Why Man City fans still hate the Manchester derby after decade of dominating Manchester United – Alex Brotherton

Ah, it’s that time of the season again.

On Sunday, Manchester City will go head-to-head with Manchester United in the derby, the 50th time the cross-town rivals will meet in the Premier League and the 187th edition overall.

The derby is one of the most iconic fixtures of the football calendar. Two sides who first met over 140 years ago (it was St Marks West Gorton v Newton Heath back then) representing two halves of one of the most influential cities in the world.

It’s the game fans first look for when the fixtures are released and the one they dread going into work after in the event of a defeat. It’s about pride, bragging rights and ruling the roost.

City’s emergence as a dominant force over the past decade has given rise to a star-studded fixture not averse to throwing up shocks, incredible goals and fascinating tactical battles.

The Blues have dominated United in recent years in terms of honours; since 2012, City have won five Premier League titles, six League Cups and one FA Cup. By contrast, United have won one league title, alongside solitary successes in the FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.

The ‘noisy neighbours’ have inflicted some painful defeats on United too. The 6-1 humiliation of October 2011 is a result that Citizens will never forget.

However, nothing is ever guaranteed in a derby. Despite City’s dominance in recent years, United have regularly brought the Blues crashing down to earth, whether they’ve deserved to or not.

That perhaps helps explain why so many City fans still dread derby day and probably always will do.

Years of living in United’s shadow, bouncing around the divisions while our neighbors were winning titles under Sir Alex Ferguson, aren’t so easy to forget.

A generation of City fans had to keep their heads down and deal with the jeers and taunts of the United-supporting friends, colleagues and peers after yet another derby day defeat. In 2008, City won at Old Trafford for the first time in 34 years. Thirty-four!

Of course, there were exceptions to the rule, games when City would step up the occasion and overthrow their glamorous rivals, but in the context of the wider season it didn’t really harm United.

Then came a period when United found an even crueller way to taunt City: they’d let City think they were about to secure a hard-earned draw before snatching it away with a last-gasp winner. Watching back the 4-3 and 1-0 losses of 2009/10 is a painful experience.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester City! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive City coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to City fans – City Is Ours.

Writers and presenters who share your passion for the blue side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.

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Follow our team on Twitter (@DomFarrell1986 and @alex_brotherton)!

Even now, with Pep Guardiola in charge of arguably the greatest City team ever assembled, United know how to get their way. City have lost their past three home meetings with United, while Guardiola’s record against the Reds as City boss stands at won seven, lost six, drawn two. Remarkably, just one of those wins has come at home.

In theory, nowadays City should win every game against United, but with derbies you just never know.

They are fixtures that still make you wake up with a knot in your stomach, have you sweating three hours before kick-off and a bag of nerves during the game. And that’s when the result doesn’t have huge implications on the title race.

City have to win on Sunday and they may well do so. But until the final whistle sounds, don’t expect many Blues to enjoy it.

As a City fan, do you love or hate derby day? Follow our City Is Ours writer Alex Brotherton on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts in the comments section below.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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