Good, bad, and very ugly (without resorting to Carlos Tevez/Luke Chadwick teasing)
1. The refusal of Fergie to complete the signing of Carlos Tevez could be considered his single biggest failure as United manager. That he left to join rivals City was almost too much, made even more unbearable by the banners displayed around Manchester city centre ironically welcoming the striker to the area.
Football fans responded as they only knew how: mockery, humour, and boasting. The banner below was displayed to casually remind King Carlos that he was playing for the second team in Manchester.
2. The 2004 defeat to rivals City was only Alex Ferguson’s third derby defeat in his 17-year reign. Although the scoreline flattered City, it was the punishing fourth goal, scored by new kid on the block that hit home hardest.
Cutting in from the right hand side, SWP hit a ferocious shot from the edge of the area, giving Howard little chance. The first derby match in the City of Manchester Stadium is unlikely to be passed soon, in City fans’ eyes.
3. Everyone knows that Gary Neville is a passionated red Manc, but there is a fairly evident ratty, snidey side. Never has this been more evident than in the tunnel of the derby of 2002. As the video below shows, Neville refused to shake the hand of Manchester United legend Peter Schmeichel, on the basis that he had signed for City.
4. Which handily takes us to our next moment. Neville ten went and ballsed it up in the match, his blunder allowing Shaun Goater to score and help City to their first derby win in years.
Such a heart-warming experience inevitably led to a poem, which began “”Derby Day, the scores were level, then the Goat was fed by Neville.”
5. Manchester United had a habit of getting dodgy penalty decisions at Old Trafford, but the worst of the lot came in the 1995 FA Cup derby. Newly appointed referee Alan Wiley made a name for (c*ock of) himself when awarding a scandalous penalty to United, who were trailing 1-0 at the time.
Apparently awarded for holding (hence the horrendous charades style mime from Wiley), it hung bitterly in the air over City fans when discussing their hated foes.
6. It would be inaccurate to describe Michael Owen’s tenure at Old Trafford as glittering, but he did score the single loudest goal I have ever witnessed live. In the game that had everything, Owen waited until the last possible moment to break City hearts, thus handing his side a 4-3 win.
Old Trafford erupted, and the phrase “a minimum of five minutes” was examined by pundits and summarisers for weeks to come.
7. To say that there was a little bit of spice in Carlos Tevez’s hand celebration in 2010 would be to equate korma to vindaloo. After being deemed of insufficient worth for United, Tevez had already branded Neville a “boot-licking moron” after Neville had said that Tevez wasn’t worth £25million, so the ‘shaddapa your face’ signal emphasised his feelings perfectly. Now now children.
8. If there was one thing that United were known for in the nineties (alongside dodgy penalties) it was late goals.
Perhaps the start of this was in the derby of 1993. Brian Horton’s side were cruising at half time at 2-0 up, but Fergie’s men roared back. The equaliser from Eric Cantona was the goal of the game, and begun a period of late Manchester resilience, the hallmark of their Premier League titles.
9. An urban myth perhaps, but a good story nonetheless. Years before he was installed as manager of Manchester City, Mark Hughes was doing some book signings in Manchester. A man in the queue offered a copy of Hughes’ book and asked “Can you sign it ‘Thanks for 23 September 1989’?” Hughes agreed and asked if it because it was the day he got married. “No,” said the man. “It was when we beat you 5-1, you c**t.”
10. Brutal. Savage. Disgusting. Alf-Inge Haaland had his whole career reduced to a youtube video by an appalling tackle, a challenge that Keane freely admitted was premeditated.
The full quote from Keane’s autobiography deserves the space that the video would be shown in:
“I’d waited long enough. I f**king hit him hard. The ball was there (I think). Take that you c**t. And don’t ever stand over me sneering about fake injuries. Even in the dressing room afterwards, I had no remorse. My attitude was, f**k him. What goes around, comes around. He got his just rewards. He f**ks me over and my attitude is an eye for an eye.”
That Keane was not criminally charged is one of the scandals of the Premier League era.