Hope and despair

Vincent Kompany

Scrutinising Sir Alex Ferguson’s team sheet for the first time shortly after 7.15pm on Monday night many Reds were reminded of that old John Cleese jibe. You know the one about it not being the despair, but the hope that he could not stand. Mercifully, for those fans suffering under the strain of the Premier […]

Ferguson takes aim at Blues in title shootout

Manchester City v Manchester United, Premier League, Eastlands, 30 April, 8pm

How did it come to this? Barely three weeks ago Roberto Mancini’s Manchester City side was “cracking up” and Manchester United had opened up an eight point Premier League lead. United’s superb form in 2012 had brought 12 wins and a draw since defeat to Newcastle United at St. James’, and the title was the […]

City v United: modern classics

Roy Keane

To whet your appetite ahead of Monday night’s pivotal 163rd Manchester derby here are some modern classics matches between the sides. Forget Dennis Law’s back-heal, or the five goals scored by Manchester City at Maine Road in 1989; consign them to history – this is no time for negativity! Think instead about Manchester United’s five […]

City v United: the season in numbers

Manchester City v Manchester United 2011/12

The only stat that Roberto Mancini or Sir Alex Ferguson will care about on Monday night is which team scores the most goals. But we couldn’t leave it there, so here’s another 25 data points for your visual pleasure…

City v United: the player’s perspective

Brian Greenhoff

Monday’s title deciding Manchester derby is not the first time Reds and Blues have faced off for England’s top honour. Indeed, 43 years on many still remember the 1967-68 race between the two clubs – won by City on the last day of the season after United lost to Sunderland at Old Trafford. Watching closely that […]

City v United: the referee

Andre Marriner, Steve Gerrard

Few, bar BSkyB one suspects, hope that the officials play a key role in next Monday’s crunch derby at Eastlands when the 2011/12 Premier League title will surely be decided in favour of either Manchester City or Manchester United. So it is with some suspicion, and no little surprise, that Andre Marriner has been appointed […]

Poll: Will United win, lose or draw at City?

Wayne Rooney Overhead

Following Manchester United’s draw with Everton on Sunday – and Manchester City’s victory over Wolverhampton Wanderers – the Reds’ Premier League lead is now just three points. With just a trio of games to go in the Premier League season the title race could well come down to next Monday’s derby at Eastlands. Indeed, victory […]

Slack United sacrifice title advantage on the altar of conceit

Jonny Evans, Marouane Fellaini

“A man’s work is in danger of deteriorating,” said the eminent American playwright Eugene O’Neill, “when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it.” There are, perhaps, no more apt words for a Manchester United side that believed it had set upon the canon of victory at Old Trafford on Sunday. […]

United in triumph over divided City

Mario Balotelli

There was a fleeting moment of guilty pleasure just prior to 6pm on Sunday night. The pleasure as Mario Balotelli finally, deservedly, saw red and Manchester City’s title bid evaporated at the Emirates. Guilt as a young City fan broke down in tears, live on national television. Inconsolable heart-break played out for all to see […]

Hubris be damned

Celebrations at Ewood Park

“I am constant as the northern star, Of whose true-fix’d and resting quality There is no fellow in the firmament.” Julius Caesar (III, i, 60 – 62) There is, of course, more than one reason to moderate any temptation to engage in Caesar’s hubris this spring, despite Manchester United’s increasingly powerful position in the Premier […]