The Rivalry Between Manchester United And Manchester City

Manchester United Vs Manchester City

This article will tell you about the history of the rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City

The rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City is one of the most fiercely contested and storied in English football history.

Known as the “Manchester Derby,” the clash between these two clubs evokes passion, drama, and a sense of city pride.

Over the years, the battle for supremacy in Manchester has produced unforgettable moments and iconic matches that have shaped the football landscape.

Let’s head into the head-to-head rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City, exploring its origins, key moments, and the impact it has had on both clubs and their fans.

How Did The Manchester Derby Begin?

The roots of the Manchester Derby trace back to the formation of Manchester City in 1880. At that time, Manchester United, then known as Newton Heath, had already established themselves as a club.

However, it was during the 20th century that the rivalry truly intensified. In the 1960s, Manchester City experienced success under manager Joe Mercer, winning the league title in 1968.

Meanwhile, Manchester United, led by the legendary Sir Matt Busby, had built a formidable team that went on to achieve unprecedented success in the 1990s and early 2000s.

The first ever Manchester Derby game was played in 1881, three years after United were formed, and just over 12 months after City’s creation.

The Introduction Of Sir Alex Ferguson

The rivalry gained momentum with the arrival of two influential figures: Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United in 1986 and Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of Manchester City in 2008.

Ferguson’s tenure at United was marked by an era of dominance, as he guided the Red Devils to numerous league titles, European success, and a treble-winning season in 1999.

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson

On the other hand, Sheikh Mansour’s financial investment transformed Manchester City into a powerhouse, allowing them to compete with United on and off the field.

Change Of Dominance

In recent years, the Manchester Derby has taken on added significance as both clubs have battled for supremacy in the Premier League.

Matches between United and City have often been title deciders or pivotal moments in the race for the top spot. The 2011-2012 season stands out as one of the most memorable in this regard.

With Manchester City challenging United’s dominance, the derby in April 2012 proved to be a crucial encounter. City snatched a dramatic 3-2 victory with Sergio Agüero’s stoppage-time goal, ultimately securing their first Premier League title on goal difference.

Another standout moment in the rivalry occurred during the 2017-2018 season when Manchester City, managed by Pep Guardiola, set a record-breaking pace on their way to the league title.

Premier League
Premier League

In December 2017, City defeated United 2-1 at Old Trafford, showcasing their attacking prowess and dominance. Guardiola’s side went on to break several records, including the most points in a Premier League season, finishing with a remarkable 100 points.

Pep Guardiola has won four straight Premier League title. He won the prestigious trophy in 2019/20, 2020/21, 2021/22 and 2022/23 title.


The Manchester Derby is not only about the battle on the field; it also encompasses the cultural and social divide in the city.

Historically, United has been associated with the working-class roots of Manchester, while City has had a reputation as a club favored by the middle and upper classes.

These differences have contributed to the fierce loyalty and passionate support exhibited by fans on both sides. The matches between United and City are more than just football; they are a reflection of the city’s identity and a source of intense pride for the fans.

Off the field, the rivalry has also manifested in the transfer market, with both clubs vying for top players and attempting to outdo each other.

This heightened competition has elevated the significance of the Manchester Derby, as it now represents not only a clash of footballing ideologies but also a contest for supremacy in the wider context of English and European football.