The Noisy Neighbors of Manchester


Michael Assioun '27

On October 2nd, Manchester City played Manchester United, with a rather unusual outcome coming from the Reds. This fixture has recently been one of the biggest rivalries in world football. The former champions disappointed United fans with a 6-3 win, so I decided I want to look into the history of it: who has won more Manchester Derbies, who has scored more goals, and whether Manchester is Red or Blue?


Although having an even possession rate, the Citizens had 22 shots compared to United’s 12. Only 10 of the 22 shots were on target for City, while United had 8 shots on target, which seems rather good. City’s goals came from the magical youngster Phil Foden and the goal-scoring machine Erling Haaland, both scoring hat tricks. On the other side, Antony scored an absolute banger in the 56th minute. Anthony Martial scored a late goal and then went on to score a penalty in extra time. The biggest influence in deciding the winner was who was able to finish and keep the ball in their opponents’ half; in this case, it was City.


If you look at the history of the Manchester Derby, there have been 188 games where these two giants have confronted each other. United has won 77, City has won 58, and 53 have resulted in a draw. Now, if you look at the silverware history, Man U has won 42 trophies, while Man City has only won 23; when it comes to league titles, the Citizens have eight and United have a dashing 20 Premier League Title. Throughout the years, United has always been more satisfactory and has had more promising players, but ever since 2011, City has ascended from the dead and has proved these last 10 years that Manchester is blue. According to the numbers, Manchester United is historically better, but in about 10 or 20 years, I think City will catch up and probably surpass them because their future is looking very bright. 


When we talk about who has better players historically, I would argue that United are the champions of that matter, with the likes of Rooney, Schmeichel, Scholes, Ronaldo, Giggs, Beckham and I could just keep on going for days. For Manchester City, I would probably say more of their recent players, like De Bruyne, David Silva, Aguero, Kompany, Toure, Sterling, and many more. The most controversial comparison is managers. Most would say the best manager of all time is Sir Alex Ferguson, winning 30 of United’s 42 trophies during a legendary 26 season tenure. Others would say the younger Pep Guardiola, who has won the Champions League at Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and now has 4 Premier League titles with City. Who is better is up to you. 


I could also talk about who has better fans, the better stadium, more interesting facts about the Manchester Derby, more European awards, or just who has a better playing style, but I’m going to cut it short and ask you one question: is Manchester red or blue?