Old Trafford is the venue for the eagerly anticipated first Manchester derby of the season on Saturday. United and City both boast 100% records in the Premier League so far this term, so something has to give this weekend when Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola face off in England for the very first time. The Manchester derby has become something of a global spectacle in recent years however the meeting on Saturday is undoubtedly one of the biggest derbies of all time. City tops the table on goal difference after the first three games and are one of three clubs, along with United and Chelsea, who have won three out of three this season.
All eyes have been on Manchester since the Premier League fixtures were announced in June which saw Mourinho and Guardiola go head-to-head just four games into the new campaign. The Reds have seen off Bournemouth, Southampton and Hull City this term, keeping two clean sheets in the process while Guardiola’s men have beaten Sunderland, Stoke City and West Ham United and have conceded in every game. Let’s take a look back at the last three Manchester derbies, in which the Reds are unbeaten!
Manchester City 0-1 Manchester United, Premier League – 20th March 2016
Having been knocked out of the Europa League by bitter rivals Liverpool just a few days earlier, United went into this game knowing anything other than a win at the Etihad would all but end their Champions League aspirations as they sat four points adrift of their Manchester rivals.
At just 18 years and 141 days, Marcus Rashford became the youngest scorer in a Manchester derby in Premier League history as his first-half strike was enough to see Louis van Gaal’s side move to within a point of City with a 1-0 victory. The teenager collected a through-ball from Juan Mata before skipping past Martin Demichelis with ease to find himself one on one with City keeper Joe Hart in which he calmly placed the ball under the England international. It was Rashford’s fifth goal in eight matches following his debut less than a month earlier. City had plenty of the ball in the second half but United stood firm to take all three points from the Etihad.
Manchester United 0-0 Manchester City, Premier League – 25th October 2015
As dull as games go, this goalless stalemate between the two sides in October of last year is right up there. Both sides had made a solid start to their respective Premier League campaigns, United was fourth after nine games on 19 points while City was two points ahead in second placed following seven wins and two losses from their opening nine matches.
The match lacked quality throughout and it showed as Jesus Navas’ tame effort from range in the 82nd minute was the first shot on target from either side. Jesse Lingard struck the crossbar late on and Joe Hart denied Chris Smalling’s close-range effort but apart from that, not a lot happened. The less said about this match, the better!
Manchester United 4-2 Manchester City, Premier League – 12th April 2015
If the previously mentioned derby was a snore-fest, the meeting between the two teams in April 2015 at Old Trafford was the exact opposite. The Reds sat third, one point ahead of their Manchester rivals and had lost the last four derbies in succession.
It was the worst possible start for the home side as Sergio Aguero tapped in David Silva’s low cross inside 10 minutes. City came out the blocks fast but United was level on 14 minutes as Ashley Young bundled home the equaliser. Young then turned provider just before the half hour mark when his deep cross found Marouane Fellaini at the back post who headed beyond Joe Hart in the City goal. Juan Mata made it 3-1 midway through the second half as he latched onto Wayne Rooney’s reverse pass to coolly slot home. Young grabbed his second assist of the game when his free-kick was met by Chris Smalling who made it 4-1 on 73 minutes. Aguero grabbed his second late on but it proved nothing more than a consolation as United put an end to their derby hoodoo.