This weekend sees the first clash of the 2023/24 season between bitter rivals Man City and Man United. Throughout hundreds of instances of the Manchester Derby, there have been incredible, season-defining moments and stunning wins – but what is the biggest victory ever recorded in this fixture?
Last season, the two sides shared bragging rights from their league clashes. Man City ran riot in October 2022, thrashing United 6-3 thanks to hat tricks from Phil Foden and Erling Haaland. However, the Red Devils got their revenge in January 2023 with a 2-1 victory at Old Trafford.
Interestingly, though, 2022/23 quite literally ended with a tiebreaker thanks to the first-ever Manchester Derby FA Cup Final. Here, Pep Guardiola’s side reigned supreme, winning 2-1 at Wembley as Ilkay Gundogan netted a brace.
Even in recent years, the Derby has seen some epic moments. Wayne Rooney’s bicycle kick, Balotelli’s “Why always me?” celebration, and Michael Owen’s late winner are just a few of the memories that spring to mind.
Another factor that lives long in supporters’ minds is when their team dismantles their rival. This has happened on multiple occasions in Manchester Derby history – with both teams’ biggest wins being proper beatdowns.
The biggest wins in Manchester Derby history
The record for the largest victories ever seen in this fixture actually belongs to four games. These are split with three wins for City and just one for United, though. All four of these matches saw a winning margin of five goals.
Firstly, in January 1926, the Citizens recorded a dominant 6-1 win over the Red Devils at Old Trafford. Almost three decades later, in February 1955, City repeated the feat of a five-goal margin in their rival’s home, winning 5-0 at Old Trafford.
United then took nearly 40 years to exact their revenge. Sir Alex Ferguson’s men beat the “noisy neighbours” 5-0 in November 1994, once again at the Theatre of Dreams. While being among the biggest Manchester Derby wins, this is also United’s record victory in this fixture.
Finally, the most recent triumph by a five-goal margin was City’s 6-1 win at Old Trafford in October 2011. This is the game where Balotelli did that celebration and the Blue side of Manchester firmly staked their claim as title contenders.
Biggest Manchester Derby wins (as of 27/10/2023)
23 January 1926: Man United 1-6 Man City
12 February 1955: Man United 0-5 Man City
10 November 1994: Man United 5-0 Man City
23 October 2011: Man United 1-6 Man City
What is Man City’s largest home victory in the Manchester Derby?
Although City’s 6-3 dominance last year was a massive victory, it was not their largest-ever winning margin over their metropolitan rivals.
In September 1989, the Sky Blues ran riot at their old stomping grounds, Maine Road. They usurped United 5-1 – a stunning result which was also their first win in the Derby for eight years.
Unfortunately, the remarkable game did not prove a catalyst for either Manchester side. United and City finished on the same points in 1989/90, resulting in 13th and 14th place in Division One respectively.
However, the Red Devils did win that year’s FA Cup. It was their first silverware under Sir Alex Ferguson’s leadership – and arguably kept him in a job at the time.
What is the all-time head-to-head Manchester Derby record?
City may hold the majority of the biggest wins, but United have the better Manchester Derby head-to-head record.
The red side of Manchester have won 78 of the 190 previous editions of this fixture. Meanwhile, City has 59 victories to their name. This match has finished as a draw 53 times as well.
|All-time Manchester Derby H2H|
|Man United||Draw||Man City|
Old Trafford will certainly be rocking when the latest chapter of this storied rivalry is written on Sunday. Will Man City be able to continue their recent dominance over United? Or can Erik ten Hag’s side pull off another win at the Theatre of Dreams?
Featured image credit: Getty