The Manchester derby: classic battles for the bragging rights

From City's league double in the 50s to Denis Law's mythical backheel and Michael Owen's cute finish for United

25 September 1954: City 3-2 United

United lead the league nine games into the season with City two points behind in fifth. Paddy Fagan, Johnny Hart and Billy McAdams score for the home side, Jackie Blanchflower and Tommy Taylor for the visitors in a cracker. City then complete a league double by defeating United 5-0 at Old Trafford. Both fade in a title campaign won for the first time by Chelsea, though Matt Busby is building a side that will win consecutive championships before the Munich disaster

5 May 1971: City 3-4 United

United take a 3-0 lead in Matt Busby's last match as the club's manager (having resumed the role on a caretaker basis following the sacking of Wilf McGuinness), fittingly enough through goals by Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best. After Best makes it 4-1 in the second half Franny Lee and Ian Mellor get it back to 4-3 five minutes from time but United hold on. It is a classic but an end-of-season mid-table game

27 April 1974 United 0-1 City

The "relegation myth" match when Denis Law's backheeled last goal in league football after returning to City for a year following 11 seasons at Old Trafford is supposed to have sent United down. Law refuses to celebrate and, despite other results exonerating the striker of responsibility for his former club's relegation, he said in 2010 that he still felt "inconsolable"

23 September 1989: City 5-1 United

Goals from David Oldfield, Trevor Morley and Ian Bishop put Mel Machin's City 3-0 up and, though Mark Hughes gets one back, Oldfield scores again and Andy Hinchcliffe makes it five as the inflatable bananas on the Kippax bounce around in joy. "After the game I went straight home, got into bed and put the pillow over my head," Alex Ferguson would say. "A sense of guilt had engulfed me"

20 September 2009: United 4-3 City

Three times United take the lead and three times City equalise, finally with Craig Bellamy breaking quickly in a devastating counterattack to make it 3-3 in the 90th minute. Enter Michael Owen, a peach of a pass from Ryan Giggs, and the free-transfer signing's most memorable contribution in a United shirt with his cute finish

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