Sir Alex Ferguson and Sir Matt Busby.

United's five best derby bosses

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will, on Wednesday, become the 19th United manager to lead his side into battle with our Manchester neighbours.

In this feature from United Review, the official match programme at Old Trafford, we reveal which of his predecessors fared best in battles with the Blues, ordered by their derby win percentages...


Win ratio: 55.32 per cent

The man who has managed in the most derbies also won the most, winning 26 encounters and losing only 11 out of 47.

Standout victory: A 5-0 home win in November 1994 is still our record triumph over Manchester City.

Full record: P47 W26 D10 L11 F78 A60
Sir Alex Ferguson celebrates a win over Roberto Mancini's Manchester City side

Win ratio: 54.55%

The first boss of Newton Heath won six derbies - kicking off with a 5-1 drubbing in an 1891/92 FA Cup qualifier - and lost just two.

Standout victory: The Reds triumphed 5-2 away at Hyde Road in our first-ever league meeting in 1894.

Full record: P11 W6 D3 L2 F23 A13
Win ratio: 44.44%

The Doc was at the helm in 1974’s infamous home loss to the Blues, shortly before the Reds were relegated, but United recovered to win four of  the next six derbies.

Standout victory: We enjoyed a sweet 3-1 win at Maine Road in September 1976 thanks to goals from Gerry Daly, Steve Coppell and David McCreery.

Full record: P9 W4 D3 L2 F11 A9
Tommy Docherty
The Doc had the upper hand in most of his Manchester derbies.

Win ratio: 41.03%

At a time when United and City were both competing for honours, Sir Matt gave more than he got.

Standout victory: Denis Law bagged the only goal at Old Trafford in the 1966/67 season when the Reds were en route to winning the title.

Full record: P39 W16 D13 L10 F58 A50
Sir Matt Busby holding a ball that says: '100 Manchester Derbies.
Sir Matt pictured ahead of our 100th derby in February 1981.


Win ratio: 36.36%

The only man to ever manage both Manchester factions was beaten just twice by the Blues while in charge of the Reds.

Standout victory:
George Wall and Sandy Turnbull (2) were on target in United's 3-1 home triumph four days before Christmas, on the way to winning the club's first-ever league title in 1907/08.

Full record: P11 W4 D5 L2 F12 A10

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United's 1908/09 squad, managed by Ernest Mangnall
United's 1908/09 squad, managed by Ernest Mangnall (pictured first from the right).