The Blue Manchester – Edging the Reds out clearly?

Manchester clubs, i.e. ‘Two sides of the same coin. As rightly said, the clubs are a mere 4 miles apart in the region of Greater Manchester. These two giants have a rich history of more than 140 years with their rivalry starting on 12th Nov 1881. In the 1880s era, the clubs were just two of the many fledging slides in the Manchester area. And so the fixture had no special significance during those times. Both clubs grew in stature as the 1880s progressed with Newton Heath (i.e., MUFC) gaining more attention than City for years to come with a growing number of supporters.

Fanbase & Rivalry

Fans, the heart, and soul of any football club are arguably the biggest asset as well. Any football club can never be a big club without its fanbase. United and City have been blessed with a massive fanbase extending over the globe. But the Red Devil fans clearly edge out the City fans by almost double the number. United has been a popular name across the world due to their triumphs in and outside England.  Apparently, United fans arguably view the North West Derby as a bigger game. But most City fans are of the opinion that United is their main rival. A bitter rivalry has reignited in the last few years due to the resurgence of Manchester City as one-of-the top teams. Following the brief absence of City from the topflight at the end of the 20th century and City’s re-emergence as a major club following their 2008 takeover by Saudi owners, the rivalry has reached new heights ever since.

Man United celebrating their ucl win back then
Man United celebrating their UCL win back then

Head-to-head – Who wins? The Red Devils or The Citizens?

Over the course of their 140+ year history, the teams have played a total of 185 matches between each other. In all competitions, Manchester United won a total of 77 matches with City winning a mere 55 matches. The rest of 53 matches were drawn. This stat clearly gives us a winner in understanding who is edging out the other one present in town. Although in recent years, even after United has the 2nd best team as compared to City, they have managed to beat them as many times as City has defeated United. As far as the head-to-head count goes, Manchester will always be Red. But City has managed to make half the town Blue since their 2008 takeover. Time will tell if City will ever be able to paint the whole of town Blue. Filling the gap of more than 20 matches will surely take years for them.

Manchester United PL WIN
Manchester United PL WIN

Trophies! Who has won them all?

Talking about the clubs’ performances in all competitions, United has again edged City and here with a colossal margin. Manchester United has always been the bigger name in the game. It is quite evident from the number of trophies won by them and their massive fanbase. Manchester City, whereas, has not had the same fortune as their cross-town rivals in either of the departments. Manchester United in their rich legacy has won an English record number of trophies i.e., 66 trophies. City meanwhile won only 28, which for United is twice more than City’s number of trophies in their 140+years reign. Manchester City, after their 2008 takeover started building a side worthy of competing regularly in all competitions. This yielded in them winning 16 titles post the takeover. They won more than twice the number of trophies in the past 13 years than they could manage in the 125+years prior-to-that. This clearly proves their dominance in recent years. Meanwhile, United kept their habit of winning trophies alive and have won 14 titles post-2008.

Manchester City win
Manchester City win


The recent history has shown that United has been struggling with a trophy drought of 4 years and the City has kept its winning momentum alive by winning at least 1 trophy every year. Their style of play has also been very different with City dominating teams for fun and United struggling to keep up with the momentum. If only the last 4 years are to be counted, then yes City has painted the town Blue considerably. The citizens are edging out the Reds here, but do only the last 4years of football count or the last 140+years?

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Kathan Shah

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