Manchester Derby: City took control of Manchester from United

Local pride empowers the Club’s fans with bragging rights. That is the reason why derbies are so popular and important. Even the smaller clubs play with added passion and vigor when it comes to derbies. In the Premier League time period (since 1992), Manchester derby which is contested between Manchester City and Manchester United was dominated by Sir Alex Ferguson’s Red Devils. But Manchester is no more Red. Citizens have took over bragging rights as the pillars of local derby glory fell one by one. Now, it boils down to the most pivotal question of how Louis Van Gaal will paint Manchester Red again (if at all he will).

Days when Manchester was Red:

Till acquisition of City by UK Sports Investments Limited (UKSIL) controlled by former Thailand prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Citizens have only won thrice against United in 22 games. United dominated the derbies and painted the town Red. In 22 games, Red Devils scored 42 and conceded 24 goals. The record is so phenomenal that United recorded 8 back to back victories against City between 1993 and 2000.

Before FA cup 2010-11 Manchester Derby, Red Devils have won 66% of derbies against Citizens (since 1992).

Thaksin Shinawatra – City’s lucky charm:

Manchester City was acquired by UKSIL in 2007. New owners signed Rolando Bianchi, Vedran Corluka, Elano, Valeri Bojinov, Felipe Caicedo, Martin Petrov among others by pumping in cash in the range of 30 million pounds. Sven-Göran Eriksson lead City to their first back to back win against United since the inception of Premier League format (in 16 seasons).

In Premier League era, Citizens won their first back-to-back victory against Red Devils in 2007-08!

Money plus positive mind doesn’t equate to success plus pride:

Citizens sensed that the back to back win against United will bring in a turnaround of derby fate. With City acquired by Abu Dhabi United Group Investment and Development Limited (ADUIDL) in 2008, it was widely thought by City fans that Citizens are going to make the city bleed blue. ADUIDL signed Robinho (32.5 m GBP), Jo (18 m GBP), Nigel de Jong (16 m GBP), Santa Cruz (18 m GBP), Carlos Tevez (25.5 m GBP), Emmanuel Adebayor (25 m GBP), Joleon Lescott (22 m GBP), Yaya Toure (24 m GBP), David Silva (24 m GBP), Kolarov (16 m GBP), Mario Balotelli (24 m GBP), James Milner (18 m GBP), Edin Dzeko (27 m GBP) and others for a lot of money. Just the contrary to what was thought happened as United marched strong to win 6 out of 8 games against City. Money alone doesn’t bring success.

Red Devils won 6 out of 8 games against Citizens between Nov 2008 and Feb 2011.

FA Cup 2010-11 Semi Final is the turnaround game:

Exchange of luck (it’s actually successful winning desire) is mostly marked by key games. For city, it’s the FA Cup Semi finals 2010-11. Citizens reached the FA Cup Final for the first time in 30 years with victory over Red Devils at Wembley thanks to the solo goal by Yaya Touré. Ultimately they won FA Cup in finals against Stoke City. The following statistics and trends are a manifestation that City has painted Manchester Sky Blue even since.

Citizens won 6 (66.7 win %) in the last 9 games against Red Devils

Citizens have never failed to scored in the last 10 games against Red Devils

Manchester City's change of fortune against Manchester United
Manchester City’s change of fortune against Manchester United

Citizens have scored an average of 2.75 goals in the last 8 games against Red Devils

Citizens have conceded an average of just 1 goal in the last 5 games against Red Devils

Will Louis Van Gaal stop this trend?

Manchester City clearly dominated Manchester derby recently by winning all the last 3 games. Last season was Manchester United’s worst season in more than 2 decades with David Moyes at helm. But things have improved at United this season under Louis van Gaal. Recent form of United is much better than City. United haven’t lost in their last 4 games, but City haven’t won in their last 3 games. This could give United a psychological advantage, but in a derby game anything can happen. Whether City’s domination will continue or not remains to be found out when Louis van Gaal’s and Manuel Pellegrini’s tactics and men will play against each other on 2nd November 2014.

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