Manchester derby A-Z: Backheels, noisy neighbours & X-rated

Manchester Derby
Manchester derbies can often be rather incendiary affairs
Manchester United v Manchester City
Date: Sunday, 12 April Kick-off: 16:00 BST
Coverage: Live build-up and commentary on BBC Radio 5 live from 15:00 BST and live text commentary online

It's the derby which has everything - two sides with a simmering rivalry, rich histories and, in recent years, a similar appetite for trophies.

When Manchester City and Manchester United meet on the football pitch, there are generally plenty of goals, drama and even the odd 'why always me?' T-shirt.

The two teams clash at Old Trafford on Sunday, and BBC Sport has compiled an A-Z of one of English football's biggest games.

A is for Ardwick

The club now known as Manchester City. What about United? Well they were known as Newton Heath.

Those teams met for the first time in the league on 10 October 1891 at Newton Heath's old home in Clayton - which is actually just 700 yards from where the Blues now play at the City of Manchester Stadium. The score in October 1891? 3-1 to Newton Heath.

Newton Heath did draw Ardwick in an FA Cup first qualifying round tie seven days earlier and won 5-1.

B is for backheel

Denis Law (second from left) scores
Law (second from left) did not celebrate after his backheel helped relegate his old club

You know, the Denis Law one for City against United which helped to send the Reds down in 1974.

"Denis has done it," proclaimed commentator Gerald Sinstadt. Yet there was no celebration from the former King of Old Trafford, who scored 237 goals in 404 games for the Old Trafford side. For a goal barely celebrated by the protagonist, it has been replayed over and over again down the years.

C is for comeback

Look away now Manchester City fans. Your boys were 2-0 up at half-time at Maine Road in 1993, only to lose 3-2.

Eric Cantona netted a brace - the first following a Michel Vonk mistake - and Roy Keane slid in at the far post for a late winner. United won the league with 92 points that season, City finished 16th - three points clear of relegation.

George Best, Manchester United
George Best scored 179 goals in 470 appearances for Manchester United and is widely regarded as one of British football's greatest ever players

D is for diving

Did George Best dive in that thrilling 3-3 draw at Maine Road in 1971?

Francis Lee, who was booked for a tackle on Best on the halfway line, certainly thought so - the City forward theatrically throwing himself to the floor after seeing yellow.

D is also for distance. Just 4.7 miles separate United's home at Old Trafford and City's Etihad Stadium.

E is for an early bath

And one which was enforced by a police officer! That's what happened to United midfielder Lou Macari at Maine Road in 1974.

Macari's on-field clash with City hardman Mike Doyle saw both players shown red. With both men refusing to leave the pitch, the referee, Clive Thomas, took both teams from the field and escorted two policemen into the dressing rooms to ensure Macari and Doyle did not return to the action. The match ended 0-0.

Lou Macari talks about his infamous sending-off:
"It was a bit different from these days where players tend to either stay down or roll about. I hit the deck after Mike Doyle, surprise, surprise, chopped me down. That was one of the most predictable things about derbies in those days that Mike would chop you down!"I bounced straight back up again and threw the ball in his direction. It hit him on the shoulder or the side of his ear."
Read more on the Manchester Evening News website

F is for Fergie

Ten draws, 11 losses, but 26 wins - Sir Alex Ferguson lorded it over City during his 26 years at United.

The most successful manager in Manchester United's history coincided with some bleak times for their local rivals.

His record might have been even more impressive had City not spent seven seasons outside of the top flight during his reign.

Fergie's day off
Sir Alex Ferguson missed a Manchester derby at Maine Road - which United won 1-0 in his absence - in November 2000 to attend son Mark's wedding in South Africa.

G is for Goater

Shaun Goater
Shaun Goater scored 103 goals for Manchester City - including this famous derby one

'Feed the Goat and he will score' the City fans would sing… and the Bermudan certainly did that in the final derby to be played at Maine Road in 2002.

The striker set City on the way to their first victory over United in almost 13 years when he dispossessed Gary Neville to put the Blues 2-1 up before scoring a second to complete victory.

H is for head-to-head

United are well clear - amassing 68 wins to City's 49 - but it has not always been the case.

At the start of the Premier League era, United's advantage over City was far narrower at 45 wins to 36.

I is for injuries

It's not just Alf-Inge Haaland (see 'X') who suffered serious injury in a Manchester derby. Just ask Glyn Pardoe and Colin Bell.

City defender Pardoe, a one-club player, had his leg broken in a tackle with George Best in 1970 - the injury being so bad, doctors feared his limb might have to be amputated.

More famously, Bell - who was voted City's greatest ever player - suffered a horrific knee injury, akin to that of a car crash according to doctors, in a challenge with United's Martin Buchan in a League Cup derby at Maine Road in 1975. He did play again, but was never the same player.

Colin Bell, Manchester City
Colin Bell, nicknamed Nijinsky, scored 117 goals in 394 games - winning the league, FA Cup, League Cup (twice) and European Cup Winners' Cup in his time at Maine Road

J is for James Ernest Mangnall

Ernest to his friends, the legendary manager who took charge of both teams for a combined 821 matches.

He won two league titles and an FA Cup in nine years with the Reds, before moving directly to City - where he would stay for another 12 years. With World War One interrupting competition, his biggest success at City was a second-place finish in the top tier in 1920-21.

It is believed Mangnall was the instigator behind United's move to Old Trafford and City's move to Maine Road.

Graphic showing how the teams have fared in the Manchester derby

K is for 'King' Eric

Who made his United debut in the Reds' derby victory of December 1992 - netting eight derby goals in the next four seasons.

Among the important goals he scored against the local enemy were two in United's comeback of 1993, a brace in a 2-0 win later that season and one in a famous 5-0 win at Old Trafford in 1994.

L is for late winners

Michael Owen, Manchester United
Is Michael Owen's late winner in a 4-3 victory for United at Old Trafford in 2009 the most dramatic Manchester derby goal ever?

The most famous being Michael Owen's last-gasp strike in United's 4-3 victory at Old Trafford in September 2009.

But that was just one of three 90th-minute winners for the Reds in that 2009-10 season. The two teams met in a two-legged semi-final of the League Cup which was settled in the last minute of normal time by Wayne Rooney. Then, in the return league fixture, Paul Scholes popped up to give United all three points with the last header of the game.

M is for Matt Busby

The architect of United's first European Cup victory in 1968, but, lesser known, a player for their two fiercest rivals.

Before rebuilding United in the wake of the Munich air disaster, Busby had played more than 200 times for Manchester City.

When he left Maine Road it was for Liverpool where he was made captain during his four-season stay.

Sir Matt Busby's trophies at Manchester United
European Cup: 1968
Football League titles: 1952, 1956, 1957, 1965, 1967
FA Cup: 1948, 1963

N is for noisy neighbours

Coined by Sir Alex Ferguson to describe City following their takeover by Sheikh Mansour and subsequent big spending.

Ferguson said in 2009: "Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour. You cannot do anything about that. They will always be noisy. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder."

O is for Old Trafford

Manchester United's home from 1910 to the present day. Except for eight years when they shacked up at City's place.

Located perilously close to the city's industry and ship canal, Old Trafford was almost entirely destroyed in March 1941 in a German air-raid.

Maine Road, City's home at the time, was United's unlikely base until Old Trafford was rebuilt in 1949.

United's record attendance for a home league match remains the 83,260 spectators they drew to Maine Road for their league meeting with Arsenal in 1948 - 7,000 more than Old Trafford's current capacity.

P is for Peter

Peter Schmeichel
Peter Schmeichel was never on the losing side in a Manchester derby - and he played for both clubs

Andy Cole, Denis Law, Carlos Tevez - several big names have crossed town but none with Peter Schmeichel's derby-day record.

The Danish goalkeeper never lost to City during his eight-season spell with United and maintained his unbeaten run in his single season in the blue half of Manchester as City beat United at home and picked up a point at Old Trafford.

Q is for Quinn

Niall Quinn scored in two Tyne-Wear derby wins for Sunderland, but also has derby-day form from his days at Manchester City.

Four of the towering Republic of Ireland international's 66 league goals for City came against their local rivals.

A song celebrating his "disco pants" is still popular with fans of both clubs.

R is for Rooney

Wayne Rooney, Manchester United
Wayne Rooney's bicycle kick against City in 2011 was named goal of the season and, subsequently, the goal of 20 Premier League seasons

The shinned screamer. Wayne Rooney's late bicycle-kick winner at Old Trafford in 2011 ensured his place in derby history.

It was the most famous of 11 goals that the 29 year-old has scored against Manchester City.

He has found the net in the fixture than any other player from either side. City's top scorers are Joe Hayes and Francis Lee with 10 each.

Joe Hayes
Joe Hayes - who scored 10 derby goals for City - scored in their 1956 FA Cup final win over Birmingham

S is for Schadenfreude

'Pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others' - a term used to describe the people of the city by Blues fan Mike Holden.

"Mancunians are specialists in Schadenfreude, never happier than when they are bringing people down a peg or two," said Holden. "So the jokes that follow a derby defeat can be incessant and brutal on those who don't go into hiding. It's not an experience you ever want to be on the wrong side of.

"It's traditional for United fans to act as though the derby doesn't matter, that they have bigger fish to fry, but it's a pretence they have struggled to keep up in recent years. Some City fans are now trying to take over that role but such attempts are lame and fool nobody."

T is for thrashings

Derbies are traditionally tight, cagey affairs. Not always in Manchester.

Whether Blue or Red there are scorelines to haunt and laud.

City's 6-1 wrecking job at Old Trafford in October 2011 confirmed them as title, as well as local, rivals.

United's 5-0 home win in 1994 featured an Andrei Kanchelskis hat-trick against a City side slipping south fast.

That result in turn was seen as long overdue pay-back for City's famous 5-1 win over United in 1989 - a result dubbed the Demolition Derby that heaped pressure on a relatively recently installed Alex Ferguson.

U is for Uwe Rosler

Uwe Rosler's T-shirt
The T-shirt on Rosler's wall. Old Trafford was hit on 11 March 1941, but not by his grandad

"Rosler's Grandad bombed Old Trafford." So reads the T-shirt framed on the wall of Uwe Rosler's house.

The former Wigan manager's ancestors were not part of the Luftwaffe squadron that bombed United's home ground (see O for Old Trafford) - but Rosler did do some damage on his visit in February 1996.

The former East Germany international scooped a cool finish over Peter Schmeichel to give the visitors the lead in the teams' FA Cup fifth-round meeting.

It didn't last though. Goals from Eric Cantona and Lee Sharpe carried United through and on their way to the Double.

V is for Vincent

If the teams' April 2012 clash was the Premier League's biggest-ever game, Vincent Kompany's must be one of its biggest goals.

United were three points clear of City in the title race with three games to go as they travelled to the Etihad Stadium for a much-hyped derby.

Kompany powered home a header for the only goal of the game to move the Belgian's side top on goal difference. Thirteen days later Kompany became the first City captain in 44 years to lay hands on the domestic title.

Mario Balotelli
Balotelli scored the first two goals in City's 6-1 success at Old Trafford in October 2011

W is for 'Why always me?'

Who could forget Mario Balotelli's iconic celebration after scoring in City's 6-1 win at Old Trafford in 2011?

Balotelli had been in the news after fireworks were set off inside his bathroom in the build-up to the derby and provided the spark on the pitch with a brace in City's biggest derby-day win.

X is for X-rated

Roy Keane's pre-meditated brutal challenge on Alf-Inge Haaland left Keane with an eight-game ban and a £150,000 fine.

Keane was sent off for the lunge on Haaland in April 2001, and later admitted in his first autobiography that he had intended to injure the Norwegian.

Alf-Inge Haaland & Roy Keane
Alf-Inge Haaland played only a handful of games for City and Norway after this injury, retiring in 2003

Y is for Yaya Toure

The man who scored the winner against United in the 2011 FA Cup as City reached the final for the first time in 30 years.

Toure went on to score the winner in the final against Stoke as Roberto Mancini's side won their first major trophy since 1976. The Ivorian was big news last summer when he kicked off at not receiving a good enough birthday cake from City - but appears to have laid that feud to rest for now.

Z is for Zzzzzzzzzzz

Benjani Mwaruwari fell asleep at an airport as he attempted a deadline-day move to City in 2008. But he beat the clock and scored on his debut in a derby win at Old Trafford.

His flicked header completed the first league double for City over their arch-rivals for the first time since the 1969-70 season in a poignant game which marked the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster.

This article was first published on 31 October 2014.

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