City And United Who Is The Cream Of Manchester?

Published: Mar 26, 2014 18:29pm EDT
By Jason Bardwell, Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Mar 27, 2014 @ 10:38am EDT

 

Manchester City traveled across the City to Salford yesterday and soundly beat a wounded Manchester United. It has been some time since Manchester City have played this fixture, this late in the season and so many points above their rivals. Things have been progressing upward for City in recent years and, despite winning the Premier League last season, things have been on the decline for United.

When once it was inconceivable that anyone could go to Old Trafford and get the win, it is now happening with the most unlikely of teams. Even before David Moyes took over the Red Devils you would have to go back to February 2010 for the last time United won on their own patch against Manchester City.

Overall though the head to head, in all competitions, do still favor the home side. When games have been played at Old Trafford against these two, United have only lost 22% of them. Overall, in all competitions and on all grounds, United have seemingly dominated. Or have they?

Sure the mighty United have more trophies than City and that statistic doesn’t lie. What is slightly misunderstood is that the majority of those trophies have been won in the last two decades of a club whose history dates back to the late 1800's. In fact, before Alex Ferguson took charge in 1986, United had seven Division 1 titles, six domestic trophies and the lone European success. Across the City, the blues had two titles, six domestic trophies and a lone European success.

The difference is that United backed their manager in the late 1980's and floated their club on the stock market, making $10million in 1991 whereas City were fighting to get a maverick chairman out and going up and down divisions every season or two. Now City are established in the Premier League for a good eleven seasons and, with the investment all clubs need, are adding to their silverware. It will take a while to catch up to United but don’t forget, they had twenty really good years.

With the game yesterday I thought it would be good to see, over the decades since the two clubs were born, which club dominated which decade in head to heads.

 

Season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Start

End

City Wins

Draws

Utd Wins

City Goals

Utd Goals

Diff

City points

1890

1900

2

3

8

16

28

-12

-18

1900

1910

1

3

4

8

12

-4

-9

1910

1920

2

6

4

8

12

-4

-6

1920

1930

6

3

2

26

12

14

12

1930

1940

3

0

1

10

5

5

6

1940

1950

0

4

2

3

5

-2

-6

1950

1960

7

6

6

29

27

2

3

1960

1970

6

4

7

24

28

-4

-3

1970

1980

7

5

8

32

28

4

-3

1980

1990

2

7

4

16

18

-2

-6

1990

2000

0

4

9

11

27

-16

-27

2000

2010

6

4

11

25

34

-9

-15

2010

Present

6

1

4

24

14

10

6

 

 

 

The last decade of the 1800's saw United be easily the best with eight wins from the head to head games. In the early 1900's Manchester United, or Newton Heath as they were known, were issued a winding up order due to the debts the club owed. Two positive moves happened in the early part of this decade, firstly new investors came to United’s rescue and changed the name to Manchester United. The second incident actually hurt Manchester City as much as it helped United. Due to financial irregularities the authorities decimated the City squad, banning some board members and transferring most of the 1904 FA Cup winners to United. With that in mind, and a fire at the stadium, it would be no surprise that City struggled against United heading into the 1920's.

The 1920's and 30's were good for the blue side of Manchester and as the 1950's came around City were only behind their rivals on head to head meetings by five games, not a bad return from the first 48 games of this rivalry. During this time City actually allowed United to play their home games at Maine Road while Old Trafford was repaired, thanks to a present dropped by Hitler in World War Two. A generous, neighborly gesture not reciprocated when City were in need of a stadium due to fire damage.

 

The next three decades saw United pull slightly more ahead going into the 1980's now eleven games ahead of City but even in the troubled 1980's didn’t seriously pull away. Alex Ferguson was installed as Manager in the late 1980's but took a few seasons before lifting the first silverware. In fact, going into the 1990's United’s win percentage in this series was a little over 37%. Manchester City had almost 30% with 33% ending in tied games.

Unfortunately Manchester United’s best years coincided with Manchester City’s lowest. City went through the whole of the 1990's without registering a single win over United. A clear indication of just how much these two great clubs had separated can be seen when, as Manchester United were finishing off a League, FA Cup and European Cup treble in 1999, Manchester City just about secured the Division 2 playoff win against Gillingham!

A transition period for the whole of the 2000's saw Manchester City finally establish themselves as a Premiership side once more, they moved to a bigger stadium and did the double over United under ex England manager Sven Goran Erikson in 2008.

Of course the start of that very next season saw the side be bought by the Abu Dhabi Group and with last nights win against Manchester United on their own ground it now means they are the form team once again City. Depending on how well City continue and what happens with United going forward means that Manchester may once again have the close rivalry they had before the clubs took very different trajectories in the 1990's.

Just for those who would argue that Manchester City have spent their way to the success they are now enjoying, consider this. The starting eleven for Manchester City actually cost over $9 million less than United’s and that is including Danny Welbeck and Tom Cleverly who cost United nothing. Also consider the $45 million paid for Rio Ferdinand when he moved from Leeds over a decade ago in 2002. Back then it broke the transfer fee record and he remains still one of the most expensive English players and defenders twelve years on. The whole of City’s back line of Zabaleta, Kompany, Demichelis, Clichy cost less. In fact you could even throw in goalie Joe Hart and still have $7.5 million of the Ferdinand transfer fee left.

Now this is not meant to be a dig at United nor is it a defense of City. It is purely designed to illustrate the ups and downs of these two football clubs. It has been a rivalry in which United have been on top recently, but historically not so much. Now it is City’s turn to be top dog and maybe, just maybe, the balance is getting restored.


 

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