrior avenging angel and his critics as a mad dog but the stark beauty of the photograph captures a man chillingly in control achieving, in his eyes, brutal restitution for a violation of his honour. It’s how Keyser Soze must have looked when wiping out one of the Hungarian mafia. 4. Michael Owen 2009 United had all but thrown away the home derby in September 2009 when they conceded three equalisers, the last in the 90th minute when the quicksilver Craig Bellamy made Rio Ferdinand look like a carthorse after the England centre-back played a casual pass straight to Martin Petrov. Carlos Tevez’s transfer to City in July provoked the summer of “the noisy neighbours” and Ferdinand’s posture after being gulled by Bellamy, head in hands behind the shaky Ben Foster and muttering expletives, betrayed his concern about letting his team-mates down and the wrath from a volcanic Sir Alex Ferguson that was about to engulf him. But he was about to be saved by the free transfer signing Ferguson had brought in to replace Tevez, the 2001 Ballon d’Or winner, Michael Owen, whose giddy progress had been hobbled at Newcastle United by a cruciate-ligament injury and recurring hamstring, thigh and groin problems. Owen was a serious, dedicated professional yet Newcastle fans had not taken to him, finding it difficult to embrace someone who was frequently absent from the field and refused to live among them. It is fair to say that United fans were barely exhilarated by his signing either. They had completed a hat-trick of titles the previous May but had been forced to sell Cristiano Ronaldo and decided to let Tevez go in the summer without reinvesting a credible portion of the profits. Credit: Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images But cometh the hour or, as City fans would put it, ‘cometh the sixth minute of Fergie time’, cometh the substitute Owen to sidle behind Micah Richards. It took a cute pass from Ryan Giggs to find him and even after so many injuries Owen plus space plus a gap between him and the goalkeeper was an equation with only one likely outcome. Shay Given spread himself as best he could without reward. Owen took a touch then dinked the ball into the far corner with an expert flick of the toes. The special thing about the photograph is how it destroys the perception of Owen as the dull master of his emotions and by that stage of his career as someone who cared more about thoroughbreds than goals. “Just look at his face”, as Barry Davies once instructed the audience when Frannie Lee scored against City after leaving Maine Road to win the title with Derby, and his delight is palpable. For City there was a sense of being mugged again in the familiar fishy circumstances by Ferguson, the Time Lord, yet the picture of Owen resonates more than the ones of desolate and angry players in blue. It conveys his elation but also his optimism, like someone who has emerged from a long nightmare. 5. Gary Neville and Paul Scholes 2010 Once you know that 1950’s ‘Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville’ by Robert Doisneau was staged, it removes some of the sheen from the quintessential Parisian portrait of uninhibited young love. One trusts, for Paul Scholes’ sake, that the photograph taken during the April 2010 Etihad derby, was a more spontaneous ‘Kiss’ that required no laborious and possibly unsavoury rehearsal. United were second, trailing Chelsea by four points with four matches to go and City fifth, two points behind Spurs in the last Champions League qualifying plce, as they embarked on their game in hand at Eastlands. Sadly the game was nothing like the firecracker at Old Trafford earlier in the season and was littered with anxiety-ridden wayward passes, midfield stagnation, shouts for penalties from both sides and all too rare opportunities that were squandered. Once again the clock had passed 90 minutes when Gabriel Obertan slipped past Patrick Vieira, rolled the ball down the left for Patrice Evra to cross and Scholes met it before the penalty spot and cushioned an unstoppable header inside the far post. Like Owen across the city seven months earlier, Scholes ran behind the goal but by contrast threw himself into the arms of United fans. Credit: AP Photo/Tim Hales When he extricated himself from the melee he was approached by his captain and friend, Gary Neville, who held him tenderly by the cheeks, puckered up and kissed him on the lips, at that moment finding him irresistible like a young Mel Smith with Griff Rhys Jones. “A kiss on the lips from Nev is worth it any time after a winner against City,” said Scholes. “Gary’s emotional and it was an important goal. Gary’s kissed a few in his time. David [Beckham] was probably his favourite but that’s the way Gary is.” John O’Shea had a more arresting interpretation, one that perhaps explains the nakedly theatrical exaggeration of the gesture with the placement of his hands. “I don’t think it was for Scholesy’s benefit,” he said. “I think it was to make the City fans feel that little bit angrier.” United won their last three games and so did Chelsea which left them runners-up by a point while this loss followed by the home defeat by Tottenham kept City out of the Champions League for one last year. For Neville it would be his last derby and one sealed with a loving kiss. 6. Wayne Rooney 2011 After missing out on the league title in 2010 despite a hat-trick that preceded it, Sir Alex Ferguson announced the following October that Wayne Rooney had asked for a transfer because he felt that the club’s investment in new players was inadequate and he wanted to play for a club that matched his ambitions. It did not take long for Ferguson to knock him back nor for whispers to emerge that he was trying to engineer a move to City. “I met with David Gill [United chief executive] last week and he did not give me any of the assurances I was seeking about the future squad," Rooney confirmed when outed by Ferguson. "I then told him that I would not be signing a new contract.” Because he was articulating some of the suspicions of United supporters that the demands of the Glazer family’s leveraged buy-out of the club had restricted its scope in the market, Rooney was not as vituperatively condemned as an everyday ‘wantaway’ player. Nonetheless he did alienate many United fans among them a balaclava-clad posse who protested outside his home in Prestbury with a banner that read, “If you join City you are dead”. Credit: AP Photo/Jon Super One suspects Fergsuon’s dead body would have had to be surmounted for any deal to go through and the manager played hardball in public while the Glazers eventually enticed him to stay with a staggering new offer. It took Rooney more than a year publicly to express his regrets and claim that he would never have joined City. Ferguson welcomed him back into the fold much sooner and United’s title campaign gathered momentum through the winter though Rooney scored only three goals in 11 Premier League matches after signing his new contract. United took the lead in February’s Old Trafford derby through Nani before David Silva equalised jammily when hit on the back by Edin Dzeko’s shot 20 minutes into the second-half. Rooney, toiling alone up front, could not get into the game yet continued to run the channels hard to try to elude the irritatingly adhesive Vincent Kompany. In the 78th minute Nani floated a cross into the box that was behind Rooney. He had stationed himself by the penalty spot with the intention of sowing doubt about which post he would attack but the trajectory of the centre forced an adjustment. He swivelled and jumped horizontally, back to the floor, head down and thumped a bicycle-kick volley past Hart whose mouth flapped agape in surprise. It was a classic wonder goal, one that made you appreciate the extraordinary agility, anticipation and execution of a world-class player. He is commonly derided now after five years of slow decline from his 2011-12 peak but back then Rooney’s outstanding talent was in full bloom. Which is why Ferguson fought so hard to keep him, why United’s fans embraced him again and forgave his rebellion. And half a dozen of the other ... Manchester City images 1. Matt Busby and Joe Mercer 1939 This photograph, taken shortly after the outbreak of war in 1939, shows three sergeants of the Royal Army Physical Training Corps, Joe Mercer on the left, Matt Busby in the middle and Charlton Athletic and England’s Don Welsh. Mercer, then of Everton and England, went on to manager City for six thrilling seasons from 1965 while Busby, then of Liverpool and Scotland, had played for City from the age of 18 in 1928 for eight seasons, winning the FA Cup in sky blue in 1934. Credit: Popperfoto/Getty Images What’s terrific about this picture is that it shows a fine City player and a great City manager, one with his City days behind him, the other with them many years ahead in the future. At the time of the photograph they were cross-city rivals as players and 26 years on would become cross-city rivals as managers but as is plain to see by the smiles, they never let partisan hostility infect their outlook. Their sense of duty and gentlemanly warmth is the foundation of what is best about both clubs and City were blessed to be served and influenced by the two of them.   2. Two Georges 1968 On the morning of the midweek Old Trafford derby on March 27 1968, United were second behind Leeds in the table on goal average and City two points back in third. United took the lead in the first minute through George Best but City gradually built momentum to dominate the match, equalising with a Colin Bell goal on 16 minutes. Bell was mesmerising that day, thrashing the ball past Stepney then giving United’s midfield the runaround. John Hollins of Chelsea says that Bell’s stamina made him seem as if he had an extra lung and he used his physical dynamism and acute positional sense to cause havoc. Francis Burns fouled him to concede the free-kick from which George Heslop headed City ahead and the raw United full-back hit him with another dreadful tackle late on when Bell was rounding the keeper and sure to roll in the third. That honour was left to Francis Lee from the penalty spot while Bell was being stretchered down the touchline and City wrapped up a convincing and deserved victory to put them level with United and Leeds on 45 points.   Credit: Derek Preston/Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images For Malcolm Allison, Mercer’s assistant and the Puckish strategist behind City’s rise, everything panned out as he had envisioned it. Before the game he had told the City players to walk to the Stretford End to applaud the United fans, knowing it would needle them and sharpen the atmosphere. Best, brilliant, sometimes unstoppable, scored though it did not puncture City’s confidence and here in this photograph we see George Heslop, City’s centre-half, time a sliding tackle to perfection and rob Best in full flight. Heslop, his blond combover a match for Bobby Charlton’s, was the pivot in City’s defensive system who allowed Tommy Booth and Mike Doyle the positional flexibility to support and switch with Tony Coleman, Bell and Mike Summerbee. Here, momentarily left exposed, and confronted by the greatest player in Europe in his mercurial, high summer peak, Heslop uses his experience and skill to stymie all that talent. It’s one of the standout action shots of the Sixties, the expanse of vacant green grass around them is where Best thrived but Heslop, his gigantic thighs a contrast to the sleek, supple Best’s, fairly and elegantly bars his way. “Years of humiliation had been, if not wiped away, at least eased,” Allison later wrote. “It was one of the great nights of my life.” Greater still were to come. Although they lost at Leicester the following week, City won five of their next seven games before victory at St James’ Park on the final day earned them their first title for 31 years by two points from United.  “I think we will be the first team to play on Mars,” Allison said on the morning after winning the title following only an hour’s sleep. "We have had more courage than the majority of teams in the League. The courage to play this game.” Mars would prove to be a stretch too far, but who needs Mars when you’ve been taken to heaven?   3. Denis Law 1974 Maxwell Scott’s advice from The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance has proved seductive over the years for those writing about Denis Law’s backheel in the 83rd minute of the derby at Old Trafford in April 1974. “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend,” said Scott, appropriately enough a newspaper editor. And so the myth that Law, a year after leaving United to return to City on a free transfer, sent United down took flight. In truth, though, Birmingham City in 19th held their fate in their own hands. Victory for them over Norwich, who had already been relegated, and United were down come what may. United fans knew what was happening at St Andrew’s and invaded the pitch at Old Trafford both before and after the news that Bob Hatton had put Birmingham ahead. The third and final invasion came four minutes from the end, three minutes after Law had put City in front with a larcenous, impulsive backheel. Sir Matt Busby addressed the crowd over the Tannoy in an attempt to persuade them to retreat “for the sake of the club” to no avail and the match was abandoned as a City victory. Birmingham’s 2-1 win rendered the last four minutes inconsequential. Credit: PA Before all that, though, Law had gone off, looking utterly disconsolate, even though City fans then and during the drawn-out melee were eagerly attempting to corral him into their celebrations. Look at his face and you see a perfect definition of “crestfallen”, a bigamist unmasked and tormented by the consequences. Law’s 37th and final goal for City (to add to his 237 for United) may not have relegated the neighbours at all but the legend endures because the twist of the player’s identity and allegiance enhance the element of City supporters’ schadenfreude to an exquisite pinnacle. “In that moment you saw the two sides of his character,” the City winger Dennis Tueart told the Daily Mail in 2012. “You saw the instinctive, goalscoring predator, the man who was a privilege to play with and train with and learn from. Then - when he realised what he had done - you saw the man himself, the gentleman who didn't want to hurt his old club. A sense of reality hit him.” 4. Ian Bishop and Paul Lake 1989 The 6-1 thrashing of the champions at Old Trafford in 2011 takes some beating but for City fans of a certain age the 5-1 victory at Maine Road in September 1989 will always be an imperishable memory. Because of City’s relegation, derbies in the Eighties were rare and City had not won one since February 1981 when Alex Ferguson took his beleaguered, expensive United team to Moss Side. It was the season of Michael Knighton in replica kit juggling the ball on the Old Trafford pitch to advertise his impending takeover before the opening match - a slick 4-1 victory over the champions Arsenal. The bloom of a summer spree - Gary Pallister, Neil Webb, Mike Phelan and Paul Ince snapped up for a staggering outlay of £6.25m - wilted as quickly as Knighton’s credibility when United were beaten by Derby, Norwich and Everton in successive matches. Beating Millwall 5-1 before the trip across town was trumpeted as the end of the teething troubles but they left Maine Road looking toothless and covered in bite marks. Credit: Ben Radford/Allsport/Getty Images City were a vibrant, young team, newly promoted and built around a core of five special homegrown players - Paul Lake, Andy Hinchcliffe, Steve Redmond, David White and Ian Brightwell - who seemed to personify the city’s youth culture that was in the midst of a glorious, hedonistic ascendancy. Just after kick-off a fight on the terraces escalated into a mass brawl that spread so quickly that some supporters understandably climbed over the perimeter fences to avoid a braying or an even worse fate. The referee suspended the game for eight minutes and on resumption City tore into United, scoring twice in the 12th minute after a mistake by Pallister, Britain’s most expensive defender, let in David Oldfield and another lax response to a developing crisis left Jim Leighton exposed after an impressive double save - and Trevor Morley rammed the ball past him. In the 36th minute Oldfield skinned Pallister and crossed for Ian Bishop to score with a diving header. He is the subject of our image, caught in the arms of Paul Lake as they celebrate City’s third. The photographer freezes them in a moment of ecstatic revelry with just a hint of charming disbelief in Lake’s eyes, fixed on the lens. It’s a great shot of City’s blend of youth - Lake - and the more experienced Bishop, a cut-price playmaker with cheek, vision and an inventive pass, the kind of player that always steals supporters’ hearts. Mark Hughes grabbed one back with a wonderful scissors kick that would be better known but for the result before Lake ripped United apart down the right to set up Oldfield’s fourth and Hinchcliffe made it five on the end of a slippery, sweeping move. Chants of “Ferguson out” from Reds were answered in raucous glee by the Blues with “Fergie must stay”. He did stay, of course, and recovered from a defeat he called “the most embarrassing of my career” while the terminally myopic Peter Swales, City's chairman, sacked Mel Machin in November and appointed Howard Kendall. Nothing wrong with that, City were bottom after all, but allowing him to dismantle such a promising squad, fill it full of Evertonians and sell many of the heroes of that day makes the 5-1 somewhat bittersweet. 5. Shaun Goater and Gary Neville 2002 A companion to No5 in the United section, this photograph shows Gary Neville at his greatest moment of derby despair. The elder Neville brother saw himself as more than a symbol for United fans, more the embodiment of their deepest desires and prejudices so there was no stopping City fans basking in his moment of nemesis in the last match at Maine Road. Credit: Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images The score was 1-1 when Eyal Berkovic swept a pass from right to the left of the United penalty area over Neville’s head. He turned, with Shaun Goater in pursuit, and first tried to shepherd the ball out for a goal-kick but changed tack when he realised it lacked the momentum. He hesitated for a moment and then attempted to pass it back to Fabien Barthez instead. Whether he didn’t see Goater between him and the keeper until it was too late or whether he had the chutzpah to think he could nutmeg the City forward is not known. Either way he fed the Goat who indeed scored, having careered in from the touchline and arrowed the ball around Barthez to score his 99th City goal. Credit:  Alex Livesey/Getty Images For the rest of the match the England right-back  was serenaded by “Gary Neville is a blue, is a blue, is a blue” and it followed him around for a fair few months. Goater went on to bring up his century in the second-half with a wonderful chip over Barthez and ended Maine Road’s days as a derby venue in appropriately carnival mood.   6. Mario Balotelli 2011 The first derby of the 2011-12 season took place on Sunday, October 23, 13 days before Guy Fawkes’ Night, not that anyone needs an excuse for a fireworks party any more: over the past 15 years the UK has turned positively Cantonese in its embrace of pyrotechnics. On the Friday before the match, Mario Balotelli and four friends were together at his new house in Mottram St Andrew, Cheshire when one or more of them - the number is still in dispute - decided to treat the neighbours to an early morning chorus of explosions and illuminate the sky over their houses with fireworks. Perhaps it was cold outside or maybe just tired but someone decreed that the launch pad should be Balotelli’s bathroom. Someone got their calculations wrong as well as their aim and set fire first to some towels and then the house. One of them raised the alarm, neighbouring properties were evacuated and the fire service eventually extinguished the blaze. Balotelli checked into a city centre hotel, arrived on time for training the next morning and went into conclave with the kit man before returning to his hotel. Credit: ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images The story hit the newspapers on the morning of the match though Roberto Mancini still named Balotelli, who had scored in the three preceding games, in his starting XI. He rewarded his manager with an excellent performance, scoring twice, the first a deftly-placed side-foot shot from 16 yards. As soon as the ball went past David De Gea, Balotelli lifted his shirt over his head to reveal ‘Why always me?’ written on his vest. It earned him a booking and it might well have been worse if Les Chapman, City’s kit man, hadn’t dissuaded him from his other two ideas for slogans, both of them provocations to United fans. In addition to his two goals in the 6-1 victory, he elicited a foul from Jonny Evans that had the United defender sent off and he provides us with an image of engaging, prodigal insouciance. “That day it was as if Mario was great, an adult amongst children,” said Roberto Mancini. “I would have loved to have always seen him like he was at that derby.” Routine was never for Mario. He would not be half as frustrating without his uncommon skill nor half as endearing without his unaffected nonchalance.

What's on TV tonight: Catching a Killer and Love, Lies & Records

Thursday 7 December Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. Saturday 9 December John Noakes and Shep in 1978 Credit: HULTON  John Noakes: TV Hero BBC Two, 5.30pm One quarter of the definitive Blue Peter foursome, alongside Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and Shep, John Noakes was both its longest-serving presenter and one of its very finest. A gifted communicator, earnest when he had to be but more often game for anything, whether that be a laugh or a lunatic stunt. This affectionate profile of Noakes, who died in May, aged 83, after many years with Alzheimer’s, pivots on perhaps his two best-loved moments. First, there’s a climb up Nelson’s Column, sans ropes or safety harnesses, that was every bit as daft and dangerous as it looked and ample testament to his dauntlessness. That impish sense of humour is demonstrated by the notorious appearance of Lulu the elephant, who relieved herself on the floor before rampaging across the studio and over Noakes’s foot. Ever the entertainer, he milked both for all they were worth. His relationship with the series was an equivocal one and he reportedly resented his clownish persona, but this tribute skirts any controversy in favour of warm nostalgia, with familiar Blue Peter faces including Biddy Baxter and Lesley Judd recalling the man and his work. GT Premier League Football: West Ham United v Chelsea Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am Having recovered from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 last Saturday, with Eden Hazard helping himself to a brace, Chelsea travel across London to face West Ham United. The home side, who are currently in the relegation zone, will have taken plenty of positives from their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday – namely, their defensive display. A similarly obdurate performance here and new manager David Moyes might get a share of the spoils this time. When these sides met at the London Stadium last season, West Ham lost 2-1. PS European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath Sky Sports Main Event, 5.15pm Two wins from two reads the stats for both sides so far in this season’s European Champions Cup – at least one of these 100 per cent records will end at Stade Mayol. Bath come into this match on the back of a 42-29 defeat by Exeter, but before that they’d won four on the bounce, with Freddie Burns impressing at fly-half. After the autumn internationals, director of rugby Todd Blackadder now has an embarrassment of riches from which to pick: most notably, England backs Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph. Toulon, meanwhile, ended a three-match losing streak on Saturday when they beat Lyon 39-11. PS Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.45pm The five remaining couples must perform two routines in this semi-final, and with barely a strand of lace between them, expect forensic criticism from the judges. Sunday’s results show will reveal the final four and there will be a performance from Craig David. GT Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.20pm Wringing his contacts book dry, McIntyre ropes in guests including TV presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes (taking part in the game Send to All) and pop rock band The Vamps for more fun. GT Witnesses: a Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Even in this saturated market for foreign-language thrillers, Witnesses stands out for its lack of gimmicks – though without ever quite scaling the heights of The Bridge or Spiral. Here, Sandra’s (Marie Dompnier) pursuit of the killer takes her into a forest and an orphanage. GT The White Princess Drama, 9.00pm and 10.20pm The excellent Jodie Comer anchors the series to its conclusion tonight with another double bill, as Elizabeth of York (Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) struggle to maintain a united front. GT Peter Blake: Pop Art Life Sky Arts, 9.00pm While there is more to Peter Blake’s work than his cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, music has played a crucial role in the development of his art and reputation. This engaging film digs deeply into a mutually fruitful relationship. GT Casualty BBC One, 9.20pm Christmas approaches, bringing annual trauma and discord for the A&E team. Tonight finds Elle’s (Jaye Griffiths) tearaway son Blake (Kai Thorne) going off the rails in response to her suggestion that she spend the festive period with her new boyfriend. Polly (Sophia Di Martino), meanwhile, continues to be unimpressed by Max (Jamie Davis). GT Through the Keyhole: I’m a Celebrity… get me out of here! ITV, 9.50pm The living, breathing definition of an acquired taste, Keith Lemon returns for a fifth series of the show once helmed by David Frost. Guests include Jimmy Carr, Myleene Klass and Tony Blackburn. GT Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) ★★★☆☆ Christmas Gold, 9.40pm Whereas Joe Dante’s original monster hit was a deliciously dark horror flick (and staple Christmas hit) with touches of wry humour, this inferior sequel is essentially a straight-up, riotous comedy, replete with in-jokes and movie references. This time, the gremlins run amok in a Manhattan high-rise building called Clamp Tower, owned by John Glover’s Donald Trump-like mogul. The Cider House Rules (1999) ★★★☆☆ BBC Two, 11.15pm John Irving’s adaptation of his own 1985 novel features a fine Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine, who won an Oscar (only his second at the time). Irving won one too, for Best Screenplay, and there’s no doubt the story is moving, though this version – about an orphan (Maguire) and a doctor (Caine) who performs illegal abortions – is at times a bit saccharine. Paul Rudd co-stars; Lasse Hallström directs. The Drop (2014) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 11.35pm Tom Hardy anchors this tale of simmering malfeasance as the tender of a Brooklyn bar designated as the drop for ill-gotten gains. Dennis Lehane adapts his own short story Animal Rescue, and makes a perfect team with Belgian director Michaël R Roskam, who gets a tamped-down, shuffling and beautifully calibrated star turn out of Hardy. Sopranos star James Gandolfini adds a burly gravitas in what would be his final movie. Sunday 10 December Jumbo with keeper Matthew Scott in 1882 Credit: BBC Attenborough and the Giant Elephant BBC One, 9.00pm Can we ever have too much Attenborough? It seems not, as right in the foaming wake of the fabulous Blue Planet II (which concludes tonight, see preview below) comes this absorbing, bittersweet tale of the world’s first animal superstar – Jumbo the elephant. It’s a sad story, really. Jumbo shot to fame shortly after his arrival at London Zoo as an orphan in around 1861, but he didn’t get much from the deal. As Attenborough says, his captive life was “troubled, fuelled by alcohol, terrifying fits of violence, a near mystical relationship with his keeper and a tragic end that seems hard to believe”. Which is more than enough to hold the attention for an hour as he joins an international team examining Jumbo’s preserved skeleton at New York’s Museum of Natural History. Attenborough also pokes about in archives at London Zoo, sanctuaries in the Maasai Mara and Tennessee, and Ontario where Jumbo met his very sad end, building as complete a picture of this magnificent creature and his global travels as has ever been assembled. All the while it spreads a positive conservationist message and gives thanks that attitudes are more enlightened now than in Victorian times. GO Premier League Football: Liverpool v Everton & Manchester United v Manchester City Sky Sports Main Event, 1.15pm & 4.15pm “Super Sunday” lives up to its hyperbolic billing, with two potentially exhilarating derbies. First up, we’re at Anfield where Liverpool, fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Brighton, host Everton, who found some form last week, following up their 4-0 win at home to West Ham United with a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield. Later, in the 4.30pm kick-off, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew rivalries as second-placed United host leaders City at Old Trafford. Expect it to be tight. PS Britain’s Wildest Weather 2017 Channel 4, 6.30pm This year has not, so far, been as extreme as some but, given the number of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping footage of every extreme weather event that occurred, among them devastating floods, tornadoes and hair-raising lightning strikes. GO  Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm This extraordinary series concludes with an undeniably depressing assessment of mankind’s impact on the marine environment. But David Attenborough, as ever, prefers to put the emphasis on hope. So there’s plenty of uplift too with stories of species brought back from extinction’s brink. GO Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm Julie Walters heads for Cornwall on the Great Western route, recalling her childhood holidays in Torquay. She then boards a steam train at Paignton, hears tales of smugglers in Polperro and fills up on cakes in Penzance. GO Leonora Carrington: the Lost Surrealist BBC Four, 9.00pm This fascinating film tells the story of rebellious upper-class British artist Leonora Carrington, who worked alongside Ernst, Breton and Éluard in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement, yet died in 2011 all but forgotten in Mexico. Director Teresa Griffiths mixes interviews and biographical material with experimental animation and tableaux to bring Carrington’s work vividly to life. GO I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 9.00pm Seventeen series in and the public appetite for watching celebrities endure humiliation and repulsion shows little sign of drying up. This year’s launch pulled in ITV’s biggest audience of 2017. The final will no doubt draw as big a crowd again. GO Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, from 9.00pm Three more atmospheric episodes of the gripping crime series set in the bohemian, political Weimar Germany of the late Twenties. Detective Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigation uncovers dangerous evidence of a shocking military conspiracy. GO The Sky At Night BBC Four, 10.00pm As well as more stargazing from the Royal Observatory, Maggie Aderin-Pocock is in Norway to see the Northern Lights. GO Ben-Hur (1959) ★★★★★ ITV3, 2.45pm A majestic slice of Hollywood history, this Roman-era melodrama directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston won 11 Academy Awards (not equalled until Titanic in 1997). It still makes for magnificent viewing. Set in 26AD, it tells the story of a Jewish prince who clashes with the Roman governor and ends up enslaved, desperately plotting his revenge. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 3.00pm Jerry Bruckheimer gives the famous sequence from Disney’s Fantasia a fun, live-action reboot. Student Dave (Jay Baruchel) inherits Merlin’s powers, placing him in a power struggle between Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Sadly there are just two scenes with broomsticks to link it to the original. Toby Kebbel is amusing as a stage musician co-opted by the forces of evil. Toy Story (1995) ★★★★★ BBC One, 3.35pm The idea of the first fully computer-generated animated film didn’t have those who had been weaned on the hand-drawn delights of Disney jumping for joy. However, with this beautiful tale, Pixar pushed animation to a new level – the premise, pace and emotion are all pitched perfectly. Whether it’s your first or 400th viewing, the story of toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a joy. Monday 11 December Faye Marsa, Sarah Parish and Amara Karan in Bancroft Credit: ITV Bancroft ITV, 9.00pm With so many crime dramas clogging up the television schedules it can be hard for a new series to stand out and at first ITV’s latest four-parter seems unlikely to break the mould. There’s an ambitious female cop with a possibly troubled past (the always reliable Sarah Parish), a striving younger cop who is desperate to move up the ranks (Faye Marsay) and the usual crop of jobsworths and strivers (Charles Babalola is particularly good as the married fellow officer Marsay’s Katherine should be steering well clear of). It’s all perfectly well done with a solid script from Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge) but it seems like nothing special. Then, three quarters of the way through this first episode, something genuinely interesting happens: Bancroft’s secrets are revealed to be very dark indeed just as Katherine’s cold case involving the break-in and violent murder of a young woman in 1990 starts hotting up. With the stakes suddenly raised Bancroft spins off into a dark tale of the lengths that people go to keep the past buried and the stage is set for an intriguing game of secrets and lies. Smart scheduling sees the rest of the story play out over consecutive nights. SH Street Auction BBC One, 11.00am Paul Martin returns with a new series of the surprisingly addictive show in which people band together to raise funds for a member of their community by auctioning off hidden treasures. The fun comes from the unusual objects unearthed from garages and attics. SH Nigella’s Christmas Table BBC Two, 8.00pm If anything is guaranteed to Nigella put into purring overload it’s Christmas. The food on offer includes roast duck with orange, soy and ginger, but this is really about mood rather than food. SH   Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Episode three of this genial series sees Hollywood looking back over his career and his time spent working at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire. There’s also a festive get-together in Merseyside and some seasonal Danish pastries, which look delicious. SH The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm It’s always a pleasure to find a series that sheds new light on a subject, and so it is with artist Alinka Echeverria’s enthralling films about Mexico’s art. Of course, there are the key points: conquest, independence, dictatorship, revolution and figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but what the commentary gives us here is the context for both the history and the artists. This is true of this episode that looks at the relationship between art and power, colonialism and control while examining the enduring power of Kahlo’s work and myth. SH Handmade in Mexico BBC Four, 10.00pm The focus here is on Mexico’s celebrated Tree of Life sculptures, those gaudy, gorgeous interpretations of everything from the creation myth to the resurrection of Christ and the Day of the Dead. It’s a fascinating half-hour in which we see the amount of work and detail that goes into each piece. SH White Right: Meeting the Enemy: Exposure ITV, 10.40pm; STV, 11.05pm; UTV, 11.40pm; Wales, 11.10pm This intriguing-sounding documentary sees the Bafta-nominated Deeyah Khan (Jihad: A Story of the Others) investigate white extremism in the US. Khan visits white nationalist groups, attends a far-right rally and asks why this poisonous ideology is resurgent. SH The Black Swan (1942) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 2.35pm No, this is not the film about the ageing ballet dancer and the young ingénue; this is about high adventure on the seven seas. When Laird Cregar’s Captain Morgan becomes Governor of Jamaica, he promises to put an end to piracy. But things don’t go smoothly, especially when his assistant (Tyrone Power) kidnaps the ex-governor’s beautiful daughter (Maureen O’Hara). This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello. Mamma Mia! (2008) ★★★☆☆ ITV3, 7.50pm This musical comedy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and set to Abba’s hits, is pure escapism. It’s naff, but that’s its selling point, as stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters place tongues firmly in cheeks. At 59, Streep deserved more credit for doing the splits than for her role as a boho mother living on a Greek island whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried) tries to find out who her biological father is. Blood Diamond (2006) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm The diamond industry of Sierra Leone is the subject of this striking thriller. Djimon Hounsou stars as a fisherman forced to work in the fields, who finds and hides a rare pink gem. His life is changed when he meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-serving mercenary and Jennifer Connelly’s well-meaning journalist. DiCaprio was Oscar-nominated, but lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Tuesday 12 December Paul Ready, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell-Martin Credit: BBC Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm Dispensing with the calamitous set pieces of previous episodes and instead documenting the quiet desperation of this ill-starred band of sisters (plus one brother), this superb, exhausting sitcom from a writing supergroup including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan has been an exquisitely painful delight. We join Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) in an unusually good place, with everything running smoothly thanks to her new Australian nanny, Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall). The kids are clean and happy, the school run is easy, the fridge is stocked – but could she be too good to be true? Amanda (Lucy Punch) has gone to ground after the revelation over her threesome, while her hapless confidant, Kevin (Paul Ready), is desperate to avoid having to get a job. And, should all the mugging get too much, there’s deadpan Liz (Diane Morgan), negotiating tricky relations with her dismal ex and his new, pregnant partner. After an orgy of passive aggression and desperate people in denial, the façades crack, just a little. Happily everyone reverts to fundamentally appalling type just in time for the end of the series and a surely inevitable recommission. GT Judd Apatow: the Return Netflix, from today After 25 years away from stand-up, the comedy zelig whose fingerprints are over everything from Knocked Up and Girls to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids returns for a special set in Montreal, recorded in July. GT Masterchef: the Professionals BBC Two, 8.00pm After the hopefuls have tackled an invention test and rustled up a dish dedicated to one of their inspirations, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galletti and Gregg Wallace eliminate another two contenders, leaving only six in the contest. GT The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Joe’s (brilliant Max Vento) family comes together for an end of year show at his old school – tears, acrimony and reconciliation ensue in the conclusion of Peter Bowker’s finely wrought, well-performed drama. A third series should surely be a formality. GT Invasion! with Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm While not quite attaining Lucy Worsley levels of gonzo history, Dr Sam Willis is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host not above the odd stunt to prove a point. This second episode of a series documenting the incursions that have shaped our nation and its bloodline examines the differing techniques and goals of the invaders. There are the Barbary Corsaire pirates who settled on Lundy Island, King Louis the Lion, invited to invade and crowned by disgruntled nobles, and the Dutch forces that negotiated the Medway just a year prior to the Glorious Revolution. Further proof, if any were needed, that Britain is a mongrel nation and all the better for it. GT The World’s Most Expensive Presents Channel 4, 9.00pm Eyeball-melting opulence and appalling lack of taste do battle with considerable craftsmanship and class in this startling film featuring everything from gold-plated pushbikes to a poker set in alligator-hide case. GT Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The Contenders BBC One, 10.45pm; Wales, 11.10pm; Scotland, 11.45pm With reigning title-holder Andy Murray’s injury-hit year effectively ruling him out of contention, Anthony Joshua, Chris Froome, Lewis Hamilton, Jo Konta and Mo Farah will be headlining this year’s roster after another 12 months of outstanding achievement in British sport. The runners and riders are introduced tonight. GT Shane (1953) ★★★★☆ Film4, 3.45pm There are few Westerns that examine the depths of human emotions, but this film by George Stevens is one of them and has become a landmark of cinema. Shane (Alan Ladd) is a cowboy who finds himself idolised for the way that he handles himself in the face of a landowner’s heavies. The climax is a face-off between Shane and smiling, whispering, Oscar-nominated Jack Palance, as the original man in black. A must-see. Mr & Mrs Smith (2005) ★★★☆☆ 5STAR, 9.00pm A daft comedy thriller which is perhaps best remembered for being the film that introduced Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. They play a couple whose failing marriage is spiced up dramatically when each discovers that the other secretly works as an assassin. Let down by a weak script, the film is held together by the chemistry between its two leads. Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody co-star. Moonraker (1979) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm The 11th film in the Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the dapper MI6 agent, involves the theft of a space shuttle. It’s one of the weaker Bond films and at times seems more of a comedy than a tense action adventure, but it’s enjoyably frivolous. Michael Lonsdale plays resident baddie Hugo Drax who pinches the aforementioned space shuttle to help along his plan to wipe out the world’s population. Wednesday 13 December Barbara Schulz in Vanished by the Lake Credit: Channel 4 Vanished by the Lake Channel 4, 10.00pm This haunting French crime drama centres on a teenage girl who goes missing at a festival. It’s hardly an original set-up, but much like last year’s hit Gallic import The Disappearance, based on an almost identical premise, the mix of youthful promise cut short and fierce small-town intrigue quickly compels. The girl in question is Chloé Delval (Charlie Joirkin), and as news of her disappearance spreads, memories of a similar 15-year-old case in which two other girls vanished at the same celebration are revived. Into the fray steps striking Parisian detective Lise Stocker (Barbara Schulz), who has returned home to look after her ill mother, but is soon swept up by the case as its personal implications begin to unfold. All of the hallmarks of the Nordic noir genre are present, from the evocative setting (here a Broadchurch-style coastal backdrop) to the close-knit neighbours with secrets to hide. Nevertheless, this opening episode is an effective tension builder and the human impact of the mystery – particularly on Chloé’s fracturing parents – is powerfully moving. Once episode one finishes, the full series will be available to watch on All 4. TD Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry rounds off her tour of Britain’s stately homes at Goodwood House, where she is suitably gushing over its royal history and grand interiors. Berry is treated to a hair-raising lap of the nearby motor circuit and whips up a four-tier cake for the cricket tea. TD The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm The plight of the endangered Javan green magpie is on the agenda as keepers at Chester Zoo attempt to breed youngster Permata with older bird Netuba. Elsewhere, a zebra battle breaks out when newcomer Okoth arrives. TD Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm A burst of gunfire opens the penultimate episode of period gangster antics, as Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) faces off against mafia honcho Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). An army colonel, meanwhile, questions Ada (Sophie Rundle) about her Communist past. TD The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm The fallout from Project Nemo, the new underwater electricity cable being laid between Belgium and Britain, is explored. We follow the Nemo manager struggling to avoid costly delays and the fisherman whose catch is being compromised by the work. TD Royal Academy: Painting the Future Sky Arts, 9.00pm Virtual reality (VR) is predicted to become the go-to place for everything from entertainment to work. The Royal Academy is getting in on the act with a new exhibition which explores the potential of the medium. This film follows the show’s creation with the artists, including sculptor Antony Gormley, portraitist Jonathan Yeo and Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare, who are producing works that use the technology to trace the history of the body in art. TD David Hockney: Time Reclaimed Sky Arts, 10.30pm This tribute to David Hockney aims to get beyond the glamour that surrounds his reputation, and focus on the personal aspects of his work. Anecdotes, images and analysis of the pictures themselves highlight the individuality expressed in each period of Hockney’s career, suggesting a diverse oeuvre that defies classification. TD Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.00am George Roy Hill directed two of the most popular films ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). But this indifferent Julie Andrews musical of the flapper era was first. There’s much to enjoy in the story of a naive woman who leaves her rural roots behind to seek fortune and romance in Twenties New York. James Fox, as a spiffing salesman, is a particular highlight. The Three Musketeers (2011) ★★☆☆☆ E4, 8.00pm Paul W S Anderson’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel is faithful in plot – Porthos, Athos and Aramis (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans), and disciple d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), are sent to retrieve the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) necklace. The tone, however, is half action-pantomime, half candy-coloured steampunk comic – fun but terribly slapdash. Poltergeist (1982) ★★★★☆ TCM, 11.15pm Director Tobe Hooper, who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tones down the gut-churning horror but still ramps up the tension to nightmare levels in this Steven Spielberg-produced chiller. It has one of cinema’s most spine-tinglingly scary moments: “They’re here,” sing-songs a little girl kneeling before the TV. “They” are the spirits, at first playful then increasingly malevolent, who terrorise a suburban family. Thursday 14 December Lord Sugar Credit: BBC The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC One, 8.00pm In the wake of last night’s excoriating interview round, and with this Sunday’s final rapidly approaching to decide who will win a £250,000 investment and the mentoring opportunity of a lifetime, Lord Sugar makes his most personal appearance of the series. Other than those brief to-camera inserts that roll out as taxi cabs ferry freshly defenestrated candidates away from Sugar Towers to forever dream of fortunes that might have been made, this is one of few occasions in each “process” when Lord Sugar appears on screen away from the wannabe tycoons and talking to viewers directly. And he makes the most of it with his trademark witty-gritty line in East End charm, although professionalism usually prevents him from really dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on why he thought 16 of them worthy only of the tip of his boot. Instead he looks back over this 13th series identifying the key commercial and strategic errors that led to each of his firing finger decisions, and what ultimately marked out the two finalists from the others. It’s a lot to get through in an hour but, as series recaps go, it’s usually a hoot. GO Ashes Cricket: Australia v England BT Sport 1, 1.30am The enduring Ashes Down Under conundrum: wake up early to watch it or stay up late? The third Test, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, gets under way in the early hours of Thursday morning, with England hoping to bounce back from two demoralising defeats. Lose this one and captain Joe Root will have to surrender the urn to the Aussies. PS European Tour Golf: The Indonesian Masters Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am It’s the opening day of the tournament at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won the title last year. Saksansin shot an overall score of 270 to finish on -18, five strokes ahead of joint runners-up Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and fellow Thai players Phachara Khongwatmai and Suradit Yongcharoenchai. PS Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special Channel 4, 8.00pm George Clarke and his inventive sidekick Will Hardie travel to Norway’s remoter parts to check out why this small country on the edge of Europe punches above its weight in architecture and design. Could it be something to do with the cold weather, they wonder? GO Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s drama about the romance of working at a Leeds registry office delivers on melodrama, if not subtlety. In this penultimate episode Kate (Ashley Jensen) struggles to make a decision after Rob’s (Adrian Bower) surprise proposal. GO Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm The final edition looks at the horrific impact of German incendiary bombs, in particular one that set a church ablaze in Bristol in November 1940 and started a firestorm that ravaged the city’s historic centre. GO The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm Sky’s award-winning version of The Bridge (its milieu that of British and French police teams linked by the Channel Tunnel) returns for a third and final run. A pity, as Stephen Dillane as spiky detective and Clémence Poésy as his emotionally remote French opposite number make an appealing pair. This first of six episodes packs in plenty of action as the pair set out to find the link between a burnt-out trawler and a maintenance worker attacked by a plague of rats. GO Extraordinary Teens: School of Life and Deaf Channel 4, 10.00pm This absorbing film follows a year in the life of Mary Hare Boarding School for deaf pupils in Berkshire. Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old about to undergo a potentially life-changing cochlear implant, this film gives a profound sense of the physical and emotional complexities of growing up deaf. GO The Russell Howard Hour Sky One, 10.00pm We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this excellent topical comedy series. It’s little more than an extended version of BBC Three’s (and later BBC Two’s) Good News but that’s exactly what fans (and Sky, who snapped Howard up) wanted and he has delivered, pushing his brand of highly topical, politically aware, positive reinforcement stand-up with aplomb. GO Life (2017) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm Daniel Espinosa’s Earth-orbiting suspense flick was released less than two months before Ridley Scott’s new chapter in his Alien franchise, and bears many of the same hallmarks. It’s also a little bit Gravity. Ryan Reynolds is one of a crew of astronauts aboard a space station conducting research into life on Mars. In terms of entertainment, the film does its baseline job of getting you to chew your nails off. There’s Something About Mary (1998) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm There are bad taste jokes in abundance in this comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller stars as Ted, a shy man who realises he’s still in love with Mary (Cameron Diaz, proving her comic abilities), the date he tried to take to prom 13 years ago. So, to track her down, he hires an oily private eye (Matt Dillon) who also fallsin love with her and sets out to keep the pair apart. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) ★★★☆☆ Universal Channel, 9.00pm Nicolas Cage has top billing in Dominic Sena’s remake of the 1974 cult film – a mind-numbingly testosterone-laced ride. Cage and Angelina Jolie are among a crew of thieves who must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to stop the murder of Cage’s brother. It’s more than serviceable entertainment, plus car aficionados will have fun spotting the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Friday 15 December Paul, Andy, Cynthia and Diana in The Sweet Makers Credit: BBC The Sweet Makers at Christmas BBC Two, 9.00pm Following their enjoyable three-part series earlier this year, BBC Two’s Sweet Makers return for this one-off Christmas special looking at changing treats from Georgian times to the Twenties. As before, the show is a lovely mix of baking and interesting social history with Emma Dabiri and Dr Annie Gray, who fill us in on how each era viewed Christmas and how confectionery changes over time. The show’s highlight comes during the Victorian Era, also known as the moment when Christmas as we know it was invented, as chocolatiers Paul A Young and Diane Short, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale recreate a Boar’s Head cake. “That’s the most bonkers thing we’ve ever made,” notes Young, looking at the finished result, which is rich in chocolate, beautifully decorated and featuring unnervingly glazed eyes. He’s right but it also looks fabulous, as do the intricate Twelfth Cakes, a speciality in Georgian times. The Twenties brings with it the wonderful news that before Terry’s invented the chocolate orange they introduced the chocolate apple to the world, before looking to the future and the invention of Lord Mackintosh’s Quality Street. SH Jean-Claude Van Johnson Amazon Prime Video, from today This delightfully silly new series sees Jean-Claude Van Damme as a retired action film star with a secret: he’s a special agent and he wants back in the game. It’s inspired mayhem anchored by a winning performance from the laconic Van Damme. SH Trollhunters Netflix, from today Guillermo del Toro’s inventive animation returns for a second series, and it features the voice of the late Anton Yelchin as reluctant hero Jim Lake Jnr. The story continues where the first series left off, and sees Jim adventure deeper into the Troll world to battle the leader of the Darklands. This series also features Mark Hamill and Game of Thrones’s Lena Headey. SH Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm; not STV or UTV; Wales, 11.10pm Judge Rinder’s reboot of classic Seventies series Crown Court might lack the big-name actors of the original but its meld of real-life crime and courtroom drama is just as addictive. Tonight, the jury decides if James Byron (Rupert Young) murdered his wife. SH Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Sarah Millican is a brave guest of Oliver and Doherty – brave because it swiftly transpires that cooking really isn’t her thing. But Oliver manages to bite his tongue while showing her how to cook her favourite microwave meal from scratch. SH Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The 54th series of the satirical news quiz comes to an end with the ever-reliable David Tennant in the host’s chair. It has been a patchy series, which was marked by a new low when Jo Brand had to explain why sexual harassment jokes weren’t funny to the male panellists. So let’s hope it goes out on a high. SH Roy Orbison: Love Hurts BBC Four, 9.30pm Roy Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Roy Jnr and Alex, take centre stage to discuss their father in this emotional documentary. SH The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi overload as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill join Norton on the sofa. Don’t expect any spoilers but there’s sure to be some nice eulogies to the late Carrie Fisher. SH Before I Go to Sleep (2014) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in this uninvolving thriller based on SJ Watson’s twisty bestseller. Kidman plays a woman who, after suffering a head injury, has no idea who she is or who the man sleeping next to her might be (it’s Colin Firth, playing her husband). She keeps a daily video diary but starts to notice discrepancies between what she’s recorded and what Firth tells her. The Pledge (2001) ★★★★☆ Sony Movie Channel, 9.00pm A tense mystery directed by Sean Penn with a fine cast including Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart and Vanessa Redgrave. Nicholson is a detective who has to handle a horrific case on the day of his retirement – the murder of a seven-year-old girl. He promises to bring the killer to justice, only to find that the case is far from straightforward. A powerful, unsettling film. Hyena (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.15pm This violent thriller about corrupt drug-squad officers is very violent indeed, so be prepared to cover your eyes for some parts of writer-director Gerard Johnson’s film. Michael Logan (an intense Peter Ferdinand) is the leader of this special force, assigned to tackle drug trafficking among the Balkan gangs. Stephen Graham, as his dubious boss, is as reliable as ever. Above all, it’s a grisly exploration of the criminal mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Catching a Killer and Love, Lies & Records

Thursday 7 December Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. Saturday 9 December John Noakes and Shep in 1978 Credit: HULTON  John Noakes: TV Hero BBC Two, 5.30pm One quarter of the definitive Blue Peter foursome, alongside Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and Shep, John Noakes was both its longest-serving presenter and one of its very finest. A gifted communicator, earnest when he had to be but more often game for anything, whether that be a laugh or a lunatic stunt. This affectionate profile of Noakes, who died in May, aged 83, after many years with Alzheimer’s, pivots on perhaps his two best-loved moments. First, there’s a climb up Nelson’s Column, sans ropes or safety harnesses, that was every bit as daft and dangerous as it looked and ample testament to his dauntlessness. That impish sense of humour is demonstrated by the notorious appearance of Lulu the elephant, who relieved herself on the floor before rampaging across the studio and over Noakes’s foot. Ever the entertainer, he milked both for all they were worth. His relationship with the series was an equivocal one and he reportedly resented his clownish persona, but this tribute skirts any controversy in favour of warm nostalgia, with familiar Blue Peter faces including Biddy Baxter and Lesley Judd recalling the man and his work. GT Premier League Football: West Ham United v Chelsea Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am Having recovered from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 last Saturday, with Eden Hazard helping himself to a brace, Chelsea travel across London to face West Ham United. The home side, who are currently in the relegation zone, will have taken plenty of positives from their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday – namely, their defensive display. A similarly obdurate performance here and new manager David Moyes might get a share of the spoils this time. When these sides met at the London Stadium last season, West Ham lost 2-1. PS European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath Sky Sports Main Event, 5.15pm Two wins from two reads the stats for both sides so far in this season’s European Champions Cup – at least one of these 100 per cent records will end at Stade Mayol. Bath come into this match on the back of a 42-29 defeat by Exeter, but before that they’d won four on the bounce, with Freddie Burns impressing at fly-half. After the autumn internationals, director of rugby Todd Blackadder now has an embarrassment of riches from which to pick: most notably, England backs Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph. Toulon, meanwhile, ended a three-match losing streak on Saturday when they beat Lyon 39-11. PS Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.45pm The five remaining couples must perform two routines in this semi-final, and with barely a strand of lace between them, expect forensic criticism from the judges. Sunday’s results show will reveal the final four and there will be a performance from Craig David. GT Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.20pm Wringing his contacts book dry, McIntyre ropes in guests including TV presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes (taking part in the game Send to All) and pop rock band The Vamps for more fun. GT Witnesses: a Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Even in this saturated market for foreign-language thrillers, Witnesses stands out for its lack of gimmicks – though without ever quite scaling the heights of The Bridge or Spiral. Here, Sandra’s (Marie Dompnier) pursuit of the killer takes her into a forest and an orphanage. GT The White Princess Drama, 9.00pm and 10.20pm The excellent Jodie Comer anchors the series to its conclusion tonight with another double bill, as Elizabeth of York (Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) struggle to maintain a united front. GT Peter Blake: Pop Art Life Sky Arts, 9.00pm While there is more to Peter Blake’s work than his cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, music has played a crucial role in the development of his art and reputation. This engaging film digs deeply into a mutually fruitful relationship. GT Casualty BBC One, 9.20pm Christmas approaches, bringing annual trauma and discord for the A&E team. Tonight finds Elle’s (Jaye Griffiths) tearaway son Blake (Kai Thorne) going off the rails in response to her suggestion that she spend the festive period with her new boyfriend. Polly (Sophia Di Martino), meanwhile, continues to be unimpressed by Max (Jamie Davis). GT Through the Keyhole: I’m a Celebrity… get me out of here! ITV, 9.50pm The living, breathing definition of an acquired taste, Keith Lemon returns for a fifth series of the show once helmed by David Frost. Guests include Jimmy Carr, Myleene Klass and Tony Blackburn. GT Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) ★★★☆☆ Christmas Gold, 9.40pm Whereas Joe Dante’s original monster hit was a deliciously dark horror flick (and staple Christmas hit) with touches of wry humour, this inferior sequel is essentially a straight-up, riotous comedy, replete with in-jokes and movie references. This time, the gremlins run amok in a Manhattan high-rise building called Clamp Tower, owned by John Glover’s Donald Trump-like mogul. The Cider House Rules (1999) ★★★☆☆ BBC Two, 11.15pm John Irving’s adaptation of his own 1985 novel features a fine Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine, who won an Oscar (only his second at the time). Irving won one too, for Best Screenplay, and there’s no doubt the story is moving, though this version – about an orphan (Maguire) and a doctor (Caine) who performs illegal abortions – is at times a bit saccharine. Paul Rudd co-stars; Lasse Hallström directs. The Drop (2014) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 11.35pm Tom Hardy anchors this tale of simmering malfeasance as the tender of a Brooklyn bar designated as the drop for ill-gotten gains. Dennis Lehane adapts his own short story Animal Rescue, and makes a perfect team with Belgian director Michaël R Roskam, who gets a tamped-down, shuffling and beautifully calibrated star turn out of Hardy. Sopranos star James Gandolfini adds a burly gravitas in what would be his final movie. Sunday 10 December Jumbo with keeper Matthew Scott in 1882 Credit: BBC Attenborough and the Giant Elephant BBC One, 9.00pm Can we ever have too much Attenborough? It seems not, as right in the foaming wake of the fabulous Blue Planet II (which concludes tonight, see preview below) comes this absorbing, bittersweet tale of the world’s first animal superstar – Jumbo the elephant. It’s a sad story, really. Jumbo shot to fame shortly after his arrival at London Zoo as an orphan in around 1861, but he didn’t get much from the deal. As Attenborough says, his captive life was “troubled, fuelled by alcohol, terrifying fits of violence, a near mystical relationship with his keeper and a tragic end that seems hard to believe”. Which is more than enough to hold the attention for an hour as he joins an international team examining Jumbo’s preserved skeleton at New York’s Museum of Natural History. Attenborough also pokes about in archives at London Zoo, sanctuaries in the Maasai Mara and Tennessee, and Ontario where Jumbo met his very sad end, building as complete a picture of this magnificent creature and his global travels as has ever been assembled. All the while it spreads a positive conservationist message and gives thanks that attitudes are more enlightened now than in Victorian times. GO Premier League Football: Liverpool v Everton & Manchester United v Manchester City Sky Sports Main Event, 1.15pm & 4.15pm “Super Sunday” lives up to its hyperbolic billing, with two potentially exhilarating derbies. First up, we’re at Anfield where Liverpool, fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Brighton, host Everton, who found some form last week, following up their 4-0 win at home to West Ham United with a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield. Later, in the 4.30pm kick-off, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew rivalries as second-placed United host leaders City at Old Trafford. Expect it to be tight. PS Britain’s Wildest Weather 2017 Channel 4, 6.30pm This year has not, so far, been as extreme as some but, given the number of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping footage of every extreme weather event that occurred, among them devastating floods, tornadoes and hair-raising lightning strikes. GO  Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm This extraordinary series concludes with an undeniably depressing assessment of mankind’s impact on the marine environment. But David Attenborough, as ever, prefers to put the emphasis on hope. So there’s plenty of uplift too with stories of species brought back from extinction’s brink. GO Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm Julie Walters heads for Cornwall on the Great Western route, recalling her childhood holidays in Torquay. She then boards a steam train at Paignton, hears tales of smugglers in Polperro and fills up on cakes in Penzance. GO Leonora Carrington: the Lost Surrealist BBC Four, 9.00pm This fascinating film tells the story of rebellious upper-class British artist Leonora Carrington, who worked alongside Ernst, Breton and Éluard in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement, yet died in 2011 all but forgotten in Mexico. Director Teresa Griffiths mixes interviews and biographical material with experimental animation and tableaux to bring Carrington’s work vividly to life. GO I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 9.00pm Seventeen series in and the public appetite for watching celebrities endure humiliation and repulsion shows little sign of drying up. This year’s launch pulled in ITV’s biggest audience of 2017. The final will no doubt draw as big a crowd again. GO Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, from 9.00pm Three more atmospheric episodes of the gripping crime series set in the bohemian, political Weimar Germany of the late Twenties. Detective Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigation uncovers dangerous evidence of a shocking military conspiracy. GO The Sky At Night BBC Four, 10.00pm As well as more stargazing from the Royal Observatory, Maggie Aderin-Pocock is in Norway to see the Northern Lights. GO Ben-Hur (1959) ★★★★★ ITV3, 2.45pm A majestic slice of Hollywood history, this Roman-era melodrama directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston won 11 Academy Awards (not equalled until Titanic in 1997). It still makes for magnificent viewing. Set in 26AD, it tells the story of a Jewish prince who clashes with the Roman governor and ends up enslaved, desperately plotting his revenge. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 3.00pm Jerry Bruckheimer gives the famous sequence from Disney’s Fantasia a fun, live-action reboot. Student Dave (Jay Baruchel) inherits Merlin’s powers, placing him in a power struggle between Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Sadly there are just two scenes with broomsticks to link it to the original. Toby Kebbel is amusing as a stage musician co-opted by the forces of evil. Toy Story (1995) ★★★★★ BBC One, 3.35pm The idea of the first fully computer-generated animated film didn’t have those who had been weaned on the hand-drawn delights of Disney jumping for joy. However, with this beautiful tale, Pixar pushed animation to a new level – the premise, pace and emotion are all pitched perfectly. Whether it’s your first or 400th viewing, the story of toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a joy. Monday 11 December Faye Marsa, Sarah Parish and Amara Karan in Bancroft Credit: ITV Bancroft ITV, 9.00pm With so many crime dramas clogging up the television schedules it can be hard for a new series to stand out and at first ITV’s latest four-parter seems unlikely to break the mould. There’s an ambitious female cop with a possibly troubled past (the always reliable Sarah Parish), a striving younger cop who is desperate to move up the ranks (Faye Marsay) and the usual crop of jobsworths and strivers (Charles Babalola is particularly good as the married fellow officer Marsay’s Katherine should be steering well clear of). It’s all perfectly well done with a solid script from Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge) but it seems like nothing special. Then, three quarters of the way through this first episode, something genuinely interesting happens: Bancroft’s secrets are revealed to be very dark indeed just as Katherine’s cold case involving the break-in and violent murder of a young woman in 1990 starts hotting up. With the stakes suddenly raised Bancroft spins off into a dark tale of the lengths that people go to keep the past buried and the stage is set for an intriguing game of secrets and lies. Smart scheduling sees the rest of the story play out over consecutive nights. SH Street Auction BBC One, 11.00am Paul Martin returns with a new series of the surprisingly addictive show in which people band together to raise funds for a member of their community by auctioning off hidden treasures. The fun comes from the unusual objects unearthed from garages and attics. SH Nigella’s Christmas Table BBC Two, 8.00pm If anything is guaranteed to Nigella put into purring overload it’s Christmas. The food on offer includes roast duck with orange, soy and ginger, but this is really about mood rather than food. SH   Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Episode three of this genial series sees Hollywood looking back over his career and his time spent working at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire. There’s also a festive get-together in Merseyside and some seasonal Danish pastries, which look delicious. SH The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm It’s always a pleasure to find a series that sheds new light on a subject, and so it is with artist Alinka Echeverria’s enthralling films about Mexico’s art. Of course, there are the key points: conquest, independence, dictatorship, revolution and figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but what the commentary gives us here is the context for both the history and the artists. This is true of this episode that looks at the relationship between art and power, colonialism and control while examining the enduring power of Kahlo’s work and myth. SH Handmade in Mexico BBC Four, 10.00pm The focus here is on Mexico’s celebrated Tree of Life sculptures, those gaudy, gorgeous interpretations of everything from the creation myth to the resurrection of Christ and the Day of the Dead. It’s a fascinating half-hour in which we see the amount of work and detail that goes into each piece. SH White Right: Meeting the Enemy: Exposure ITV, 10.40pm; STV, 11.05pm; UTV, 11.40pm; Wales, 11.10pm This intriguing-sounding documentary sees the Bafta-nominated Deeyah Khan (Jihad: A Story of the Others) investigate white extremism in the US. Khan visits white nationalist groups, attends a far-right rally and asks why this poisonous ideology is resurgent. SH The Black Swan (1942) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 2.35pm No, this is not the film about the ageing ballet dancer and the young ingénue; this is about high adventure on the seven seas. When Laird Cregar’s Captain Morgan becomes Governor of Jamaica, he promises to put an end to piracy. But things don’t go smoothly, especially when his assistant (Tyrone Power) kidnaps the ex-governor’s beautiful daughter (Maureen O’Hara). This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello. Mamma Mia! (2008) ★★★☆☆ ITV3, 7.50pm This musical comedy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and set to Abba’s hits, is pure escapism. It’s naff, but that’s its selling point, as stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters place tongues firmly in cheeks. At 59, Streep deserved more credit for doing the splits than for her role as a boho mother living on a Greek island whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried) tries to find out who her biological father is. Blood Diamond (2006) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm The diamond industry of Sierra Leone is the subject of this striking thriller. Djimon Hounsou stars as a fisherman forced to work in the fields, who finds and hides a rare pink gem. His life is changed when he meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-serving mercenary and Jennifer Connelly’s well-meaning journalist. DiCaprio was Oscar-nominated, but lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Tuesday 12 December Paul Ready, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell-Martin Credit: BBC Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm Dispensing with the calamitous set pieces of previous episodes and instead documenting the quiet desperation of this ill-starred band of sisters (plus one brother), this superb, exhausting sitcom from a writing supergroup including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan has been an exquisitely painful delight. We join Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) in an unusually good place, with everything running smoothly thanks to her new Australian nanny, Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall). The kids are clean and happy, the school run is easy, the fridge is stocked – but could she be too good to be true? Amanda (Lucy Punch) has gone to ground after the revelation over her threesome, while her hapless confidant, Kevin (Paul Ready), is desperate to avoid having to get a job. And, should all the mugging get too much, there’s deadpan Liz (Diane Morgan), negotiating tricky relations with her dismal ex and his new, pregnant partner. After an orgy of passive aggression and desperate people in denial, the façades crack, just a little. Happily everyone reverts to fundamentally appalling type just in time for the end of the series and a surely inevitable recommission. GT Judd Apatow: the Return Netflix, from today After 25 years away from stand-up, the comedy zelig whose fingerprints are over everything from Knocked Up and Girls to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids returns for a special set in Montreal, recorded in July. GT Masterchef: the Professionals BBC Two, 8.00pm After the hopefuls have tackled an invention test and rustled up a dish dedicated to one of their inspirations, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galletti and Gregg Wallace eliminate another two contenders, leaving only six in the contest. GT The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Joe’s (brilliant Max Vento) family comes together for an end of year show at his old school – tears, acrimony and reconciliation ensue in the conclusion of Peter Bowker’s finely wrought, well-performed drama. A third series should surely be a formality. GT Invasion! with Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm While not quite attaining Lucy Worsley levels of gonzo history, Dr Sam Willis is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host not above the odd stunt to prove a point. This second episode of a series documenting the incursions that have shaped our nation and its bloodline examines the differing techniques and goals of the invaders. There are the Barbary Corsaire pirates who settled on Lundy Island, King Louis the Lion, invited to invade and crowned by disgruntled nobles, and the Dutch forces that negotiated the Medway just a year prior to the Glorious Revolution. Further proof, if any were needed, that Britain is a mongrel nation and all the better for it. GT The World’s Most Expensive Presents Channel 4, 9.00pm Eyeball-melting opulence and appalling lack of taste do battle with considerable craftsmanship and class in this startling film featuring everything from gold-plated pushbikes to a poker set in alligator-hide case. GT Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The Contenders BBC One, 10.45pm; Wales, 11.10pm; Scotland, 11.45pm With reigning title-holder Andy Murray’s injury-hit year effectively ruling him out of contention, Anthony Joshua, Chris Froome, Lewis Hamilton, Jo Konta and Mo Farah will be headlining this year’s roster after another 12 months of outstanding achievement in British sport. The runners and riders are introduced tonight. GT Shane (1953) ★★★★☆ Film4, 3.45pm There are few Westerns that examine the depths of human emotions, but this film by George Stevens is one of them and has become a landmark of cinema. Shane (Alan Ladd) is a cowboy who finds himself idolised for the way that he handles himself in the face of a landowner’s heavies. The climax is a face-off between Shane and smiling, whispering, Oscar-nominated Jack Palance, as the original man in black. A must-see. Mr & Mrs Smith (2005) ★★★☆☆ 5STAR, 9.00pm A daft comedy thriller which is perhaps best remembered for being the film that introduced Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. They play a couple whose failing marriage is spiced up dramatically when each discovers that the other secretly works as an assassin. Let down by a weak script, the film is held together by the chemistry between its two leads. Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody co-star. Moonraker (1979) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm The 11th film in the Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the dapper MI6 agent, involves the theft of a space shuttle. It’s one of the weaker Bond films and at times seems more of a comedy than a tense action adventure, but it’s enjoyably frivolous. Michael Lonsdale plays resident baddie Hugo Drax who pinches the aforementioned space shuttle to help along his plan to wipe out the world’s population. Wednesday 13 December Barbara Schulz in Vanished by the Lake Credit: Channel 4 Vanished by the Lake Channel 4, 10.00pm This haunting French crime drama centres on a teenage girl who goes missing at a festival. It’s hardly an original set-up, but much like last year’s hit Gallic import The Disappearance, based on an almost identical premise, the mix of youthful promise cut short and fierce small-town intrigue quickly compels. The girl in question is Chloé Delval (Charlie Joirkin), and as news of her disappearance spreads, memories of a similar 15-year-old case in which two other girls vanished at the same celebration are revived. Into the fray steps striking Parisian detective Lise Stocker (Barbara Schulz), who has returned home to look after her ill mother, but is soon swept up by the case as its personal implications begin to unfold. All of the hallmarks of the Nordic noir genre are present, from the evocative setting (here a Broadchurch-style coastal backdrop) to the close-knit neighbours with secrets to hide. Nevertheless, this opening episode is an effective tension builder and the human impact of the mystery – particularly on Chloé’s fracturing parents – is powerfully moving. Once episode one finishes, the full series will be available to watch on All 4. TD Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry rounds off her tour of Britain’s stately homes at Goodwood House, where she is suitably gushing over its royal history and grand interiors. Berry is treated to a hair-raising lap of the nearby motor circuit and whips up a four-tier cake for the cricket tea. TD The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm The plight of the endangered Javan green magpie is on the agenda as keepers at Chester Zoo attempt to breed youngster Permata with older bird Netuba. Elsewhere, a zebra battle breaks out when newcomer Okoth arrives. TD Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm A burst of gunfire opens the penultimate episode of period gangster antics, as Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) faces off against mafia honcho Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). An army colonel, meanwhile, questions Ada (Sophie Rundle) about her Communist past. TD The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm The fallout from Project Nemo, the new underwater electricity cable being laid between Belgium and Britain, is explored. We follow the Nemo manager struggling to avoid costly delays and the fisherman whose catch is being compromised by the work. TD Royal Academy: Painting the Future Sky Arts, 9.00pm Virtual reality (VR) is predicted to become the go-to place for everything from entertainment to work. The Royal Academy is getting in on the act with a new exhibition which explores the potential of the medium. This film follows the show’s creation with the artists, including sculptor Antony Gormley, portraitist Jonathan Yeo and Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare, who are producing works that use the technology to trace the history of the body in art. TD David Hockney: Time Reclaimed Sky Arts, 10.30pm This tribute to David Hockney aims to get beyond the glamour that surrounds his reputation, and focus on the personal aspects of his work. Anecdotes, images and analysis of the pictures themselves highlight the individuality expressed in each period of Hockney’s career, suggesting a diverse oeuvre that defies classification. TD Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.00am George Roy Hill directed two of the most popular films ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). But this indifferent Julie Andrews musical of the flapper era was first. There’s much to enjoy in the story of a naive woman who leaves her rural roots behind to seek fortune and romance in Twenties New York. James Fox, as a spiffing salesman, is a particular highlight. The Three Musketeers (2011) ★★☆☆☆ E4, 8.00pm Paul W S Anderson’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel is faithful in plot – Porthos, Athos and Aramis (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans), and disciple d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), are sent to retrieve the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) necklace. The tone, however, is half action-pantomime, half candy-coloured steampunk comic – fun but terribly slapdash. Poltergeist (1982) ★★★★☆ TCM, 11.15pm Director Tobe Hooper, who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tones down the gut-churning horror but still ramps up the tension to nightmare levels in this Steven Spielberg-produced chiller. It has one of cinema’s most spine-tinglingly scary moments: “They’re here,” sing-songs a little girl kneeling before the TV. “They” are the spirits, at first playful then increasingly malevolent, who terrorise a suburban family. Thursday 14 December Lord Sugar Credit: BBC The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC One, 8.00pm In the wake of last night’s excoriating interview round, and with this Sunday’s final rapidly approaching to decide who will win a £250,000 investment and the mentoring opportunity of a lifetime, Lord Sugar makes his most personal appearance of the series. Other than those brief to-camera inserts that roll out as taxi cabs ferry freshly defenestrated candidates away from Sugar Towers to forever dream of fortunes that might have been made, this is one of few occasions in each “process” when Lord Sugar appears on screen away from the wannabe tycoons and talking to viewers directly. And he makes the most of it with his trademark witty-gritty line in East End charm, although professionalism usually prevents him from really dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on why he thought 16 of them worthy only of the tip of his boot. Instead he looks back over this 13th series identifying the key commercial and strategic errors that led to each of his firing finger decisions, and what ultimately marked out the two finalists from the others. It’s a lot to get through in an hour but, as series recaps go, it’s usually a hoot. GO Ashes Cricket: Australia v England BT Sport 1, 1.30am The enduring Ashes Down Under conundrum: wake up early to watch it or stay up late? The third Test, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, gets under way in the early hours of Thursday morning, with England hoping to bounce back from two demoralising defeats. Lose this one and captain Joe Root will have to surrender the urn to the Aussies. PS European Tour Golf: The Indonesian Masters Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am It’s the opening day of the tournament at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won the title last year. Saksansin shot an overall score of 270 to finish on -18, five strokes ahead of joint runners-up Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and fellow Thai players Phachara Khongwatmai and Suradit Yongcharoenchai. PS Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special Channel 4, 8.00pm George Clarke and his inventive sidekick Will Hardie travel to Norway’s remoter parts to check out why this small country on the edge of Europe punches above its weight in architecture and design. Could it be something to do with the cold weather, they wonder? GO Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s drama about the romance of working at a Leeds registry office delivers on melodrama, if not subtlety. In this penultimate episode Kate (Ashley Jensen) struggles to make a decision after Rob’s (Adrian Bower) surprise proposal. GO Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm The final edition looks at the horrific impact of German incendiary bombs, in particular one that set a church ablaze in Bristol in November 1940 and started a firestorm that ravaged the city’s historic centre. GO The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm Sky’s award-winning version of The Bridge (its milieu that of British and French police teams linked by the Channel Tunnel) returns for a third and final run. A pity, as Stephen Dillane as spiky detective and Clémence Poésy as his emotionally remote French opposite number make an appealing pair. This first of six episodes packs in plenty of action as the pair set out to find the link between a burnt-out trawler and a maintenance worker attacked by a plague of rats. GO Extraordinary Teens: School of Life and Deaf Channel 4, 10.00pm This absorbing film follows a year in the life of Mary Hare Boarding School for deaf pupils in Berkshire. Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old about to undergo a potentially life-changing cochlear implant, this film gives a profound sense of the physical and emotional complexities of growing up deaf. GO The Russell Howard Hour Sky One, 10.00pm We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this excellent topical comedy series. It’s little more than an extended version of BBC Three’s (and later BBC Two’s) Good News but that’s exactly what fans (and Sky, who snapped Howard up) wanted and he has delivered, pushing his brand of highly topical, politically aware, positive reinforcement stand-up with aplomb. GO Life (2017) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm Daniel Espinosa’s Earth-orbiting suspense flick was released less than two months before Ridley Scott’s new chapter in his Alien franchise, and bears many of the same hallmarks. It’s also a little bit Gravity. Ryan Reynolds is one of a crew of astronauts aboard a space station conducting research into life on Mars. In terms of entertainment, the film does its baseline job of getting you to chew your nails off. There’s Something About Mary (1998) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm There are bad taste jokes in abundance in this comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller stars as Ted, a shy man who realises he’s still in love with Mary (Cameron Diaz, proving her comic abilities), the date he tried to take to prom 13 years ago. So, to track her down, he hires an oily private eye (Matt Dillon) who also fallsin love with her and sets out to keep the pair apart. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) ★★★☆☆ Universal Channel, 9.00pm Nicolas Cage has top billing in Dominic Sena’s remake of the 1974 cult film – a mind-numbingly testosterone-laced ride. Cage and Angelina Jolie are among a crew of thieves who must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to stop the murder of Cage’s brother. It’s more than serviceable entertainment, plus car aficionados will have fun spotting the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Friday 15 December Paul, Andy, Cynthia and Diana in The Sweet Makers Credit: BBC The Sweet Makers at Christmas BBC Two, 9.00pm Following their enjoyable three-part series earlier this year, BBC Two’s Sweet Makers return for this one-off Christmas special looking at changing treats from Georgian times to the Twenties. As before, the show is a lovely mix of baking and interesting social history with Emma Dabiri and Dr Annie Gray, who fill us in on how each era viewed Christmas and how confectionery changes over time. The show’s highlight comes during the Victorian Era, also known as the moment when Christmas as we know it was invented, as chocolatiers Paul A Young and Diane Short, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale recreate a Boar’s Head cake. “That’s the most bonkers thing we’ve ever made,” notes Young, looking at the finished result, which is rich in chocolate, beautifully decorated and featuring unnervingly glazed eyes. He’s right but it also looks fabulous, as do the intricate Twelfth Cakes, a speciality in Georgian times. The Twenties brings with it the wonderful news that before Terry’s invented the chocolate orange they introduced the chocolate apple to the world, before looking to the future and the invention of Lord Mackintosh’s Quality Street. SH Jean-Claude Van Johnson Amazon Prime Video, from today This delightfully silly new series sees Jean-Claude Van Damme as a retired action film star with a secret: he’s a special agent and he wants back in the game. It’s inspired mayhem anchored by a winning performance from the laconic Van Damme. SH Trollhunters Netflix, from today Guillermo del Toro’s inventive animation returns for a second series, and it features the voice of the late Anton Yelchin as reluctant hero Jim Lake Jnr. The story continues where the first series left off, and sees Jim adventure deeper into the Troll world to battle the leader of the Darklands. This series also features Mark Hamill and Game of Thrones’s Lena Headey. SH Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm; not STV or UTV; Wales, 11.10pm Judge Rinder’s reboot of classic Seventies series Crown Court might lack the big-name actors of the original but its meld of real-life crime and courtroom drama is just as addictive. Tonight, the jury decides if James Byron (Rupert Young) murdered his wife. SH Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Sarah Millican is a brave guest of Oliver and Doherty – brave because it swiftly transpires that cooking really isn’t her thing. But Oliver manages to bite his tongue while showing her how to cook her favourite microwave meal from scratch. SH Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The 54th series of the satirical news quiz comes to an end with the ever-reliable David Tennant in the host’s chair. It has been a patchy series, which was marked by a new low when Jo Brand had to explain why sexual harassment jokes weren’t funny to the male panellists. So let’s hope it goes out on a high. SH Roy Orbison: Love Hurts BBC Four, 9.30pm Roy Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Roy Jnr and Alex, take centre stage to discuss their father in this emotional documentary. SH The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi overload as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill join Norton on the sofa. Don’t expect any spoilers but there’s sure to be some nice eulogies to the late Carrie Fisher. SH Before I Go to Sleep (2014) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in this uninvolving thriller based on SJ Watson’s twisty bestseller. Kidman plays a woman who, after suffering a head injury, has no idea who she is or who the man sleeping next to her might be (it’s Colin Firth, playing her husband). She keeps a daily video diary but starts to notice discrepancies between what she’s recorded and what Firth tells her. The Pledge (2001) ★★★★☆ Sony Movie Channel, 9.00pm A tense mystery directed by Sean Penn with a fine cast including Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart and Vanessa Redgrave. Nicholson is a detective who has to handle a horrific case on the day of his retirement – the murder of a seven-year-old girl. He promises to bring the killer to justice, only to find that the case is far from straightforward. A powerful, unsettling film. Hyena (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.15pm This violent thriller about corrupt drug-squad officers is very violent indeed, so be prepared to cover your eyes for some parts of writer-director Gerard Johnson’s film. Michael Logan (an intense Peter Ferdinand) is the leader of this special force, assigned to tackle drug trafficking among the Balkan gangs. Stephen Graham, as his dubious boss, is as reliable as ever. Above all, it’s a grisly exploration of the criminal mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

What's on TV tonight: Catching a Killer and Love, Lies & Records

Thursday 7 December Catching a Killer: A Bullet Through The Window Channel 4, 9.00pm The most striking thing about Catching a Killer, Channel 4’s ongoing look at how police murder and missing persons investigations work, is the level of access involved. This film follows the fallout from the death of 19-year-old Suhaib Mohammed. It begins with the terrified 999 call stating “My friend just got shot” and ends with the eventual arrest of his killers. Along the way a complex story emerges of a naive teenager who drifted away from his family and whose death was a terrible case of being in the wrong place with the wrong people. It’s Senior Investigating Officer Mike Lynch’s last case before retirement and one he’s therefore doubly determined to solve, but as the investigation continues so his quiet fury over the way in which the dead teenager’s death is dismissed as just another gang death increases. As always though, it is the testimony of the victim’s family which lingers longest. “We knew he’d become more distant, more private, more closed off but I don’t think we realised he was hanging with the wrong people,” says his sister quietly. His devastated father simply notes: “His heart was very soft… he had big dreams.” Sarah Hughes Ross Noble: Off Road Dave, 8.00pm As fans of his previous Dave series (Ross Noble Freewheeling) can tell you, the comedian is a true petrolhead. However, even the enthusiastic Noble might have bitten off more than he can chew this time as he attempts the Scottish Six Days Trial, an event where the world’s best motorbike riders race 100 miles every day across unforgiving terrain. SH Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s enjoyable drama continues with Judy (Rebecca Front) sending Rob (Adrian Bower) a video of his fiancé Kate’s (Ashley Jensen) “moment of madness” with Rick (Kenny Doughty) – but can Kate get to it first? SH Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm This week’s focus is Scotland, where a series of Luftwaffe raids over three nights in March 1941 devastated a community, killing 528 people, including 15 members of the same family. For the tightknit society of shipbuilders and factory workers, the aftermath was devastating; many left Clydebank, never to return. SH Live at the Apollo BBC Two, 10.00pm Our host is the sharp, smart and amiable Nish Kumar. He’s joined by the laid-back Irish comic David O’Doherty and rising star Luisa Omielan, who recently rewrote her whole act in the light of her mother’s death from cancer. SH When Rock Arrived in North Korea: Liberation Day: Storyville BBC Four, 11.00pm This hugely entertaining look at how Slovenian art rockers Laibach became the first Western band to play in North Korea works largely because of the eccentric Norwegian director Morten Traavik’s bureaucrat-wrangling skills. The band themselves prove elusive, although the concert footage hammers home just how odd the occasion was. “There are all kinds of music – now I know there’s this kind of music too,” notes one bemused attendee. SH Born to Be Free: Saving Russia’s Whales Channel 4, 11.25pm No documentary is likely to make you angrier this week than Gayane Petrosyan’s bleak and brilliant film about the trade in Beluga whales. She uncovers the terrible fates of 18 belugas bought to Utrish Marine Station to be sold to aquariums across the world. SH Rugby Union: Varsity Match: Oxford University v Cambridge University Thursday, BBC Two, 2.45pm The 136th staging of the annual contest between the two universities takes place at Twickenham. Cambridge prevailed last year to end Oxford’s record-breaking six-year winning streak, and have the superior head-to-head record with 62 wins to their opponents’ 59. The match kicks off at 3.00pm. SH Austin Powers: The Spy Who S*****d Me (1999) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm The successful franchise remains nothing more than daft entertainment, but its puerile jokes and cultural referencing still manage to elicit laughs. The “groovy” spy with the wonky teeth (Mike Myers) has his mojo stolen by his arch nemesis Dr Evil (also Myers) and must travel back in time to the swinging Sixties to get it back. Black Sea (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Written by Dennis Kelly (who co-wrote the musical Matilda) and starring Jude Law, this submarine thriller about a hunt for Nazi gold in a long-lost U-boat is less than the sum of its parts. However, a host of decent character actors – the best of whom, David Threlfall, steals the show – keep things buoyant and the set piece outside the sub, involving aquatic spacesuits and bars of gold, is pulse-pinging. 16 Blocks (2006) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 11.35pm Steered brilliantly by director Richard Donner (Superman, The Goonies) Bruce Willis plays Jack Mosley, a detective who’s assigned to escort prisoner Eddie Bunker (Mos Def) to a Grand Jury hearing in this frantic buddy-action film. This may sound simple, but Mosley’s colleagues don’t want Bunker to make it – because he’s a witness in a police corruption case that could bring their worlds crashing down. Friday 8 December Claire Foy in 'The Crown' The Crown Netflix, from today Expectations could hardly be higher for the return of Netflix’s most lavish series. Although the spectacle and horror of the war have passed, the era of Anthony Eden and Harold McMillan is arguably more intriguing for being less frequently dramatised, and Peter Morgan explores the hypocrisies and compromises inherent in the politics of a nation whose global influence is in decline. Anton Lesser makes a ruthless, discreet McMillan, while Jeremy Northam is once again superb as Eden, a man not low on self-confidence yet forced to face his limitations as the Suez Crisis sees him outmanoeuvred. But the focal point of course is the royal family, and specifically the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip: fundamentally solid in its early years, but now subject to considerable stress and strain as the couple drift apart over niggling doubts and suspected betrayals. Claire Foy and Matt Smith are magnificent in the lead roles, rising to the challenges of Morgan’s script to make plausible his educated guesswork and speculations over long-rumoured private affairs. The blend of spectacle and attention to detail remains striking. Gabriel Tate The Grand Tour Amazon Prime Video, from today Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May return for a second go-round of megastar guests, big-budget stunts in exotic locales, and parochial studio chat. The series opens with Ricky Wilson v David Hasselhoff in new segment Celebrity Face Off, and a comparison of a Lamborghini, a hybrid Honda and an electric supercar in a hill-climb race that – as anyone who recalls the headlines from earlier this year will know – goes horribly wrong. GT Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm Two daytime television classics, one ancient and one modern, collide in this bizarre two-parter which sees Judge Robert Rinder, mediator of petty domestic disputes, presiding over a fictional case of arsenic poisoning. As per the original Crown Court, the jurors are members of the public. GT Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm The chefs meet a childhood hero as Mark Hamill, soon to return to cinemas as Luke Skywalker, joins them to learn about making perfect roast beef and Yorkshire puddings, plus a Caesar salad and a seafood feast. GT Brunel: the Man Who Built Britain Channel 5, 8.00pm A giant of the Industrial Revolution, Isambard Kingdom Brunel had a curious private life to match his towering professional achievements. The ever-reliable Rob Bell begins his two-part profile with Brunel’s first major project, the Thames Tunnel. GT The Year in Music 2017 BBC Two, 9.00pm The BBC Music Awards follow in the footsteps of BBC Sports Personality of the Year and incorporate a review of the year into the bargain. Here, Claudia Winkelman and Clara Amfo look back on the past 12 months with contributors including Stormzy, Nile Rodgers and Liam Gallagher. GT Classic Album: American Pie: Don McLean BBC Four, 9.00pm McLean’s sophomore album is these days less venerated than other landmarks of the era (Blue, Tapestry, After the Goldrush); it is perhaps overshadowed by its monumental title song whose allusive, elusive lyrics offered an alternate history of rock ’n’ roll and eulogy for the hippy dream. Yet there was always more to it, as this diligent documentary asserts. GT Prisoners (2013) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm This drama, which centres on the abduction of two girls, is harrowing but it succeeds in sustaining its tension to the end. Hugh Jackman is cast into darkness when his six-year-old daughter is kidnapped. Jake Gyllenhaal is the detective in charge of the case, and the pair lock horns early on. What we are then presented with is a criminal puzzle and a very committed cast, which also includes Terrence Howard.  Legend (2015) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 9.00pm Tom Hardy gives a solid, convincing performance as east London gangster Reggie Kray but his caricatured portrayal of twin brother Ronnie lets him down, and his inconsistent performance leads to an entertaining though muddled film. Emily Browning, however, gives just the right mix of defiance and despair as Frances Shea, Reggie’s put-upon wife. Watch out for some particularly gory scenes. Dead Calm (1989) ★★★☆☆ W, 9.00pm In her first big film role, Nicole Kidman displays pluck and vulnerability as Rae Ingram, a woman who loses her infant son in a car accident, and consents to a long recovery at sea, on a luxury yacht called the Saracen. Her husband John (Sam Neill) is an experienced naval officer and stand-up guy, and though he knows banishing Rae’s guilt and grief is going to be tough, he has no idea what shock therapy fate has in mind. Saturday 9 December John Noakes and Shep in 1978 Credit: HULTON  John Noakes: TV Hero BBC Two, 5.30pm One quarter of the definitive Blue Peter foursome, alongside Peter Purves, Valerie Singleton and Shep, John Noakes was both its longest-serving presenter and one of its very finest. A gifted communicator, earnest when he had to be but more often game for anything, whether that be a laugh or a lunatic stunt. This affectionate profile of Noakes, who died in May, aged 83, after many years with Alzheimer’s, pivots on perhaps his two best-loved moments. First, there’s a climb up Nelson’s Column, sans ropes or safety harnesses, that was every bit as daft and dangerous as it looked and ample testament to his dauntlessness. That impish sense of humour is demonstrated by the notorious appearance of Lulu the elephant, who relieved herself on the floor before rampaging across the studio and over Noakes’s foot. Ever the entertainer, he milked both for all they were worth. His relationship with the series was an equivocal one and he reportedly resented his clownish persona, but this tribute skirts any controversy in favour of warm nostalgia, with familiar Blue Peter faces including Biddy Baxter and Lesley Judd recalling the man and his work. GT Premier League Football: West Ham United v Chelsea Sky Sports Main Event, 11.30am Having recovered from a goal down to beat Newcastle 3-1 last Saturday, with Eden Hazard helping himself to a brace, Chelsea travel across London to face West Ham United. The home side, who are currently in the relegation zone, will have taken plenty of positives from their 2-1 defeat at Manchester City last Sunday – namely, their defensive display. A similarly obdurate performance here and new manager David Moyes might get a share of the spoils this time. When these sides met at the London Stadium last season, West Ham lost 2-1. PS European Rugby Champions Cup: Toulon v Bath Sky Sports Main Event, 5.15pm Two wins from two reads the stats for both sides so far in this season’s European Champions Cup – at least one of these 100 per cent records will end at Stade Mayol. Bath come into this match on the back of a 42-29 defeat by Exeter, but before that they’d won four on the bounce, with Freddie Burns impressing at fly-half. After the autumn internationals, director of rugby Todd Blackadder now has an embarrassment of riches from which to pick: most notably, England backs Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Jonathan Joseph. Toulon, meanwhile, ended a three-match losing streak on Saturday when they beat Lyon 39-11. PS Strictly Come Dancing BBC One, 6.45pm The five remaining couples must perform two routines in this semi-final, and with barely a strand of lace between them, expect forensic criticism from the judges. Sunday’s results show will reveal the final four and there will be a performance from Craig David. GT Michael McIntyre’s Big Show BBC One, 8.20pm Wringing his contacts book dry, McIntyre ropes in guests including TV presenters Marvin and Rochelle Humes (taking part in the game Send to All) and pop rock band The Vamps for more fun. GT Witnesses: a Frozen Death BBC Four, 9.00pm and 9.55pm Even in this saturated market for foreign-language thrillers, Witnesses stands out for its lack of gimmicks – though without ever quite scaling the heights of The Bridge or Spiral. Here, Sandra’s (Marie Dompnier) pursuit of the killer takes her into a forest and an orphanage. GT The White Princess Drama, 9.00pm and 10.20pm The excellent Jodie Comer anchors the series to its conclusion tonight with another double bill, as Elizabeth of York (Comer) and Henry VII (Jacob Collins-Levy) struggle to maintain a united front. GT Peter Blake: Pop Art Life Sky Arts, 9.00pm While there is more to Peter Blake’s work than his cover for Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, music has played a crucial role in the development of his art and reputation. This engaging film digs deeply into a mutually fruitful relationship. GT Casualty BBC One, 9.20pm Christmas approaches, bringing annual trauma and discord for the A&E team. Tonight finds Elle’s (Jaye Griffiths) tearaway son Blake (Kai Thorne) going off the rails in response to her suggestion that she spend the festive period with her new boyfriend. Polly (Sophia Di Martino), meanwhile, continues to be unimpressed by Max (Jamie Davis). GT Through the Keyhole: I’m a Celebrity… get me out of here! ITV, 9.50pm The living, breathing definition of an acquired taste, Keith Lemon returns for a fifth series of the show once helmed by David Frost. Guests include Jimmy Carr, Myleene Klass and Tony Blackburn. GT Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990) ★★★☆☆ Christmas Gold, 9.40pm Whereas Joe Dante’s original monster hit was a deliciously dark horror flick (and staple Christmas hit) with touches of wry humour, this inferior sequel is essentially a straight-up, riotous comedy, replete with in-jokes and movie references. This time, the gremlins run amok in a Manhattan high-rise building called Clamp Tower, owned by John Glover’s Donald Trump-like mogul. The Cider House Rules (1999) ★★★☆☆ BBC Two, 11.15pm John Irving’s adaptation of his own 1985 novel features a fine Tobey Maguire and Michael Caine, who won an Oscar (only his second at the time). Irving won one too, for Best Screenplay, and there’s no doubt the story is moving, though this version – about an orphan (Maguire) and a doctor (Caine) who performs illegal abortions – is at times a bit saccharine. Paul Rudd co-stars; Lasse Hallström directs. The Drop (2014) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 11.35pm Tom Hardy anchors this tale of simmering malfeasance as the tender of a Brooklyn bar designated as the drop for ill-gotten gains. Dennis Lehane adapts his own short story Animal Rescue, and makes a perfect team with Belgian director Michaël R Roskam, who gets a tamped-down, shuffling and beautifully calibrated star turn out of Hardy. Sopranos star James Gandolfini adds a burly gravitas in what would be his final movie. Sunday 10 December Jumbo with keeper Matthew Scott in 1882 Credit: BBC Attenborough and the Giant Elephant BBC One, 9.00pm Can we ever have too much Attenborough? It seems not, as right in the foaming wake of the fabulous Blue Planet II (which concludes tonight, see preview below) comes this absorbing, bittersweet tale of the world’s first animal superstar – Jumbo the elephant. It’s a sad story, really. Jumbo shot to fame shortly after his arrival at London Zoo as an orphan in around 1861, but he didn’t get much from the deal. As Attenborough says, his captive life was “troubled, fuelled by alcohol, terrifying fits of violence, a near mystical relationship with his keeper and a tragic end that seems hard to believe”. Which is more than enough to hold the attention for an hour as he joins an international team examining Jumbo’s preserved skeleton at New York’s Museum of Natural History. Attenborough also pokes about in archives at London Zoo, sanctuaries in the Maasai Mara and Tennessee, and Ontario where Jumbo met his very sad end, building as complete a picture of this magnificent creature and his global travels as has ever been assembled. All the while it spreads a positive conservationist message and gives thanks that attitudes are more enlightened now than in Victorian times. GO Premier League Football: Liverpool v Everton & Manchester United v Manchester City Sky Sports Main Event, 1.15pm & 4.15pm “Super Sunday” lives up to its hyperbolic billing, with two potentially exhilarating derbies. First up, we’re at Anfield where Liverpool, fresh from their 5-1 demolition of Brighton, host Everton, who found some form last week, following up their 4-0 win at home to West Ham United with a 2-0 victory against Huddersfield. Later, in the 4.30pm kick-off, José Mourinho and Pep Guardiola renew rivalries as second-placed United host leaders City at Old Trafford. Expect it to be tight. PS Britain’s Wildest Weather 2017 Channel 4, 6.30pm This year has not, so far, been as extreme as some but, given the number of smartphone-wielding citizen journalists, there’s plenty of jaw-dropping footage of every extreme weather event that occurred, among them devastating floods, tornadoes and hair-raising lightning strikes. GO  Blue Planet II BBC One, 8.00pm This extraordinary series concludes with an undeniably depressing assessment of mankind’s impact on the marine environment. But David Attenborough, as ever, prefers to put the emphasis on hope. So there’s plenty of uplift too with stories of species brought back from extinction’s brink. GO Coastal Railways with Julie Walters Channel 4, 8.00pm Julie Walters heads for Cornwall on the Great Western route, recalling her childhood holidays in Torquay. She then boards a steam train at Paignton, hears tales of smugglers in Polperro and fills up on cakes in Penzance. GO Leonora Carrington: the Lost Surrealist BBC Four, 9.00pm This fascinating film tells the story of rebellious upper-class British artist Leonora Carrington, who worked alongside Ernst, Breton and Éluard in Paris at the height of the surrealist movement, yet died in 2011 all but forgotten in Mexico. Director Teresa Griffiths mixes interviews and biographical material with experimental animation and tableaux to bring Carrington’s work vividly to life. GO I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! ITV, 9.00pm Seventeen series in and the public appetite for watching celebrities endure humiliation and repulsion shows little sign of drying up. This year’s launch pulled in ITV’s biggest audience of 2017. The final will no doubt draw as big a crowd again. GO Babylon Berlin Sky Atlantic, from 9.00pm Three more atmospheric episodes of the gripping crime series set in the bohemian, political Weimar Germany of the late Twenties. Detective Rath’s (Volker Bruch) investigation uncovers dangerous evidence of a shocking military conspiracy. GO The Sky At Night BBC Four, 10.00pm As well as more stargazing from the Royal Observatory, Maggie Aderin-Pocock is in Norway to see the Northern Lights. GO Ben-Hur (1959) ★★★★★ ITV3, 2.45pm A majestic slice of Hollywood history, this Roman-era melodrama directed by William Wyler and starring Charlton Heston won 11 Academy Awards (not equalled until Titanic in 1997). It still makes for magnificent viewing. Set in 26AD, it tells the story of a Jewish prince who clashes with the Roman governor and ends up enslaved, desperately plotting his revenge. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) ★★★★☆ Channel 4, 3.00pm Jerry Bruckheimer gives the famous sequence from Disney’s Fantasia a fun, live-action reboot. Student Dave (Jay Baruchel) inherits Merlin’s powers, placing him in a power struggle between Balthazar (Nicolas Cage) and Horvath (Alfred Molina). Sadly there are just two scenes with broomsticks to link it to the original. Toby Kebbel is amusing as a stage musician co-opted by the forces of evil. Toy Story (1995) ★★★★★ BBC One, 3.35pm The idea of the first fully computer-generated animated film didn’t have those who had been weaned on the hand-drawn delights of Disney jumping for joy. However, with this beautiful tale, Pixar pushed animation to a new level – the premise, pace and emotion are all pitched perfectly. Whether it’s your first or 400th viewing, the story of toy cowboy Woody (Tom Hanks) and plastic spaceman Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) is a joy. Monday 11 December Faye Marsa, Sarah Parish and Amara Karan in Bancroft Credit: ITV Bancroft ITV, 9.00pm With so many crime dramas clogging up the television schedules it can be hard for a new series to stand out and at first ITV’s latest four-parter seems unlikely to break the mould. There’s an ambitious female cop with a possibly troubled past (the always reliable Sarah Parish), a striving younger cop who is desperate to move up the ranks (Faye Marsay) and the usual crop of jobsworths and strivers (Charles Babalola is particularly good as the married fellow officer Marsay’s Katherine should be steering well clear of). It’s all perfectly well done with a solid script from Kate Brooke (Mr Selfridge) but it seems like nothing special. Then, three quarters of the way through this first episode, something genuinely interesting happens: Bancroft’s secrets are revealed to be very dark indeed just as Katherine’s cold case involving the break-in and violent murder of a young woman in 1990 starts hotting up. With the stakes suddenly raised Bancroft spins off into a dark tale of the lengths that people go to keep the past buried and the stage is set for an intriguing game of secrets and lies. Smart scheduling sees the rest of the story play out over consecutive nights. SH Street Auction BBC One, 11.00am Paul Martin returns with a new series of the surprisingly addictive show in which people band together to raise funds for a member of their community by auctioning off hidden treasures. The fun comes from the unusual objects unearthed from garages and attics. SH Nigella’s Christmas Table BBC Two, 8.00pm If anything is guaranteed to Nigella put into purring overload it’s Christmas. The food on offer includes roast duck with orange, soy and ginger, but this is really about mood rather than food. SH   Paul Hollywood: A Baker’s Life Channel 4, 8.00pm Episode three of this genial series sees Hollywood looking back over his career and his time spent working at the Cliveden House Hotel in Berkshire. There’s also a festive get-together in Merseyside and some seasonal Danish pastries, which look delicious. SH The Art That Made Mexico: Paradise, Power and Prayers BBC Four, 9.00pm It’s always a pleasure to find a series that sheds new light on a subject, and so it is with artist Alinka Echeverria’s enthralling films about Mexico’s art. Of course, there are the key points: conquest, independence, dictatorship, revolution and figures such as Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, but what the commentary gives us here is the context for both the history and the artists. This is true of this episode that looks at the relationship between art and power, colonialism and control while examining the enduring power of Kahlo’s work and myth. SH Handmade in Mexico BBC Four, 10.00pm The focus here is on Mexico’s celebrated Tree of Life sculptures, those gaudy, gorgeous interpretations of everything from the creation myth to the resurrection of Christ and the Day of the Dead. It’s a fascinating half-hour in which we see the amount of work and detail that goes into each piece. SH White Right: Meeting the Enemy: Exposure ITV, 10.40pm; STV, 11.05pm; UTV, 11.40pm; Wales, 11.10pm This intriguing-sounding documentary sees the Bafta-nominated Deeyah Khan (Jihad: A Story of the Others) investigate white extremism in the US. Khan visits white nationalist groups, attends a far-right rally and asks why this poisonous ideology is resurgent. SH The Black Swan (1942) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 2.35pm No, this is not the film about the ageing ballet dancer and the young ingénue; this is about high adventure on the seven seas. When Laird Cregar’s Captain Morgan becomes Governor of Jamaica, he promises to put an end to piracy. But things don’t go smoothly, especially when his assistant (Tyrone Power) kidnaps the ex-governor’s beautiful daughter (Maureen O’Hara). This was the final film of silent star Helene Costello. Mamma Mia! (2008) ★★★☆☆ ITV3, 7.50pm This musical comedy, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and set to Abba’s hits, is pure escapism. It’s naff, but that’s its selling point, as stars Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Julie Walters place tongues firmly in cheeks. At 59, Streep deserved more credit for doing the splits than for her role as a boho mother living on a Greek island whose daughter (Amanda Seyfried) tries to find out who her biological father is. Blood Diamond (2006) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Greats, 8.00pm The diamond industry of Sierra Leone is the subject of this striking thriller. Djimon Hounsou stars as a fisherman forced to work in the fields, who finds and hides a rare pink gem. His life is changed when he meets Leonardo DiCaprio’s self-serving mercenary and Jennifer Connelly’s well-meaning journalist. DiCaprio was Oscar-nominated, but lost to Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland. Tuesday 12 December Paul Ready, Diane Morgan and Anna Maxwell-Martin Credit: BBC Motherland BBC Two, 10.00pm Dispensing with the calamitous set pieces of previous episodes and instead documenting the quiet desperation of this ill-starred band of sisters (plus one brother), this superb, exhausting sitcom from a writing supergroup including Graham Linehan and Sharon Horgan has been an exquisitely painful delight. We join Julia (Anna Maxwell Martin) in an unusually good place, with everything running smoothly thanks to her new Australian nanny, Lyndsey (Sarah Kendall). The kids are clean and happy, the school run is easy, the fridge is stocked – but could she be too good to be true? Amanda (Lucy Punch) has gone to ground after the revelation over her threesome, while her hapless confidant, Kevin (Paul Ready), is desperate to avoid having to get a job. And, should all the mugging get too much, there’s deadpan Liz (Diane Morgan), negotiating tricky relations with her dismal ex and his new, pregnant partner. After an orgy of passive aggression and desperate people in denial, the façades crack, just a little. Happily everyone reverts to fundamentally appalling type just in time for the end of the series and a surely inevitable recommission. GT Judd Apatow: the Return Netflix, from today After 25 years away from stand-up, the comedy zelig whose fingerprints are over everything from Knocked Up and Girls to Freaks and Geeks and Bridesmaids returns for a special set in Montreal, recorded in July. GT Masterchef: the Professionals BBC Two, 8.00pm After the hopefuls have tackled an invention test and rustled up a dish dedicated to one of their inspirations, Marcus Wareing, Monica Galletti and Gregg Wallace eliminate another two contenders, leaving only six in the contest. GT The A Word BBC One, 9.00pm Joe’s (brilliant Max Vento) family comes together for an end of year show at his old school – tears, acrimony and reconciliation ensue in the conclusion of Peter Bowker’s finely wrought, well-performed drama. A third series should surely be a formality. GT Invasion! with Sam Willis BBC Four, 9.00pm While not quite attaining Lucy Worsley levels of gonzo history, Dr Sam Willis is an enthusiastic and knowledgeable host not above the odd stunt to prove a point. This second episode of a series documenting the incursions that have shaped our nation and its bloodline examines the differing techniques and goals of the invaders. There are the Barbary Corsaire pirates who settled on Lundy Island, King Louis the Lion, invited to invade and crowned by disgruntled nobles, and the Dutch forces that negotiated the Medway just a year prior to the Glorious Revolution. Further proof, if any were needed, that Britain is a mongrel nation and all the better for it. GT The World’s Most Expensive Presents Channel 4, 9.00pm Eyeball-melting opulence and appalling lack of taste do battle with considerable craftsmanship and class in this startling film featuring everything from gold-plated pushbikes to a poker set in alligator-hide case. GT Sports Personality of the Year 2017: The Contenders BBC One, 10.45pm; Wales, 11.10pm; Scotland, 11.45pm With reigning title-holder Andy Murray’s injury-hit year effectively ruling him out of contention, Anthony Joshua, Chris Froome, Lewis Hamilton, Jo Konta and Mo Farah will be headlining this year’s roster after another 12 months of outstanding achievement in British sport. The runners and riders are introduced tonight. GT Shane (1953) ★★★★☆ Film4, 3.45pm There are few Westerns that examine the depths of human emotions, but this film by George Stevens is one of them and has become a landmark of cinema. Shane (Alan Ladd) is a cowboy who finds himself idolised for the way that he handles himself in the face of a landowner’s heavies. The climax is a face-off between Shane and smiling, whispering, Oscar-nominated Jack Palance, as the original man in black. A must-see. Mr & Mrs Smith (2005) ★★★☆☆ 5STAR, 9.00pm A daft comedy thriller which is perhaps best remembered for being the film that introduced Brad Pitt to Angelina Jolie. They play a couple whose failing marriage is spiced up dramatically when each discovers that the other secretly works as an assassin. Let down by a weak script, the film is held together by the chemistry between its two leads. Vince Vaughn and Adam Brody co-star. Moonraker (1979) ★★★☆☆ ITV4, 9.00pm The 11th film in the Bond series, and the fourth to star Roger Moore as the dapper MI6 agent, involves the theft of a space shuttle. It’s one of the weaker Bond films and at times seems more of a comedy than a tense action adventure, but it’s enjoyably frivolous. Michael Lonsdale plays resident baddie Hugo Drax who pinches the aforementioned space shuttle to help along his plan to wipe out the world’s population. Wednesday 13 December Barbara Schulz in Vanished by the Lake Credit: Channel 4 Vanished by the Lake Channel 4, 10.00pm This haunting French crime drama centres on a teenage girl who goes missing at a festival. It’s hardly an original set-up, but much like last year’s hit Gallic import The Disappearance, based on an almost identical premise, the mix of youthful promise cut short and fierce small-town intrigue quickly compels. The girl in question is Chloé Delval (Charlie Joirkin), and as news of her disappearance spreads, memories of a similar 15-year-old case in which two other girls vanished at the same celebration are revived. Into the fray steps striking Parisian detective Lise Stocker (Barbara Schulz), who has returned home to look after her ill mother, but is soon swept up by the case as its personal implications begin to unfold. All of the hallmarks of the Nordic noir genre are present, from the evocative setting (here a Broadchurch-style coastal backdrop) to the close-knit neighbours with secrets to hide. Nevertheless, this opening episode is an effective tension builder and the human impact of the mystery – particularly on Chloé’s fracturing parents – is powerfully moving. Once episode one finishes, the full series will be available to watch on All 4. TD Mary Berry’s Country House Secrets BBC One, 8.00pm Mary Berry rounds off her tour of Britain’s stately homes at Goodwood House, where she is suitably gushing over its royal history and grand interiors. Berry is treated to a hair-raising lap of the nearby motor circuit and whips up a four-tier cake for the cricket tea. TD The Secret Life of the Zoo Channel 4, 8.00pm The plight of the endangered Javan green magpie is on the agenda as keepers at Chester Zoo attempt to breed youngster Permata with older bird Netuba. Elsewhere, a zebra battle breaks out when newcomer Okoth arrives. TD Peaky Blinders BBC Two, 9.00pm A burst of gunfire opens the penultimate episode of period gangster antics, as Tommy Shelby (Cillian Murphy) faces off against mafia honcho Luca Changretta (Adrien Brody). An army colonel, meanwhile, questions Ada (Sophie Rundle) about her Communist past. TD The Channel: The World’s Busiest Waterway Channel 4, 9.00pm The fallout from Project Nemo, the new underwater electricity cable being laid between Belgium and Britain, is explored. We follow the Nemo manager struggling to avoid costly delays and the fisherman whose catch is being compromised by the work. TD Royal Academy: Painting the Future Sky Arts, 9.00pm Virtual reality (VR) is predicted to become the go-to place for everything from entertainment to work. The Royal Academy is getting in on the act with a new exhibition which explores the potential of the medium. This film follows the show’s creation with the artists, including sculptor Antony Gormley, portraitist Jonathan Yeo and Turner Prize-nominee Yinka Shonibare, who are producing works that use the technology to trace the history of the body in art. TD David Hockney: Time Reclaimed Sky Arts, 10.30pm This tribute to David Hockney aims to get beyond the glamour that surrounds his reputation, and focus on the personal aspects of his work. Anecdotes, images and analysis of the pictures themselves highlight the individuality expressed in each period of Hockney’s career, suggesting a diverse oeuvre that defies classification. TD Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.00am George Roy Hill directed two of the most popular films ever: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Sting (1973). But this indifferent Julie Andrews musical of the flapper era was first. There’s much to enjoy in the story of a naive woman who leaves her rural roots behind to seek fortune and romance in Twenties New York. James Fox, as a spiffing salesman, is a particular highlight. The Three Musketeers (2011) ★★☆☆☆ E4, 8.00pm Paul W S Anderson’s adaptation of Alexandre Dumas’ novel is faithful in plot – Porthos, Athos and Aramis (Ray Stevenson, Matthew Macfadyen, Luke Evans), and disciple d’Artagnan (Logan Lerman), are sent to retrieve the French Queen’s (Juno Temple) necklace. The tone, however, is half action-pantomime, half candy-coloured steampunk comic – fun but terribly slapdash. Poltergeist (1982) ★★★★☆ TCM, 11.15pm Director Tobe Hooper, who made The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, tones down the gut-churning horror but still ramps up the tension to nightmare levels in this Steven Spielberg-produced chiller. It has one of cinema’s most spine-tinglingly scary moments: “They’re here,” sing-songs a little girl kneeling before the TV. “They” are the spirits, at first playful then increasingly malevolent, who terrorise a suburban family. Thursday 14 December Lord Sugar Credit: BBC The Apprentice: Why I Fired Them BBC One, 8.00pm In the wake of last night’s excoriating interview round, and with this Sunday’s final rapidly approaching to decide who will win a £250,000 investment and the mentoring opportunity of a lifetime, Lord Sugar makes his most personal appearance of the series. Other than those brief to-camera inserts that roll out as taxi cabs ferry freshly defenestrated candidates away from Sugar Towers to forever dream of fortunes that might have been made, this is one of few occasions in each “process” when Lord Sugar appears on screen away from the wannabe tycoons and talking to viewers directly. And he makes the most of it with his trademark witty-gritty line in East End charm, although professionalism usually prevents him from really dishing the behind-the-scenes dirt on why he thought 16 of them worthy only of the tip of his boot. Instead he looks back over this 13th series identifying the key commercial and strategic errors that led to each of his firing finger decisions, and what ultimately marked out the two finalists from the others. It’s a lot to get through in an hour but, as series recaps go, it’s usually a hoot. GO Ashes Cricket: Australia v England BT Sport 1, 1.30am The enduring Ashes Down Under conundrum: wake up early to watch it or stay up late? The third Test, held at the WACA Ground in Perth, gets under way in the early hours of Thursday morning, with England hoping to bounce back from two demoralising defeats. Lose this one and captain Joe Root will have to surrender the urn to the Aussies. PS European Tour Golf: The Indonesian Masters Sky Sports Main Event, 6.00am It’s the opening day of the tournament at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club, where Thailand’s Poom Saksansin won the title last year. Saksansin shot an overall score of 270 to finish on -18, five strokes ahead of joint runners-up Masahiro Kawamura of Japan and fellow Thai players Phachara Khongwatmai and Suradit Yongcharoenchai. PS Amazing Spaces Snow and Ice Special Channel 4, 8.00pm George Clarke and his inventive sidekick Will Hardie travel to Norway’s remoter parts to check out why this small country on the edge of Europe punches above its weight in architecture and design. Could it be something to do with the cold weather, they wonder? GO Love, Lies & Records BBC One, 9.00pm Kay Mellor’s drama about the romance of working at a Leeds registry office delivers on melodrama, if not subtlety. In this penultimate episode Kate (Ashley Jensen) struggles to make a decision after Rob’s (Adrian Bower) surprise proposal. GO Blitz: the Bombs That Changed Britain BBC Two, 9.00pm The final edition looks at the horrific impact of German incendiary bombs, in particular one that set a church ablaze in Bristol in November 1940 and started a firestorm that ravaged the city’s historic centre. GO The Tunnel: Vengeance Sky Atlantic, 9.00pm Sky’s award-winning version of The Bridge (its milieu that of British and French police teams linked by the Channel Tunnel) returns for a third and final run. A pity, as Stephen Dillane as spiky detective and Clémence Poésy as his emotionally remote French opposite number make an appealing pair. This first of six episodes packs in plenty of action as the pair set out to find the link between a burnt-out trawler and a maintenance worker attacked by a plague of rats. GO Extraordinary Teens: School of Life and Deaf Channel 4, 10.00pm This absorbing film follows a year in the life of Mary Hare Boarding School for deaf pupils in Berkshire. Seen through the eyes of a 15-year-old about to undergo a potentially life-changing cochlear implant, this film gives a profound sense of the physical and emotional complexities of growing up deaf. GO The Russell Howard Hour Sky One, 10.00pm We’ve reached the penultimate episode of this excellent topical comedy series. It’s little more than an extended version of BBC Three’s (and later BBC Two’s) Good News but that’s exactly what fans (and Sky, who snapped Howard up) wanted and he has delivered, pushing his brand of highly topical, politically aware, positive reinforcement stand-up with aplomb. GO Life (2017) ★★★☆☆ Sky Cinema Premiere, 8.00pm Daniel Espinosa’s Earth-orbiting suspense flick was released less than two months before Ridley Scott’s new chapter in his Alien franchise, and bears many of the same hallmarks. It’s also a little bit Gravity. Ryan Reynolds is one of a crew of astronauts aboard a space station conducting research into life on Mars. In terms of entertainment, the film does its baseline job of getting you to chew your nails off. There’s Something About Mary (1998) ★★★☆☆ Comedy Central, 9.00pm There are bad taste jokes in abundance in this comedy from the Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller stars as Ted, a shy man who realises he’s still in love with Mary (Cameron Diaz, proving her comic abilities), the date he tried to take to prom 13 years ago. So, to track her down, he hires an oily private eye (Matt Dillon) who also fallsin love with her and sets out to keep the pair apart. Gone in 60 Seconds (2000) ★★★☆☆ Universal Channel, 9.00pm Nicolas Cage has top billing in Dominic Sena’s remake of the 1974 cult film – a mind-numbingly testosterone-laced ride. Cage and Angelina Jolie are among a crew of thieves who must steal 50 cars in 72 hours to stop the murder of Cage’s brother. It’s more than serviceable entertainment, plus car aficionados will have fun spotting the Cadillacs and Corvettes. Friday 15 December Paul, Andy, Cynthia and Diana in The Sweet Makers Credit: BBC The Sweet Makers at Christmas BBC Two, 9.00pm Following their enjoyable three-part series earlier this year, BBC Two’s Sweet Makers return for this one-off Christmas special looking at changing treats from Georgian times to the Twenties. As before, the show is a lovely mix of baking and interesting social history with Emma Dabiri and Dr Annie Gray, who fill us in on how each era viewed Christmas and how confectionery changes over time. The show’s highlight comes during the Victorian Era, also known as the moment when Christmas as we know it was invented, as chocolatiers Paul A Young and Diane Short, bespoke cake decorator Cynthia Stroud and sweet consultant Andy Baxendale recreate a Boar’s Head cake. “That’s the most bonkers thing we’ve ever made,” notes Young, looking at the finished result, which is rich in chocolate, beautifully decorated and featuring unnervingly glazed eyes. He’s right but it also looks fabulous, as do the intricate Twelfth Cakes, a speciality in Georgian times. The Twenties brings with it the wonderful news that before Terry’s invented the chocolate orange they introduced the chocolate apple to the world, before looking to the future and the invention of Lord Mackintosh’s Quality Street. SH Jean-Claude Van Johnson Amazon Prime Video, from today This delightfully silly new series sees Jean-Claude Van Damme as a retired action film star with a secret: he’s a special agent and he wants back in the game. It’s inspired mayhem anchored by a winning performance from the laconic Van Damme. SH Trollhunters Netflix, from today Guillermo del Toro’s inventive animation returns for a second series, and it features the voice of the late Anton Yelchin as reluctant hero Jim Lake Jnr. The story continues where the first series left off, and sees Jim adventure deeper into the Troll world to battle the leader of the Darklands. This series also features Mark Hamill and Game of Thrones’s Lena Headey. SH Judge Rinder’s Crown Court ITV, 8.00pm; not STV or UTV; Wales, 11.10pm Judge Rinder’s reboot of classic Seventies series Crown Court might lack the big-name actors of the original but its meld of real-life crime and courtroom drama is just as addictive. Tonight, the jury decides if James Byron (Rupert Young) murdered his wife. SH Jamie and Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast Channel 4, 8.00pm Sarah Millican is a brave guest of Oliver and Doherty – brave because it swiftly transpires that cooking really isn’t her thing. But Oliver manages to bite his tongue while showing her how to cook her favourite microwave meal from scratch. SH Have I Got News for You BBC One, 9.00pm The 54th series of the satirical news quiz comes to an end with the ever-reliable David Tennant in the host’s chair. It has been a patchy series, which was marked by a new low when Jo Brand had to explain why sexual harassment jokes weren’t funny to the male panellists. So let’s hope it goes out on a high. SH Roy Orbison: Love Hurts BBC Four, 9.30pm Roy Orbison’s three sons, Wesley, Roy Jnr and Alex, take centre stage to discuss their father in this emotional documentary. SH The Graham Norton Show BBC One, 10.35pm; NI, 11.05pm Prepare for Star Wars: The Last Jedi overload as John Boyega, Daisy Ridley and Mark Hamill join Norton on the sofa. Don’t expect any spoilers but there’s sure to be some nice eulogies to the late Carrie Fisher. SH Before I Go to Sleep (2014) ★★★☆☆ More4, 9.00pm Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth star in this uninvolving thriller based on SJ Watson’s twisty bestseller. Kidman plays a woman who, after suffering a head injury, has no idea who she is or who the man sleeping next to her might be (it’s Colin Firth, playing her husband). She keeps a daily video diary but starts to notice discrepancies between what she’s recorded and what Firth tells her. The Pledge (2001) ★★★★☆ Sony Movie Channel, 9.00pm A tense mystery directed by Sean Penn with a fine cast including Jack Nicholson, Helen Mirren, Robin Wright Penn, Aaron Eckhart and Vanessa Redgrave. Nicholson is a detective who has to handle a horrific case on the day of his retirement – the murder of a seven-year-old girl. He promises to bring the killer to justice, only to find that the case is far from straightforward. A powerful, unsettling film. Hyena (2014) ★★★☆☆ Film4, 11.15pm This violent thriller about corrupt drug-squad officers is very violent indeed, so be prepared to cover your eyes for some parts of writer-director Gerard Johnson’s film. Michael Logan (an intense Peter Ferdinand) is the leader of this special force, assigned to tackle drug trafficking among the Balkan gangs. Stephen Graham, as his dubious boss, is as reliable as ever. Above all, it’s a grisly exploration of the criminal mind. Television previewers Toby Dantzic, Catherine Gee, Simon Horsford, Sarah Hughes, Clive Morgan, Gerard O'Donovan, Vicki Power, Patrick Smith, Gabriel Tate and Rachel Ward

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

The draw for the third round of the FA Cup has produced a series of major derbies, including a first match at this stage of the competition since 1932 between Liverpool and Everton. Jurgen Klopp and Sam Allardyce’s teams were paired together during Monday night’s draw, as were Premier League rivals Crystal Palace and Brighton and Hove Albion. North-East neighbours Sunderland and Middlesbrough, who have both been relegated in recent years to the Championship, were also drawn together. Arsenal, who are attempting to win the trophy for a fourth time in five years, will begin their defence at Nottingham Forest. Other especially eye-catching fixtures include AFC Wimbledon’s return to Wembley in the FA Cup some 30 years on from their memorable triumph in 1988 to face Tottenham Hotspur.  Luton Town, now of League Two and the FA Cup finalists in 1959, also have glamorous away Premier League opponents in Newcastle United. Premier League leaders Manchester City have a tricky home tie against Sean Dyche’s Burnley, while Manchester United host Derby County and Chelsea are away at Norwich City. Who will be lifting the FA Cup come what May? Credit: Getty Images  Hereford, who are in the seventh tier of the football pyramid, will face 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City if they manage to overcome Fleetwood in their second-round replay. Four non-league sides were involved in the draw, which was conducted by Glenn Hoddle and Jermain Jenas ahead of the second-round match between Slough Town and Rochdale, but none are currently guaranteed a place in the third round. National League club AFC Fylde will have the opportunity to face Premier League opposition in Bournemouth if they beat Wigan Athletic in their replay. Woking, who also play in the fifth tier of the pyramid, have the chance to play at Villa Park against Aston Villa if they beat Peterborough in their replay. The ties will take place on Jan 5-7, with timings dependent on which matches are selected for live screening by BBC and BT Sport. There was criticism last year that broadcasters often opted to show big Premier League clubs rather than the more romantic ties, such as the third-round fixture between non-league Sutton United and AFC Wimbledon. Sutton did eventually make it to a televised tie against Arsenal in the fifth round. Arsenal subsequently beat Manchester City and Chelsea in the semi-final and final to win what was a record 13th FA Cup. The draw in full: Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday Ties to be played January 5-7 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

7:27PM FA Cup third-round draw in full Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw in full: Liverpool v Everton and Brighton v Crystal Palace the stand-out ties

7:27PM FA Cup third-round draw in full Ipswich v Sheffield United Watford v Bristol City Birmingham v Burton Liverpool v Everton Brighton v Crystal Palace Aston Villa v Woking or Peterborough Bournemouth v AFC Fylde or Wigan Coventry v Stoke Newport v Leeds Bolton v Huddersfield Port Vale or Yeovil v Bradford Nottingham Forest v Arsenal Arsene Wenger's Arsenal travel to Nottingham Forest Brentford v Notts County QPR v MK Dons Manchester United v Derby Forest Green or Exeter v West Brom Doncaster v Slough Town or Rochdale Tottenham v AFC Wimbledon Middlesbrough v Sunderland Fleetwood or Hereford v Leicester Blackburn or Crewe v Hull Cardiff v Mansfield Manchester City v Burnley Shrewsbury v West Ham Wolves v Swansea Stevenage v Reading Newcastle v Luton Millwall v Barnsley Fulham v Southampton Wycombe v Preston Norwich v Chelsea Gillingham or Carlisle v Sheffield Wednesday 7:27PM One for the ages?  Another exciting looking tie is 2016 Premier League champions away at Hereford United (if Hereford can win their replay against Fleetwood Town.  7:23PM That concludes the draw No doubts about the tie of the round there...Liverpool will host Everton! There's also Brighton vs Crystal Palace and Bournemouth at home against non-league Fylde or Wigan.  7:22PM Last up Gillingham or Carlisle vs Sheffield Wednesday 7:21PM Tough draw Norwich Norwich City vs Chelsea 7:21PM Next Wycombe Wanderers vs Preston North End 7:21PM Next up Fulham vs Southampton 7:21PM All-Championship tie Millwall vs Barnsley 7:20PM Home banker?  Newcastle vs Luton Town 7:20PM Next up Stevenage vs Reading 7:20PM The home side could be the favourites here Wolves vs Swansea 7:20PM Another giant-killing for Shrewsbury?  Shrewsbury Town vs West Ham 7:20PM All Premier League tie Manchester City vs Burnley 7:19PM Next up Cardiff City vs Mansfield Town 7:19PM Upset alert Blackburn or Crewe vs Hull City 7:19PM Great draw Fleetwood Town or Hereford vs Leicester City 7:19PM Tees-Wear derby Middlesbrough vs Sunderland 7:18PM London derby Tottenham Hotspur vs AFC Wimbledon 7:18PM The Slough fans seem a bit upset... Doncaster Rovers vs Slough Town or Rochdale 7:18PM Banana skin?  Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City vs West Brom 7:17PM United are up against... Manchester United vs Derby County 7:17PM Next up QPR vs MK Dons 7:17PM Next up Brentford vs Notts County 7:16PM The holders will play... Nottingham Forest vs Arsenal 7:16PM Next Port Vale or Yeovil Town v Bradford City 7:16PM Local derby Bolton Wanderers vs Huddersfield Town 7:16PM Next up Newport County vs Leeds United 7:16PM A tale of two cities Coventry City vs Stoke City 7:15PM Potentially a huge trip for non-league Fylde Bournemouth vs AFC Fylde or Wigan 7:15PM Less exciting Aston Villa vs Woking or Peterborough United 7:15PM And another big rivalry! Brighton vs Crystal Palace 7:14PM Would you believe it?!  Liverpool vs Everton 7:14PM Next Birmingham City vs Burton Albion 7:14PM Next Watford vs Bristol City 7:14PM First up Ipswich Town vs Sheffield United 7:12PM Here we go Jake Humphrey is the host, and the venue is Slough Town's home ground Holloways Park ahead of Slough's FA Cup second round match tonight against Rochdale.  Glenn Hoddle and Jermaine Jenas will make the draw.  7:01PM Nearly there The draw will be getting under way in around about 10 minutes. Hereford v Newcastle? Wrexham v Arsenal? Sutton v Coventry? Yep, the BBC's montage has them all.  6:28PM An English institution Evening all, Welcome to our coverage of one of the great days in the English sporting calendar. Yes we are just minutes away from seeing which lower-league teams will get a chance to lose 3-0 against the second string of one of the Premier League's leading lights. For these part-time plumbers and postmen, the opportunity to test themselves against Mohamed Elneny and Matteo Darmian is just a draw of a ball away. There is also the opportunity to be patronised the hell out of by BBC commentators and possibly go down in football folklore for ever more. Think Ronny Radford scoring for Hereford against Newcastle, Mickey Thomas for Wrexham against Arsenal, er Nigel Jemson for Shrewsbury against Everton.  The third round stage is of course when all the Premier League and Championship teams join the competition, and alongside them will be four non-league teams in the pot - AFC Fylde, Hereford, Slough and Woking. Arsenal are the current FA Cup holders Credit: AP Woking you may recall have some pedigree in this competition. In January 1991 the Surrey-based side pulled off one of the great FA Cup shocks when as a Conference team they knocked out second-tier outfit West Brom 4-2 at the Hawthorns. They were then beaten 1-0 by top-flight side Everton in the fourth round.     More recently, Woking reached the third round in 1997 and took Premier League side Coventry to a replay which they narrowly lost 2-1. But enough about Woking. Tonight's draw gets under way at around 7pm, and precedes the second round match between seventh-tier Slough Town and League One side Rochdale.  Here are the ball numbers in full: Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City

FA Cup third-round draw: What time is it, how can you watch it and what ball number is your team?

What is it? The draw for the FA Cup third round, which is the stage at which the Premier League's sides join the competition. When is it? Monday 4 December at around 7pm - before Slough vs Rochdale kicks off (which is on BT Sport 1, by the way). How can I watch the draw? BT Sport 1 and BBC Two will be showing the draw live, but if you're unable to watch it on telly you can follow it with us on the Telegraph Sport website.  How does the draw work? 64 balls will be drawn at random to make up 32 ties. Anyone can play anyone so we could see Manchester United vs Arsenal and Manchester City vs Mansfield Town. What are the ball numbers? Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City Arsenal are chasing another FA Cup triumph Credit: AP When will the matches be played? The third round ties will be played over the weekend of 6 January 2018. This isn't confirmed, but we'd assume matches will be played Friday-Monday. What are the odds and who are favourites to win it? Man City - 4/1 Chelsea - 5/1 Man Utd - 6/1 Arsenal - 8/1 Tottenham - 8/1 Liverpool - 9/1 Everton - 18/1 Southampton - 25/1 Leicester - 33/1 West Ham - 33/1

FA Cup third-round draw: What time is it, how can you watch it and what ball number is your team?

What is it? The draw for the FA Cup third round, which is the stage at which the Premier League's sides join the competition. When is it? Monday 4 December at around 7pm - before Slough vs Rochdale kicks off (which is on BT Sport 1, by the way). How can I watch the draw? BT Sport 1 and BBC Two will be showing the draw live, but if you're unable to watch it on telly you can follow it with us on the Telegraph Sport website.  How does the draw work? 64 balls will be drawn at random to make up 32 ties. Anyone can play anyone so we could see Manchester United vs Arsenal and Manchester City vs Mansfield Town. What are the ball numbers? Bournemouth Arsenal Aston Villa Barnsley Birmingham City Bolton Brentford Brighton Bristol City Burnley Burton Albion Cardiff City Chelsea Crystal Palace Derby County Everton Fulham  Huddersfield Hull City Ipswich Town Leeds United Leicester Liverpool Manchester City Manchester United Middlesbrough Millwall Newcastle Norwich City Nottingham Forest Preston North End QPR Reading Sheffield United Sheffield Wednesday Southampton Stoke  Sunderland Swansea Tottenham Watford West Brom West Ham Wolves Woking or Peterborough MK Dons Newport County Wycombe Wanderers Port Vale/Yeovil Shrewsbury Town Doncaster Rovers Slough Town or Rochdale AFC Wimbledon Stevenage Mansfield Town Luton Town Bradford City Blackburn/Crewe AFC Fylde or Wigan Gillingham or Carlisle Notts County Forest Green Rovers or Exeter City Fleetwood Town or Hereford Coventry City Arsenal are chasing another FA Cup triumph Credit: AP When will the matches be played? The third round ties will be played over the weekend of 6 January 2018. This isn't confirmed, but we'd assume matches will be played Friday-Monday. What are the odds and who are favourites to win it? Man City - 4/1 Chelsea - 5/1 Man Utd - 6/1 Arsenal - 8/1 Tottenham - 8/1 Liverpool - 9/1 Everton - 18/1 Southampton - 25/1 Leicester - 33/1 West Ham - 33/1

Celtic's form has James Forrest dreaming of a European run to rival 2003

James Forrest played for Celtic last time they were in a European final, when the Hoops lost 3-2 to Porto after extra time in Seville in 2003. To be more precise, while Martin O’Neill’s men were edged out of the silverware by a Porto side under the leadership of Jose Mourinho, Forrest was featuring as an 11-year-old for one of the Parkhead club’s boys’ teams. On Tuesday night, however, Celtic can secure European football after Christmas providing that they get any result better than a 4-0 defeat at home to Anderlecht in their final Champions League group match. Brendan Rodgers’ players would then go into the Europa League, a tournament which offers them the chance of progress at that level into the spring of next year. Celtic would require a degree of luck in the draw because although there are no teams of the calibre of Paris Saint-Germain – who have beaten them 5-0 in Glasgow and 7-1 in France in their Champions League group – the Europa League knockout stage will still feature the likes of Arsenal, AC Milan, Lazio, Diamo Kiev, Olympique Marseille and Villareal. Still, Hoops fans nourish hope of a campaign that would rekindle memories of the adventures of their 2003 side, who prevailed against Blackburn Rovers, Celta Vigo, Stuttgart, Liverpool and Boavista to reach the final, to which they were followed by an estimated 80,000 supporters, fewer than half of whom had tickets for the match. “It was a memorable year, a special season,” said Forrest. “They did really well, they got on a run, but back then, they were probably just taking it a game at time. I don't think they would have predicted that they would get to the final. Celtic's players trudge off after defeat in the 2003 Uefa Cup final Credit: REx feautures “We’re the same. I don't think anybody has really thought about the Europa League. At the start of the season the goal was to get into the Champions League and we wanted to be in Europe after Christmas. “Now we’re coming to the last Champions League game at home at Celtic Park and we want to make sure we have a good result and a positive performance and take it from there, game by game.” Forrest has enjoyed a buoyant campaign so far. Never a prolific scorer, his most productive season was 2011-12, when he netted nine times in 43 appearances. This time around he is on 10 goals from 32 outings and his strike for the opener in last Sunday’s Betfred Scottish League Cup final helped ensure him a 12th medal to show for his nine years at the club. “I’ve matched Bobby Lennox now by scoring in three League Cup Finals, which is great,” said the 26-year-old. “But I don't sit and count the medals. At Celtic, when you play in a final, you've normally got a game a few days later, so you just win it and move on. Celtic breezed past Motherwell Credit: Getty images “And you never want to stop with what you've got. I've been in the first team for seven years and only Broony (Scott Brown) is still here from when I made my debut. “The number of players who have come and gone is scary, but it's gone quite quickly. There have been ups and downs but it's been really enjoyable. “It’s hard to imagine myself playing for any other club. I've been here since I was nine years old so anywhere but Celtic would feel strange. “All my medals are in my flat. I'm not one for framing stuff but it's great to have so many – and the most important one is the next.” Rodgers made six changes to his team with Anderlecht in mind next week Credit: Getty images Forrest was on the bench for the third meeting on the bounce of Celtic and Motherwell. With the Anderlecht tie in mind, Rodgers made no fewer than six changes to the team who drew 1-1 at Fir Park in midweek. One of the incomers, Odsonne Edouard, made an immediate impact with two first half goals and only a very slow offside decision denied Tom Rogic another when he was put clear by Olivier Ntcham just before the break. Elliot Frear reduced the deficit against the run of play in the second half before Forrest arrived as a sub to net Celtic’s third and fifth in the 76th minute, before Odsonne secured his hat-trick from close range.       Elsewhere, there were victories for Kilmarnock at St Johnstone, Dundee away to Ross County and Hibernian against Partick Thistle at Firhill, while Hearts drew at home with Hamilton. Sunday sees attention switch to Pittodrie, where Aberdeen meet Rangers for the second time in four days, the Dons having lost 3-0 at Ibrox on Wednesday. The game will proceed against a background of intense speculation within Scottish football that Derek McInnes, the Aberdeen manager, remains Rangers’ principal target to replace Pedro Caixinha, who was sacked in October and that developments could occur as early as Monday.

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