Manchester City vs. Manchester United: Top five matches

Ahead of tomorrow's Manchester derby, Sports Mole looks back on five of the best matches to have been hosted by the blue half of the city.

Tomorrow afternoon, rivals Manchester City and Manchester United will meet for the 157th time.

It is a derby fixture that down the years has provided numerous memorable moments and so, Sports Mole has picked out five of the best matches to have been hosted by the blue half of the North-West city.

Man City 3-4 Man United, May 1971

Despite possessing the 'Holy Trinity' of Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best, United found it difficult to get the better of their rivals during the late 1960s and early 1970s. However, after five defeats and a draw, the Red Devils finally emerged victorious. The aforementioned trio all found the net, with Northern Ireland international Best bagging a brace. Francis Lee was among the scorers for the home side.

Man City 3-3 Man United, November 1971

A reported 63,000 packed inside Maine Road to see the rivals share six goals evenly. Even so, the encounter is perhaps best remembered for City's Lee, who famously demonstrated to the referee his belief that Best had dived. It was also a memorable match for Sammy McIlroy, as the 17-year-old found the net on his United debut.

Man City 5-1 Man United, September 1989

The majority of City supporters will point to the 6-1 mauling at Old Trafford in 2011 as their favourite derby. That was a City side packed full of stars, though. No disrespect to the City players who took to the pitch on this day, but they were hardly household names. They would become heroes in the eyes of the supporters, though, as goals from David Oldfield (2), Trevor Morley, Ian Bishop and Andy Hinchcliffe sealed the victory, rendering Mark Hughes's effort meaningless. It's a result that still wrangles with Sir Alex Ferguson.

Man City 2-3 Man United, November 1993

Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler described Eric Cantona's performance on this afternoon as if he had "a baton in his hand and was conducting an orchestra". Niall Quinn put the home side 2-0 up before the break, but from that moment on, United's mercurial French frontman took centre stage. He drew United level with strikes in the 52nd and 77th minute, before Roy Keane slid in at the back post four minutes from time seal the comeback.

Man City 2-3 Man United, December 2012

It is no secret that champions City were keen to sign Robin van Persie during the summer of 2012. The Dutchman was persuaded to sign on at Old Trafford, though, and it would be a decision that proved crucial for both clubs. Wayne Rooney inspired the visitors into a two-goal lead, but a revitalised City were level after the restart thanks to Yaya Toure and Pablo Zabaleta. The final say would be had by Van Persie, as the striker's free kick in stoppage time deflected beyond the reach of Joe Hart. It was a result that put United in charge of the title race and in truth, City never recovered.

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Man United striker Wayne Rooney celebrates scoring his second goal against Bayer Leverkusen on September 17, 2013
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27233179205972
2Liverpool28169365323357
3Manchester UnitedMan Utd27175551193256
4Chelsea27165649232653
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs27157552242852
6Arsenal27136851361545
7Burnley2891092225-337
8Leicester CityLeicester2899104041-136
9Everton2897123247-1534
10Watford2896133847-933
11Bournemouth2888123343-1032
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton28710112637-1131
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham2879123550-1530
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2886142548-2330
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2878132738-1129
16Southampton28512112941-1227
17Crystal Palace2769122542-1727
18Swansea CitySwansea2876152141-2027
19Stoke CityStoke2868142854-2626
20West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom28311142242-2020
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