The official website for European football

Manchester derby: Did you know?

Published: Friday 31 October 2014, 9.22CET
As Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC meet in their 168th derby on Sunday, looks back at some lesser-known facts from one of football's foremost rivalries.
by Majid Mohamed

rate galleryrate photo
  • loading...
Published: Friday 31 October 2014, 9.22CET

Manchester derby: Did you know?

As Manchester City FC and Manchester United FC meet in their 168th derby on Sunday, looks back at some lesser-known facts from one of football's foremost rivalries.

Manchester United FC travel a few miles across town on Sunday to take on champions Manchester City FC in the 168th Manchester derby, hoping to stretch their lead in the wins column to 70 over City's 48.

United manager Louis van Gaal gets his first taste of the famous fixture with the former Netherlands coach able to take inspiration from opposite number Manuel Pellegrini who won his first derby against City's neighbours in style. Sergio Agüero, Yaya Touré and Samir Nasri scored in a 4-1 home success in September 2013. 

With a new chapter in the old rivalry starting this weekend, highlights some lesser-known facts from one of the most celebrated contests in English football.

First time
• The first meeting between West Gorton (St Marks), who would become Manchester City, and Newton Heath LYR, later Manchester United, took place on 12 November 1881. Newton Heath won 3-0, giving the future Red Devils the early bragging rights in the Victorian industrial metropolis. 

©AFP/Getty Images

Rooney impact
• Wayne Rooney is the all-time top scorer in the match-up with 11 goals from 22 outings. Former Sky Blues players Joe Hayes and Francis Lee lie second in the rankings with ten goals apiece, but Rooney will have the chance to extend his advantage at the weekend as the United captain returns from a three-match suspension. 

Stalwart Giggs
• United assistant coach Ryan Giggs holds the record for most appearances in the derby with 36. The next closest contenders are Sir Bobby Charlton (27) and Paul Scholes (26), with Rooney (22) able to close on his former team-mate if he features at the City of Manchester Stadium. 

©Getty Images

Crossing divide
• Owen Hargreaves is the last player to have represented both clubs, making the switch during summer 2011, but playing just one league game as City lifted the league title that season. Carlos Tévez went from red to blue two years earlier, but the first man to cross the divide was Scotland's Bob Milarvie, who played for United from 1890–91 before a five-year spell with City.

Unbeaten Schmeichel
• Perhaps the fixture's most successful participant, Peter Schmeichel was never on the losing side in a Manchester derby. The former Denmark goalkeeper had eight trophy-laden campaigns at Old Trafford, before ending his career with a season at City in 2002/03 where he helped the then underdogs to a 3-1 home victory at Maine Road and a 1-1 result away.

©AFP/Getty Images

Ferguson factor
• Sir Alex Ferguson managed the Red Devils in 47 clashes during his 27 years as United boss, winning 26 and losing 11. His first encounter with City came in the FA Cup in January 1987 when he picked up his first win with a 1-0 success. However, his final taste of the rivalry was a sour one as a late Sergio Agüero goal gave City a 2-1 home triumph. 

City united
• Players from both sides combined to figure for the same team in 1978 for City great Colin Bell's testimonial against a joint Everton FC-Liverpool FC outfit in a Manchester versus Merseyside match. The Mancunians put their usual antagonisms aside for the evening as they defeated the visitors 2-1. 

©Getty Images

Law broken
• In a famous episode, ex-United ace Denis Law helped sealed the relegation of his old club while playing for City in 1974. In footage now repeated every time the sides meet, the man United fans called 'The King' scores a memorable back-heeled goal in the game at Old Trafford but refuses to celebrate, trudging back to the centre circle, with the knowledge of what he has just done weighing heavy on the 1968 European Champion Clubs' Cup winner.

End of Maine Road
• Former England boss Kevin Keegan managed City in the last derby at their old Maine Road home. Striker Shaun Goater registered his 100th and 101st goals for the club in a 3-1 victory in November 2002. That was the Sky Blues' first success in the fixture in over a decade, their long-suffering fans having had to wait almost 13 years since a 5-1 triumph in September 1989. In the intervening period United had dominated by winning nine of the 15 league games. 

Level pegging
• Since the move to the City of Manchester Stadium in 2003, the league record is dead level at the arena. The rivals have recorded five victories each, with the only draw occurring in 2010. 

Last updated: 01/11/14 23.09CET

Related information

Member associations
Team profiles