1991 – Derby County
In 1991, City faced relegation candidates Derby County at Maine Road. The Rams had completed the double over City the season previous, but this time around, the visitors weren’t so lucky. City dominated the match and took the lead when Niall Quinn hit a left foot volley beyond the keeper into the goal. Derby had a golden chance to equalise when Dean Saunders raced clear of a static City defence, but rather than pull the trigger, decided to try and round Tony Coton. The City man brough the striker down and Derby were awarded a penalty.
Coton was angry with the referee and threw his gloves at the man in the middle before leaving the pitch, being replaced in goal by Quinn. Saunders stepped up to take the penalty, only to see the big Irishman deflect it wide for a corner, which Quinn also caught. David White capitalised on a defensive error in the second half and, although Mick Harford pulled a goal back, City held on for the win and Derby went down.
1992 – Everton
City went to Goodison Park with not the best record on the blues side of Merseyside, but came away with a 2-1 win as they kept up their charge for a top six finish.
Niall Quinn was set clear and he got to the ball ahead of Neville Southall, clipping in the opener, however Pat Nevin equalised for the home side. Former Everton striker Adrian Heath was then released down the right and his low cross was met by Quinn who made it 2-1.
2005 – Birmingham City
City faced Birmingham in a battle of the mid table teams at the City of Manchester Stadium, with the blues three points clear of their Midlands rivals. After a goalless first half, Robbie Fowler appeared to give City the lead with a bullet header, but on closer inspection, his header hit the foot of the post, before bouncing in off keeper Maik Taylor.
Richard Dunne thumped the blues two clear with a header from a free kick on the left and Antoine Sibierski completed the scoring with a penalty in the 86th minute after the referee spotted an handball in the box.
2019 – Spurs
City faced Spurs at the Etihad Stadium just three days after the Londoners had knocked the blues out of the Champions League, and the bitter taste of that defeat, emphasised by the fact that VAR had ruled out a last minute City goal that would have seen the blues through, still lingered. This was the first of two tough games against top of the table opposition as City faced United at Old Trafford four days later.
The blues passed their first test thanks to an early Phil Foden goal and, although there wasn’t the same tempo or urgency as there was three days earlier, the blues held on to claim a precious three points in their pursuit of successive Premier League titles.