This weekend, Manchester City and Manchester United will meet in Old Trafford for the 186th edition of Manchester Derby. It is one of the biggest and oldest rivalries in English football. The two footballing giants will face off for the first time this season, yet the confrontation will be significant for reasons that go way beyond goals and titles.
Significance of Manchester Derby
Manchester Derby or the derby of Mancunian Blood holds a special significance. It holds a memorable place not only in the hearts of fans in England but for football fans all over the world. It is one of the most anticipated clashes in the calendar year for the fans. Over the years, the derby clashes between the two arch-rivals have not only given some exciting results. But it has also provided us with some exceptional moments which will be remembered for a lifetime as well. From Wayne Rooney’s overhead kick that passed Joe Hart in 2011 to Mario Balotelli lifting his jersey to reveal a shirt that said “WHY ALWAYS ME?” on it after scoring a goal resulting in a 6-1 victory for the Man City in Old Trafford, this derby has given us fans many such unforgettable memories to live forever in our hearts.
What does Manchester Derby means for the fans
The derby means a week of restless nights during the build-up for the fans. It also has a sense of occasion and festiveness that hasn’t diminished over the years. It is the day when you wake up in the morning and u think straight away: it’s the derby day. This clash delivers that mix of feelings of excitement, dread, anticipation, of fear, and of hope that is almost unique in the modern game. These two matches can make or break an otherwise stellar or unremarkable campaign. When the teams enter the pitch, and you hear the roar of the fans, the tension is released. Right then the battle commences for the Mancunian blood. It is the most stressful and exhilarating 90 minutes of football between any two teams. Because it’s the game that the respective club fans really do not want or afford to lose.
Fan’s Perspective on Current State of Both Clubs
It has been a fiercely contested clash between the two teams of Manchester. Looking at the results, there is not much difference on paper between both teams over the years.
The blue side of Manchester has rejuvenated a lot. The takeover from AbuDhabi based SheikhMansour as owner and arrival of Spanish Tactical-Genius PepGuardiola as manager has helped them a lot. They have had a great share of success winning 5 premier league titles in the last 10 years. On the other side, United has only 1 title in the last decade, much less in comparison to the city. City plays a dominating possession-based football keeping 50-60% possession in almost all games. Recently, the false 9 system has been quite frequently used and successful for city. But missing out on buying Harry Kane in the transfer window and Gabriel Jesus being deployed mostly in right-wing this season, there has remained a void of a Centre forward in the team after Sergio Aguero’s departure to FC Barcelona.
For the Red-Devils of Manchester, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the team has gone through rebuilding after Mourinho’s departure. Ole’s tactics have been under great scrutiny for not being able to win big games this season. And for also failure to not deliver even a single title in the last 4 seasons. With the additions of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane and one of the greatest players of this generation Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, the red devils have a very strong eleven on paper. A void of a central defensive midfielder in the team and a shaky defensive record haunts them though. Even after the arrival of 4 times UCL winner Raphael Varane, the situation didn’t change. He has although missed most of the big games due to injuries.
As we said before, anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes but in all aspects, this derby will produce one of a scintillating football display in the field. We can all expect a fiercely contested, exciting, and nerve-wracking encounter at Old Trafford. So what are you waiting for, get ready for Saturday night for 90 minutes of football with Peter Drury and Jim Beglin after all it is the fight for the “Mancunian Blood”.
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