October 27th 1990
A little over 12 months after newly promoted City humbled and embarrassed their neighbours expensively assembled side, the blue and red halves of Manchester locked horns at Maine Road again.
Despite losing the opening match at Spurs, City had gone on a ten match unbeaten run and sat in fifth place in the league, two places and three points clear of United, who had already lost four of their first nine matches.
The blues started well enough when Peter Reid had a shot saved by United keeper Les Sealey. It was a reprieve for United but it didn’t last long. Mark Ward’s speculative cross rebounded off Niall Quinn then back to him off Paul Ince. An off-balance Quinn scuffed a pass to David White, who hit a first time shot into the bottom corner to give City the lead in the 21st minute
One goal became two five minutes later for City when Adrian Heath flicked a pass into the path of White, who raced clear of the defence and casually flicked the ball past Sealey with the outside of his right foot to send City 2-0 up.
But United came back and in the 27th minute, a cross from a free-kick found Mark Hughes, who rose highest to head home past Tony Coton to half the deficit.
In the second half, City pressed for a third goal that would surely kill off United and White came within inches of providing it and grabbing a hat-trick in the process, but his header thumped off the bar and away to safety and Reid fired the eventual follow-up wide.
The fourth goal of the match eventually arrived and it fell to the blues with just 12 minutes remaining. Steve Redmond cut out an intended pass forward and Colin Hendry, who for some reason was playing in midfield, flicked the ball past the defender and charged forward. The Scot played a one-two with Quinn and calmly slotted home for what should have been the match clincher.
However, substitute Ian Brightwell, on in place of the ever-young Peter Reid, gave United a fighting chance. The youngster lost possession to minutes later to Brian McClair and the United striker raced forward and slotted underneath the keeper to give United hope.
3-2 became 3-3 three minutes later, when a corner on the United left was flicked forward and McClair diverted home the equaliser. Gary Pallister could have won the match for United in the last minute, but his goal bound effort was saved by Coton.
An entertaining match for the neutral, but City were gutted that they failed to win it from a good position.