but after City drew level Robin Van Persie's stoppage-time free-kick sealed yet another dramatic last-gasp derby win.
The Manager: Known as 'The Engineer', Manuel Pellegrini joined City with a reputation as both a canny tactician and a good man-manager. He guided unheralded Villarreal and Malaga to the knock-out phase of the Champions League, but in between those two jobs the Chilean lasted just one season in charge of Real Madrid, despite having Cristiano Ronaldo in his ranks following the Portuguese's departure from Old Trafford.
Star man: Sergio Aguero looks to have assumed the mantle as City's main man up front now that fellow Argentina striker Carlos Tevez has left the club. Behind him, Yaya Toure is always a threat while on the flanks the pace of recent arrival Jesus Navas could test United's full backs.
Sub-plot: David Moyes had a good record at the Etihad Stadium whilst in charge at Everton - he won five of his 10 games in charge of the Toffees there.
Did you know? Wayne Rooney has scored eight times at the Etihad Stadium - six for United, and two in England's 6-1 win over Iceland there in 2004.
Referee: South Yorkshire official Howard Webb has yet to show a red card this season, but he sent off Reds right-back Rafael when he last took charge of a United fixture - the 0-1 home defeat to Chelsea in May.