With 22 points from a possible 24 so far this season, Roberto Mancini's Manchester City are enjoying their best start to a league season since 1897. The Sky Blues are top of the table and two points clear of Manchester United, but this Sunday's titanic clash at Old Trafford will put their ambitions to the test. With Sheikh Mansour's billions taking City to another level, the Manchester derby is more competitive than ever, and to honour this momentous footballing occasion, we've dug out five of City's best ever Manchester derby moments.
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The 2011 FA Cup Semi-final
We'll start with City's most recent highlight. A landmark 1-0 victory over United at Wembley sent the Citizens on their way to their first trophy in 35 years. Yaya Toure's winner (at 3.24) was the obvious highlight of their afternoon, but City fans might enjoy another viewing of Dimitar Berbatov's remarkable miss from three yards (0.40), and Paul Scholes' late sending off (5.15). All in all, not a bad day at the office for Roberto Mancini's side.
The 1989 'Demolition Derby'
Events at Maine Road on 23rd September 1989 stunned English football. Newly-promoted City had won only one of their first six First Division matches, but that day they defied the odds to thump Sir Alex Ferguson's United 5-1. Fighting between rival fans spilled onto the pitch and delayed kick-off by ten minutes, but the result remains City's greatest ever derby win. Having spent large sums of money to bolster the United squad that summer, Ferguson was deemed fortunate to avoid the sack.
Denis Law's backheel
"I was inconsolable. I did not want to score the goal that sent United down," reflected Denis Law on the backheeled goal that (sort of) relegated his old club in 1974. After joining United in 1962, the Scot fired his way to legendary status at Old Trafford with 237 goals in 11 illustrious years. But after moving to City for one final season before his retirement, Law's return to Old Trafford turned out to be the ultimate heartbreaker... For him, that is. For City fans it was quite the opposite. Results elsewhere meant that United would have been relegated regardless, but for Blues it was the perfect way to see their rivals go down.
Gary Neville feeds the Goat
November 2002, and with the scores level at 1-1 in the final Manchester derby to be played at Maine Road, this awful blunder from Gary Neville - United captain for the day - gifted City's Shaun Goater a goal. City went on to win 3-1, and Neville's gaffe was immortalized in poem: "Derby day, the scores were level, then the Goat was fed by Neville".
Joe Hart is really, REALLY fast
Injury time at Eastlands in November 2008, and with City trailing 1-0, goalkeeper Joe Hart comes forward for a corner. He may look a little lost in the opposition's box, but when United launch a counter attack he knows exactly where he needs to be. Not only does he make up the entire length of the pitch at the speed of a 100-meter sprinter, he somehow manages to claw Wayne Rooney's 60-yard lob round the post. Incredible.
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