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Ten times: City's previous United routs

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Richard Farley

Richard Farley is the editor of and a contributing writer to


Manchester City's Sunday rout of rival Manchester United matches the mark for most lopsided result in the matchup's history - City's largest win in 85 years. It's a rather thin margin, considering the possibilities that can surface since 1881, the year the first match was waged. For a derby that's been played 161 times, it's remarkable that pure chance hasn't produced an even more lopsided result. Comparing the Manchester Derby to other prominent rivalries, Celtic has a six goal win over Rangers (1957) while Galatasaray beat Fenerbahce by seven 100 years ago.

But where the Manchester Derby may be lacking in magnitude, it seems to make up for it in frequency, with a number of blowouts inflicted by the Sky Blues. Here are 10 of the most lopsided results - matches covering the last 90 years of this rivalry:

Manchester City 3-0 Manchester United - September 19, 1959

Coming off a season where United finished second to Wolves and City finished one point above the drop, the Citizen's early season rout was a mild surprise - their first win over the Red Devils at Maine Road in four years. It would be 10 years before City next beat United at home in league, though with two wins at Old Trafford, City was able to remain relevant in the rivalry. For United, the loss began a slide that ended with a ninth place finish.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United - March 14, 2004

Robbie Fowler had the Citizens went up within three minutes, and just past the half hour, Jon Macken doubled City's lead. Paul Scholes quickly pulled one back, but late goals by Trevor Sinclair and Shaun Wright-Philips completed City's rout and helped put the title in Arsenal's hands. Manchester United left Eastlands 12 points off the pace, the holders' defense practically dead.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United - October 22, 1921

In United's last league appearance at Hyde Road, City replicated the three goal win they earned the last time the clubs played away from Trafford. With City soon to move to Maine Road, United would finish with a four match winless streak at what had previously been relatively friendly confines. The Red Evils had only lost three league matches at Hyde Road between 1894 and 1919.

Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United - October 4, 1930

The blowout was par for the course for a United team that would finish last in the first division, winning only six of 42 matches while posting a -62 goal difference. Eight months after United's first league win at Maine Road (which had opened five years earlier), the Red Devils were left embarrassed and (ultimately) relegated, not to make a league return to City's new home for another seven years.

Manchester United 1-4 Manchester City - December 12, 1970

City was two years removed from a league title and less than a year from having claimed their fourth FA Cup. En route to winning the League and UEFA Cup Winner's Cup, City registered their third-largest victory of all time at Manchester United, getting a hat trick from Francis Lee, who scored with his left, right and head.

Manchester City 5-1 Manchester United - September 23, 1989

"It was like climbing a glass mountain," Alex Ferguson said after losing at Maine Road. David Oldfield scored twice in front of City supporters chanting "easy" while new United owner Michael Knighton looked on. Amongst the other chants heard in Manchester were calls for Ferguson's firing.

Manchester City 4-0 Manchester United - November 15, 1969

Neil Young left United helpless after opening the scoring early, though two second half goals from Colin Bell shifted helplessness to embarrassment. City would go on to win their only European title later in the year, beating Górnik Zabrze in Vienna to claim the Cup Winner's Cup.

Manchester United 0-5 Manchester City - February 12, 1955

Matt Busby's kids were mere (lower-case) babes when City crushed them, getting doubles from Paddy Fagan and Joe Hayes. Both teams would finish high in the table (City seventh, United fifth), but the next season, Busby's Babes were born. The iconic United team would go onto win the first of two consecutive titles in 1956-57, with City's glory days just over a decade off.

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City - January 23, 1926

It was quite the schizophrenic year for Manchester City: FA Cup finalists who were sent to the second division at year's end, finishing 21st in the 22-club top tier. The lasting highlight - a record that lasted 85 years, until today - was this thrashing they inflicted at Old Trafford. United would go on to finish ninth, which nobody remembers, but when City hit their sixth in today's closing moments, 1926 flashed into the mind of a few football triviaphiles.

Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City - October 23, 2011

This victory will prove more important than 1926's. United wasn't entrenched as an English football institution 85 years ago. Now, they're the team that's won 19. They're the team that has three European Cups. They're the team whose manager had patronized City as mere noisy neighbors.

Six to one. That's pretty noisy.

Richard Farley is the editor of and a contributing writer to He can be reached on Twitter at @richardfarley.

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