When United have ended long record runs

Sunday 07 March 2021 18:38

Manchester United ended neighbours City's remarkable 21-game winning run on Sunday by securing a superb 2-0 victory.

Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring with a penalty in the second minute, before Luke Shaw doubled our advantage early in the second half with an excellent finish.

It was a great win for United against an in-form City team and history has shown that the Reds often rise to the challenge of ending lengthy record-breaking streaks.

Ahead of the match, we looked at a few previous examples...

Watch highlights of the 2-0 win against Arsenal in October 2004.

Arsenal (H) 2-0, 24 October 2004

Much was made of United's aggressive approach to the fixture, which stopped the Gunners reaching 50 unbeaten games in the Premier League, when they apparently had T-shirts prepared in order to acclaim the landmark. However, combative skipper Roy Keane missed the game due to 'flu and only the Neville brothers were booked, while the visitors picked up three yellow cards, in a stirring contest that still rankles with Arsenal fans today. 

With 17 minutes left, Wayne Rooney was felled by Sol Campbell inside the box and, despite the defender's protestations, referee Mike Riley pointed to the spot. Ruud van Nistelrooy stepped up to send Jens Lehmann the wrong way and nobody will forget his primal scream in relief after he'd hit the bar when presented with a last-minute penalty to beat the north Londoners during their 'Invincibles' season.

Rooney, who had ended another long Arsenal run with a winner on his Everton debut, provided the killer blow by tucking home Alan Smith's pass late on, to celebrate his 19th birthday in style.

Chelsea (H) 1-0, 6 November 2005

Jose Mourinho's Blues were strong favourites for the three points as they were on a 40-match unbeaten run in the league with the Portuguese boss having a major impact on the division since arriving from Porto.

The stage was set for a backs-to-the-wall effort by Sir Alex Ferguson's men on the 19th anniversary of his appointment at Old Trafford. Darren Fletcher, who had been criticised by team-mate Keane for a recent performance against Middlesbrough, was the hero with a looping header at the far post that beat Petr Cech in the 31st minute.

Van Nistelrooy and Rooney could have provided some breathing space but, instead the west Londoners fought hard to avoid only a second league defeat under Mourinho, with Edwin van der Sar superbly denying Frank Lampard.

Darren Fletcher nods the winner against Jose Mourinho's Chelsea.

Manchester City (A) 3-2, 9 December 2012

The Blues were on a 37-match unbeaten run at home, bettering United's record set between 1998 and 2000 and looking to retain the title, won so dramatically in the previous season with two stoppage-time goals against QPR to deny Sir Alex's side at the death.

The response had been to sign Robin van Persie but it was Rooney who struck twice in the first half to put United in command. City rallied and pulled it back to 2-2, with five minutes left, through Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta but there was a sting in the tail. Van Persie's injury-time free-kick deflected off Samir Nasri in the wall and past Joe Hart to spark wild celebrations.

The Dutchman's goal ensured a run that started way back in December 2010 was ended in stunning fashion and it helped the Reds reclaim the Premier League crown.

Watch the 3-2 away win to City in 2012 in full.

Arsenal (H) 2-0, 24 January 1987

In Ferguson's first match against Arsenal, this was a spiky affair that made the 2004 version seem tame in comparison. The Gunners were the form team in the country, racking up 17 unbeaten games in Division One (22 in all competitions) and keeping nine clean sheets in the process. George Graham's mean side had also beaten United 1-0 at Highbury on the opening day, one of 15 clean sheets to date in the league.

Gordon Strachan made the breakthrough in the 55th minute of a bad-tempered affair, rifling a Terry Gibson pass beyond John Lukic. David Rocastle was sent off for kicking out at Norman Whiteside, who had earlier been booked, and tempers continued to fray before Gibson added a second in the closing stages, after being teed up by Strachan. 

The wheels came off for the Gunners and they eventually finished fourth, while United ended in 11th spot as the manager got to grips with the task in hand of rebuilding the side.