What's United's best win at the Etihad Stadium?

Friday 05 March 2021 12:17

Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium has proved to be a happy hunting ground for Manchester United since it became our rivals’ home in 2003.

In 20 games there, the Reds have come out on top on 10 occasions, as opposed to City’s eight, and we have won on four of our last six visits, including a Premier League and Carabao Cup double in 2019/20.

A third consecutive victory at the Etihad would extend United’s unbeaten away record in the league to a remarkable 22 games and end City’s equally-as-impressive recent winning run. But would it match some of our previous successes at the former Commonwealth Games stadium?

We’ve delved into the archives to look at six of the best United wins at the Etihad Stadium, and we’re asking you to vote for the very best. We’ll show the extended highlights of the winner so, settle back and refresh your memories…

CITY 0-1 UNITED (2006/07)

Not much tops a win over our local rivals, and there was extra significance behind this Manchester derby in May 2007, because United were embroiled in a fight for the Premier League title with Chelsea. There was controversy early on when City defender Michael Ball appeared to stamp on Cristiano Ronaldo, which was unseen by referee Rob Styles and drew frustration and anger from the United technical area. However, our Portuguese star would have the last laugh when his penalty, scored in the 34th minute, gave United a valuable lead. The home fans were given some hope with a penalty of their own 11 minutes from the end of the game, when Ball was brought down by Wes Brown. But Edwin van der Sar was there to keep United in front, denying Darius Vassell's spot-kick, which was fired straight at the legs of our Dutch goalkeeper. The result was pivotal, as it meant United were in pole position to get our hands on the 2006/07 Premier League trophy.

Van der Sar saves Vassell's penalty, in a vital win on the way to the title.

CITY 0-1 UNITED (2009/10)

There’s nothing better than a dramatic late win over your arch-rivals, which is why, despite not being the best game of football, this last-gasp victory simply has to be in our list. Wayne Rooney and Dimitar Berbatov spurned decent chances, while van der Sar saved brilliantly from Carlos Tevez, but the game looked to be meandering to a goalless draw which would have given leaders Chelsea the chance to go six points clear, with three games remaining. Up stepped Paul Scholes, fresh from signing a new one-year contract, to nod home Patrice Evra’s cross and give United a third injury-time derby winner of the season. Gary Neville ran over to plant a kiss on the midfielder’s lips – something we bet many Reds would have done in the same situation!

CITY 2-3 UNITED (2011/12)

The first derby since City’s 6-1 demolition of United came in the following January’s FA Cup third round. There was shock prior to kick-off, as Scholes was surprisingly named among the Reds’ substitutes, eight months after hanging up his boots. If travelling fans were pleased with that news, it’s fair to say they’d have been over the moon with a first-half display which saw us race into a 3-0 lead, with Vincent Kompany sent off for the home side. Rooney’s double – a header and a penalty – plus Danny Welbeck’s volley had us dreaming of a revenge thrashing, but the depleted home side roared back in the second period through Aleksandar Kolarov and Sergio Aguero to threaten a remarkable comeback. Fortunately, United held on.

Paul Scholes made a surprise return to football, in the 2012 FA Cup derby.

CITY 2-3 UNITED (2012/13)

The Reds travelled to the Etihad three points clear at the top of the Premier League, although reigning champions City were still unbeaten and hadn’t actually lost at home since December 2010. That record looked under threat as quickfire goals from Rooney had United two up and cruising after just half an hour. Roberto Mancini’s side were noted for their comebacks, though, and Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta scrambled home in the second half to set up a grandstand finish. The blue crowd bayed their favourites on towards a winner, but there was a sting in the tail: Robin van Persie’s whipped free-kick, taking the slightest of deflections off Samir Nasri, beat Joe Hart and United fans had an early Christmas present.

Watch highlights of United's 3-2 win at City in December 2012.

CITY 2-3 UNITED (2017/18)

Our crosstown rivals required just three points to secure the earliest league title in Premier League history and, two goals clear at the break thanks to Kompany’s header and Ilkay Gundogan’s clever turn-and-finish, the Etihad was preparing for the mother of all celebrations. The Blues didn’t count on a remarkable comeback from a revitalised United, however. Paul Pogba slammed in from Ander Herrera’s chested pass, before heading home Alexis Sanchez’s lofted through-ball and, out of nowhere, the Reds were level. The disbelieving travelling support soon had more to cheer, when Chris Smalling sidefooted us into the lead. The last 20 minutes were uncomfortable to say the least, but, thanks to some brave defending and typically brilliant David De Gea reflexes, the Reds held on to consign the champions-in-waiting to their only home defeat all season.

Classic Match: City 2 United 3 Video

Classic Match: City 2 United 3

A Paul Pogba brace and Chris Smalling volley completed an epic comeback, when we visited Man City in April 2018...

CITY 1-2 UNITED (2019/20)

Three days after Marcus Rashford had downed Tottenham at Old Trafford in Jose Mourinho’s first visit as Spurs boss, the Reds saw off another ‘big six’ side, thanks to an exhilarating first half-an-hour at the Etihad. Solskjaer’s side battered the champions on the counter-attack, racing into a two-goal lead through Rashford’s penalty and Anthony Martial’s well-placed effort from the edge of the box. It could have been four or five, though, with City’s defence in constant retreat and unable to deal with the blistering pace of our attacking quartet of Martial, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard and Rashford, who also struck the crossbar between our first and second. The inevitable Blues onslaught came after the break, but the Reds settled into their defensive shape and did what they had to do to repel the home side, with Aaron Wan-Bissaka particularly immense at right-back. Nicolas Otamendi nodded in with five to play to crank up the pressure, but we held on to secure the bragging rights – not for the last time in 2019/20.


Choose your favourite in the live poll, currently running on our Official App. We'll show extended highlights of the winning game on Sunday, before the game.