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Flashback: Top five Manchester derbies – Man United vs. Man City

Mar 25, 2014, 10:53 AM EDT

Can Manuel Pellegrini bring Premier League success to the Etihad? Reuters

It’s derby day in Manchester, and you can watch Manchester United host Manchester City in the 167th Manchester Derby live on NBCSN from 3 p.m. ET and online via NBC Sports Live Extra.

But if you need a little something to whet your appetite before then, here’s a look back at five memorable Manchester derbies from the Premier League era.

In the last 20 plus years we’ve been treated to some stunning matches, as the Red and Blue halves of Manchester try to dominate the metropolis in Northern England. Earlier this season City hammered United 4-1 in a demolition job at the Etihad Stadium, so the Reds will be looking to avenge that humbling as bragging right have been with the Blue half of Manchester since September.

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Head-to-head it couldn’t get much closer looking back at the games which have taken place at Old Trafford. Man United have won six, Man City have won seven, while their have been three draws.

So, City have the slight edge heading into this match, but let’s take a look at how some of the most famous derbies of the past two decades played out.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United – December 9, 2013

On the way to winning the Premier League title in 2013, Manchester United secured a pivotal win away at the then reigning champions, City after letting a 2-0 lead slip. Robin van Persie sent the away end into raptures, as his last-gasp free kick deflected off Samir Nasri and beat Joe Hart to hand the Red Devils a late, late win. Fergie time indeed. A young City fan tried to get on the pitch and attack United’s players, but luckily Hart was on hand to give him a right good telling off and defuse the situation. Fiery, goals galore, inspiring comebacks and late drama, this had it all.

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City – October 23, 2011

This match will always be remembered for Mario Balotelli’s celebration. When he scored the eccentric Italian lifted up his shirt to reveal a message stating “Why always me?” Priceless. What was also invaluable was the momentum Roberto Mancini’s City side gained from this record 6-1 win as they used it to surge towards their first-ever PL title, which they eventually won on the final day in the last minute to stop, who else, United from lifting the crown. It remains the Red Devils’ heaviest home defeat since 1955.

Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City – February 1, 2011

Wayne Rooney wrote himself into derby folklore with one of the best goals ever scored in the Premier League era. A cross from Nani on the right found Rooney, who jumped up and swiveled to smash home a bicycle kick in the 77th minute to seal a crucial win in the title race. United went on to win the league that year, and after a strong start in that derby for City, Rooney’s wondergoal was deemed as the turning point in United’s campaign.

Manchester United 4-3 Manchester City – September 20, 2009

Michael Owen didn’t do too much in his injury-hit spell with Manchester United, but that doesn’t matter… who scored a winner in the derby. The former England international popped up in the 94th minute to seal a spectacular comeback for the home side, as Sir Alex Ferguson called it “the best derby of all time”… it was hard to disagree. What a game. Rooney put United ahead early on, but then former United striker Carlos Tevez leveled for City, before Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy both scored to make it 2-2. Fletcher then scored again to make it 3-2 to the home side, but Bellamy popped up in the final minute to make it 3-3. However Owen had the last laugh, as his calm finish sent over 70,000 fans wild.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United – March 14, 2004

One of the unluckiest derby wins in recent history, as City had only just been promoted back to the Premier League and United’s team was far superior to their neighbors. But Shaun Wright-Phillips, Jon Macken, Robbie Fowler and Trevor Sinclair were all on target to dispatch a poor United team who were in transition as Arsenal continued to dominate the Premier League. Sweet victory for City’s long suffering fans, as the start of a new era at Eastlands was still a few years away.