There have been many memorable Manchester derbies over the years. It’s a game that neither side wants to lose. The emotional investment that fans put into the game is such that the joy a win brings is unparalleled. The consequences of a defeat, on the other hand, are almost unbearable.
Those famous wins are remembered only with rose tinted spectacles, where the euphoric highs survive but all that nervous tension in the build-up to and during the game is conveniently discarded from memory. And then there’s the crushing defeats: no matter how hard you try, nothing can erase the vision of those all too frequent and dreaded Manchester United last minute winnners.
No other fixture evokes quite the same feeling as the Manchester derby. As Fergie would say “there’s no question about that”.
Perhaps no other Manchester derby is more fondly remembered by City fans than the last one to played at Maine Road in November 2002. Shaun Goater’s brace along with Nicholas Anelka’s opener meant City ran out 3-1 winners on the day to bring the curtain down on the Manchester derby at City’s former home of 80 years.
The result was also significant in that it was City’s first victory against United in the Premier League and as the BBC said at the time “Kevin Keegan’s side recorded an extraordinary third successive league win”.
After the game Kevin Keegan said:
You look at that performance and think: ‘wow’. Now we should go into every game knowing that, if we can beat Manchester United, we can beat anyone.
Alex Ferguson on the other hand said:
I’ve given them a bollocking, and quite rightly. You can’t accept that. I just feel sorry for the fans. I wish I could let them into the dressing room so the players would know what they are thinking.
City’s Starting 11
Peter Schmeichel, Richard Dunne, Gerard Wiekens, Lucien Mettomo, Sun Jihai, Eyal Berkovic, Marc-Vivien Foe, Danny Tiatto, Niclas Jensen, Nicholas Anelka, Shaun Goater.
Anelka, Goater x2
On this day Avril Lavigne was sitting at number 11 in the UK Singles Chart with Complicated.
Written by Robert Toole