Manchester United VS Manchester City

The Biggest Derby Ever

30th April 2012 will be the biggest and best day of the Premier League season, and as Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson says, the "biggest derby" he has ever been in.

For so long this game has been a one off game that hasn't had a big effect on the destination of the title. It was Man City's most important game of the season, and their chance to get one over their rivals whose shadow they'd been in for so long. And, as it stands, they still are.

But recently, that has been changing. In the 2007-08 season, the last one before the sensational takeover of City that changed the landscape of English football massively, City came mid-table in 9th place.

The first season after the takeover was no better, with a 10th placed finish. But the next 3 seasons up until now have been constant improvement:

  1. a 5th placed finish, just outside the Champions League spots, in 2009-10.
  2. a 3rd placed finish, narrowly behind Chelsea and United, in 2010-11.
  3. This season, currently sitting 3 points behind Man United, which is where this game becomes so important.

Because now this clash of city rivals is not just a chance to get one over your neighbours but actually a crucial game in deciding the destination on the title.

The Top Of The Table Before The Game

Goal Difference
Manchester United
Manchester City

How Will The Title Be Won

In January 2012 everyone thought that Manchester City had it wrapped up with their 5 point lead. But it all changed and by April it was United that were surefire favourites as they were now 5 points clear, and for a short time, 8 points.

But they threw it away with a defeat to Wigan and a draw to Everton and suddenly not only were Man City back in it, but they were the team on form.

As you can see from the table, there is just 3 points seperating the top 2, meaning a United win would put them 6 points clear with a possible 6 points left to claim, meaning unless United suffered an extraordinary collapse they would have the title in their hands.

However if City win then things get interesting: both teams would have 83 points, but Man City would the superior goal difference, by at least 8, depending on the scoreline.

That would mean if both teams, as expected, won their last 2 games, the Premier League title would come down to goal difference. Of course 8 goals is a lot and City would obviously be massive favourites to win it if it did, but you can never rule out United winning a couple of games 6-0 when they need it.

Mancini and Ferguson.
Mancini and Ferguson.

The Run In

If Manchester City were to win the game, the title would still not be wrapped up, as they are facing the trickier run-in.

Manchester City

  1. Newcastle-6th May-Away
  2. QPR-13th May-Home

Man United

  1. Swansea-6th May-Home
  2. Sunderland-13th May-Away

So if City were to win, they would travel to Newcastle needing to beat a team that is chasing a first Champions League spot in over a decade, before playing QPR, a team fighting to avoid relegation from the Premier League.

At the same time United will be playing two relatively simple games against mid-table opposition who have nothing to play for.

The First Manchester Derby Of The Season

Get your shirts to support your team for this season and next on the right!


Likely Line Ups

Man United (4-4-2)

De Gea

Smalling Ferdinand Evans Evra

Valencia Carrick Scholes Nani

Rooney Welbeck

Man City (4-2-2-2)


Richards Kompany Lescott Clichy

Y.Toure Barry

Silva Nasri

Aguero Tevez

What Will Happen?

  • United win derby-United win league
  • United win derby-City win league
  • Draw in derby-United win league
  • Draw in derby-City win league
  • City win derby-United win league
  • City win derby-City win league
See results without voting

First Scorer?

  • Rooney
  • Welbeck
  • Nani
  • Tevez
  • Aguero
  • Silva
  • Nasri
  • Valencia
  • Other
See results without voting

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Comments 17 comments

CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

Your right scholes loves the diagonals but they werent on at any point in the game, guess his great passing is dependant on others moments also.

I guess even fergie is entitled to the occasional mistake, just seems hes made a few this year, normally wouldnt question him at all... how can you

Definetly a fellow red ;)

jamiew12310 profile image

jamiew12310 4 years ago Author

Ferguson is one of the best managers ever, but he got it totally wrong, Park's whole game is based on fitness and chasing down the opposition but he has barely played this season so he wasn't fit enough for that.

I can honestly say that I thought only Carrick played well. The defence were ok apart from the mistake for the goal, Scholes didn't play badly but he couldn't spread the ball out wide like he normally does because Giggs and Nani weren't wide enough or making any runs, and Rooney was isolated up front and just got frustrated.

Are you a United fan?

CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

Definetly.. Valencia has been the oustanding player of the season, it was madness to field giggs and park before him and i dont care wether it would be welbeck or hernandez but Rooney desperately needed support up there, everytime he got the ball he was isolated with 5 city players to beat.

Also you predicted CB partnership of Evans and Ferdinand.. Fergie has been raving about how well that partnership has been developing but then drops him for the most important game of the season!? not to mention bringing smalling, park and jones who are rusty and out of match practice. It was a game for fielding the strongest 11 not rotation

jamiew12310 profile image

jamiew12310 4 years ago Author

Exactly CCahill, I don't know what Park and Giggs were doing on the pitch for so long while Welbeck, Valencia, Young and Hernandez sat on the bench.

CCahill profile image

CCahill 4 years ago from England

if only he fielded your predicted lineup.

charmike4 profile image

charmike4 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

I sure did! I can't credit for this one!

jamiew12310 profile image

jamiew12310 4 years ago Author

Charmike said that after the game

allyoucansee profile image

allyoucansee 4 years ago from Europe

City it was, as I guessed. But the best was charmike4, even got the score right :)

jamiew12310 profile image

jamiew12310 4 years ago Author

United to beat Swansea and Sunderland 8-0 each and win it on goal difference... I can hope..

JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Indeed Mike, as a neutral that was the result I wanted. Now we'll get a decent title race for sure. Personally, I think both win their final two games, and City will win the title on goal difference.

charmike4 profile image

charmike4 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

1-0 to City - it will make the final couple of games for the season really interesting as Man City now have the momentum, but Man U have the better draw.

AfricaResource profile image

AfricaResource 4 years ago from Dorking, Surrey, United Kingdom

It's certainly going to be a crazy game but i think City will start well but bottle it towards the end!

allyoucansee profile image

allyoucansee 4 years ago from Europe

I'm going for City on this one

jamiew12310 profile image

jamiew12310 4 years ago Author

Yeah I sort of get the feeling that if they had a choice the neutrals would rather it was anyone but United or City! But yeah if City win at least it will make the last few weeks exciting.

JKenny profile image

JKenny 4 years ago from Birmingham, England

Its far too close to call, but for City its now or never. If they lose, the game's up. I know you're a Man U fan, but I think most neutrals will want City to win keep the title race going, hopefully it'll go down to the final day.

charmike4 profile image

charmike4 4 years ago from Adelaide, South Australia

I'm going to put my money on Man City. They seem to be focussed at present and a win makes the final couple of weeks interesting. Man City have a chance against Newcastle next week after their horrible display at Wigan. Cheers Michael

jhunpaler profile image

jhunpaler 4 years ago from Philippines

go united :) thanks for the informative hub.

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