A History of the Manchester Derby

7 May

This is a guest post from Harry Green.

The Manchester Derby, played between City and United, is one of the closest contested derbies in English football. Thousands of fans from both teams descend in Old Trafford or the City of Manchester Stadium to see which team will come out on top. Let’s take a closer look at this derby.

Fought for Many Years

The first recorded meeting of the derby was in 1881, when St Mark’s – the team that would become City – hosted a friendly against Newton Heath LYR, the previous incarnation of United. Newton Heath won that first match and they have been swapping titles ever since.

Bad Tempers Rising

In the 70s, the derby got a reputation for being a closely fought contest. There were many spectacular games in this era and tempers often flared on the match. In 1970, George Best performed a diving tackle which broke the leg of City defender Glyn

Later on in the decade, fans got to witness the spectacular play of Denis Law when he back-heeled the ball into the net for a winning goal. It was a time of amazing football with some of the finest players both teams have ever had the privilege of working

Wins on Both Sides

United and City have met 177 times to play the beautiful game and the wins have been mixed on both sides. Sometimes one team has managed to dominate the other for several years only to fall back the next time. If you are interested to see how future matches pan out, you should consider heading to NetBet sports for some great intel and odds on upcoming future matches.

In those 177 meetings, United have won 73 matches and City have won 52. The other 52 matches have been draws. There has also been a couple of repeat results. In both 1926 and 2011, City has won with six goals over United’s one.

Players and Managers on Both Sides

Despite a claim that they will have nothing to do with each other, there have been some players and managers shared on both sides. Approximately 40 players have played for both City and United and this has been the case from the earliest days to the modern era. The first player for both sides was William Douglas who played for City from 1890-1894 and then United from 1894-1896.

The legendary Manchester United manager Matt Busby started as a player for City and had more than two hundred appearances with the team. He even won an FA Cup medal in 1934.

The only person to manage both teams was Ernest Mangnall. He oversaw United from 1903-1912 and then City from 1912-1924. His final match for United also happened to be a derby match.

It is clear to see that Manchester has one of the most interesting derbies in it. While both sides may claim to dislike one another, there are more similarities between them than you might think. Both teams can be proud of the way they represent their city and the way they have shaped the game of football throughout their long and prosperous careers.

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