On this day in 2011, Manchester City pulled off one of the biggest results that made the Premier League sit up and take notice.
Three years earlier, City had been bought by ADUG and had spent large sums of money on new players in order to compete with the rest of the Premier League, and had won the FA Cup five months earlier. And with Roberto Mancini at the helm, there was a feeling the blues would win the league sooner rather than later.
The match at Old Trafford was a huge factor in the blues title push. City had won once at the home of their City rivals since the 1970’s, but there was a sense in the blue half on Manchester that that particular statistic was about to change.
And it changed in style.
Both teams went into the match unbeaten, with City two points clear of United and the feeling was that, whoever would win this match, despite it only being October, would eventually win the league, and as the match kicked off on that sunny autumn day, no one in the stadium realised exactly how important the scoreline in this match would eventually become.
The two teams were quite evenly matched throughout the first half, but City had the upper hand when Mario Balotelli casually stroked the ball into the bottom corner from David Silva’s pass to give City the lead. The Italian striker had been involved in a fireworks incident at his home and lifted his shirt to display another shirt asking ‘why always me?’ for which he was booked.
If the first half was even, the second half was anything but as City ran riot. Balotelli was through on goal, only to be hauled back by Jonny Evans and the United centre back was subsequently sent off. A second goal was coming and it duly came through the Italian, converting at the far post from James Milner’s superb pass across goal.
United were deflated and worse was to come for their supporters. Micah Richards got into the area and crossed for Sergio Aguero to score his first goal against United and send City 3-0 up. The visiting supporters sang loudly, unable to believe what was happening in front of them. City had scored three goals two season early, but had still conceded four, so to see them ahead in such a manner was unchartered territory.
And more was to come.
Darren Fletcher pulled a goal back for the home side to give United a flicker of hope, but that was quickly extinguished by the blues. Edin Dzeko, on for two goal star Balotelli, converted with his knee after United failed to clear a corner and Joleon Lescott pulled the ball back for the Bosnian striker.
A minute later, David Silva raced clear to slot the ball between the legs of David de Gea to make it 5-1, and give blues fans a of a certain age a good reminder of that famous scoreline at Maine Road 22 years earlier.
With City fans celebrating wildly, the few United fans that remained in the stadium soon wished they hadn’t. David Silva produced the pass of the match to release Dzeko, and the Bosnian sent blues fans into fantasy land with a left foot finish.
It was United’s biggest home defeat since 1955, ironically against City, who beat the reds 5-0 and gained some measure of revenge for City’s own 5-0 hammering in 1994.
The win triggered an era of blue derby dominance at Old Trafford. Since that win, the blues have only lost two derbies from the subsequent eight meetings, winning five and drawing just one.
Final Score: Man Utd 1-6 Man City