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A look back at the Manchester Derby

Michael Owen (Getty Images)

It was easily one of the most memorable editions of the Manchester Derby ever. Seven goals, including two goals in the final minutes of play, as Manchester United scored a game-winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time to knock off Manchester City, 4-3, on Sunday.

There was plenty of controversy, both about the time-keeping, the pitch invasion and Carlos Tevez's return to Old Trafford, but nothing could take away from the fact that the game was an exciting and highly-skilled display from two of the best teams in England.

Here are the highlights:

What did you think of the match? Think Manchester United was the better team? Still think the referee gave too much stoppage time? Looking forward to the rematch in the spring?

Share your thoughts below (For a funny look at how fans for both teams saw the game, check out the video after the jump).


  1. The stoppage time was a joke. Sir Alex reigns supreme.

    Posted by: BurlingtonChelsea | September 21, 2009 at 09:51 AM


    The stoppage time was spot on. The premier league review show replayed the stoppage time, including the excessive celebration by Bellamy (:55), and Carrick’s substitution (always :30), resulting in 5:30 extra time. Michael Owen scored at 5:27 in stoppage time.

    Additional time is always MINIMUM. Don’t ever forget that.

  2. City scored 89mins 55secs.. Bellamy celebrated for 45secs. Carrick was subbed into the game aswell. Minimum of 4 minutes.

    On Sky, they added the time up, celebration and sub and the ref should have blown on 95mins 25secs and Owen scored on 95mins 27secs. City were ‘robbed’ by 2 seconds. And its very rare you see the ref blowing for full time when a team is attacking.

    (SBI-It definitely looks like Ferguson’s move to make a late sub paid off because it really did look like he made the move to buy some more time and apparently he bought just enough.)

  3. Steve T., I think an argument can absolutely be made that that EPL is not the best league in the world. You can equally watch any of the teams in the lower half of the EPL play and be pretty sure it’s not the best league. I think of it more like the SEC in college football–there’s an argument to be made it’s the best but it’s by no means clear cut, and some years it’s not the best. I’m pretty tired of hearing that refrain constantly–often from business executives who aren’t really thinking of quality of play. It’s pretty undeniable that the EPL is the most attractive league in terms of business opportunity, what with their normally non-violent and passionate fans, great stadia, traveling support in a small country, nonstop attacking play, and broadcasting in a language many people speak as a foreign language. But I can’t see how you can say it’s indisputably better soccer than La Liga

  4. must say, the additional stoppage time isn’t adding up for me either.

    excluding all that occurred after the 89th minute, there were 3 goals, 3 substitutions, and other opportunities to stop the clock in the second half. all of combined for 4 minutes of additional time. at one-minute for each goal (every one was huge) and 30 seconds for each substitution, we already breach the four minute mark.

    so there seems to be an inconsistency regarding the additional time added for bellamy’s goal and the carrick substitution.

    united played much better in the second half. in my view, they were dominant since the point of the valencia substitution. the skeptic in me wonders if the refs would have added so much time if man u weren’t controlling the match so well at the end.

  5. Given had a great game, but he wasn’t brains-out incredible. If Juan Sebastian Berbatov could learn how to place a chance – you know anywhere other than at the keeper – Given would have plucked the ball out of his net at least 3 more times.

    Owen on the other hand…one massive chance = one massive goal. Still not a huge fan of the guy, but you cannot deny the fact that he is a pure finisher.

  6. Yeah…I don’t understand why Foster is getting the slot. Kuszczak always seemed more solid. Maybe Foster’s performance in the Carling Cup last year got him some bonus points.

  7. It was a terribly enterataining match. One that should be stored and shown to soccer haters in this country when they claim soccer is boring.

    James T. and everyone else slaging on Foster are absolutely right. He’s always been shakey and I don’t understand SAF’s continued support of him. Put Kuszczak in until VdS is healthy.

  8. Yeah, I don’t see how this is a shift either. Two seasons ago City did the double against United, and United won the league and CL. Just because one beats the other doesn’t mean too much, at least not in a few games. City has to win things for a shift to happen. I didn’t see the game, but I’ve read a ton about it, and it sounds like had United not shot themselves in the foot twice and Given not been incredible, the game would have been a blow out…

  9. I love reading these comments…. entertainment all around

    Does anyone know of an internet source (or any other source) where I can watch the replay of the match?

  10. Nick — not so sure what shift you are talking about. Foster’s kindergarden keeping and Ferdinand’s brain freeze aside this game was not that close – especially in the 2nd half. SAF outmanaged Hughes – it was so bad that you had the players begging for changes (which I never got really, because why didn’t the players just compensate for what they were experiencing first hand on the pitch?). Plus consider that United are not at full strength either and are sitting on an abominable pile of cash (something to fall back on if these next few months reveal real problems).

    It was a great game, a classic even. But there is still only one true power in Manchester.

  11. “It was easily one of the most memorable editions of the Manchester Derby ever.”

    I think to make this statement you would have to watch this derby for your entire life and review many, many hours (days) of tapes from the past century. Or you would have to credit the source(s) that informed you that this edition of the derby was one of the best. Perhaps you see this as a minor point, but this is a series with a long and impressive history, and making such a statement implies that you are an authority on it.

    (SBI-Or it means I read the UK newspapers, all of which said the same thing.)

  12. I think that this game is the first inkling that the balance of power in Manchester is shifting. What used to be a pretty automatic win for United is now anything but. I suspect come spring with Man City at home it will be a different story.

  13. I don’t think I disagree w/ any of your points. Anderson has really grown as a player.

    Given had me going nuts. I was literally screaming, “How does he keep doing this!?” My brother in law, a City supporter, was enjoying Given quite a bit.

  14. That was the most exciting game I’ve seen in a long, long time. United were superb coming forward in the second half….Giggs is still an astonishing player

    For all those mercenaries who sell themselves to the highest bidder, they should look to Giggsy and see how to handle themselves as a pro. Other thoughts:

    1. Foster is out of his depth.
    2. Bellamy is probably the most unpleasant man on the planet.
    3. Hughes is not much of a manager — the city players were begging for him to change formation when they were being overrun in second half.
    4. The Fletch is now a midfielder of real substance.
    5. Ireland is anonymous in big games.
    6. City missed an outlet, like Adebayour — could have been much different game if he was playing.
    7. I now see why The Lord Imperial Ferg didn’t want to pay that much for Tevez.
    8. Given, best goalie on the planet?
    9. Berbatov…..really, $60 million for that
    10. Anderson might not be as crap as I thought.

  15. “The formula being promoted by United fans of 1 min for goals, 30 seconds for subs, 30 seconds for cards, plus time for injuries and donnybrooks would have most scoring games adding 10 minutes or more. Ten or more minutes of added time would be quite common. I just haven’t seen that in the past.”

    I don’t know about a FORMULA per say, but Bellamy and co.’s celebrations held off game play for 55 seconds so the one minute holds up for sure.

  16. Good lord, the stoppage time has been clearly explained over and over all over the place (this website, FSC, Setanta, Sky Sports, etc) and yet people still whine like babies. Get over it.

  17. Oh yeah, and Tevez’s miss was classic. That’s exactly the reason Ferguson didn’t want to splash the cash on him. He is certainly hard-working, no doubt about it, but he misses too many clear chances. I just about guarantee Owen will score more goals that Tevez did for United last season with considerably less playing time(which was only 5 league goals)…

  18. I thought it was a terrific game. “Highly skilled”, not quite, the plays by Foster and Ferdinand were quite amateurish, and the over-all play of City’s Richards not top rate. But the play of Bellamy, Giggs and Fletcher was top notch.

    United fans are posting a formula for added time that looks quite convincing except for one fact, past records show that this formula is hardly ever imposed by officials.

    The formula being promoted by United fans of 1 min for goals, 30 seconds for subs, 30 seconds for cards, plus time for injuries and donnybrooks would have most scoring games adding 10 minutes or more. Ten or more minutes of added time would be quite common. I just haven’t seen that in the past.

    (SBI-Somebody woke up in the mood to nitpick.)

  19. I didn’t really like how several City players were clearly trying to injure guys, including Tevez. The fans at Old Trafford would have loved him–had he not run his mouth constantly after he left. All he had to do was move on without constantly running his mouth like an idiot, and he would have received a hero’s welcome. Instead he tries to hurt his former teammates, with whom he is apparently still friends.

    There was no timekeeping controversy–refs are allowed to add to injury time when time is wasted, simple as that. Of course no City fan will agree, but that is how it works and we see it all the time. City took their sweet time celebrating their goal (amongst other things), serves them right that the game was extended and they lost. F anyone who complains.

  20. I’m glad there are sane people on here defending the time added. What gets me is people saying there was 7 minutes of time, like the goal was scored after 7 minutes had been played. The goal was scored with 5:30 played, which was just about the right amount of time, but of course the celebration extended the game. The other thing that’s hilarious is Hughes commenting on United’s celebration. Does he not expect them to go crazy after scoring a goal at the death in a derby match? And how he can criticize anyone for celebrating is beyond me when he backed up Adebayor’s celebrations. Give me a break. I do wish they had just killed them like they should have and the errors that caused City’s goals were terrible, but at least United crushed their soul with that last-gasp win…

  21. Well in the case of Tott’ham and Chelsea, the officials would have already taken into consideration everything that happened in the 2nd 45. The issue here is that events happened after stoppage time was announced (Bellamy’s goal) and events that happened during stoppage time (a substitution). These events wouldn’t have been accounted for in the 4 minutes of play. Why should United lose 55 seconds of play because Bellamy wants to jont around and celebrate? THAT wouldn’t be fair.

  22. that fanzone clip is hysterical.

    Both of Bellamy’s goal were sick. All time classic game – any controversy just adds to it. I look forward to this rivalry for years to come.

  23. If Owen didn’t score that goal, Atkinson would still have them playing. It’s a bit of a joke. The free kick before the goal was a joke too.

    Still, it was a great match. It would be great for the EPL to have a derby in Manchester that is so hotly contested twice a year.

  24. No, but Bassong’s injury alone was 6 minutes+ and the total stoppage time was exactly 8 minutes despite all the other stoppages and a few injuries into stoppage time.

  25. As a Newcastle fan it’s somewhat bittersweet to see how a bunch of former Newcastle players (Given, Bellamy and Owen) played such crucial roles in this match.

  26. “The issue isn’t whether or not the time should have been added, the issue as far as I understand it is consistency from match to match concerning extra time.”

    This is exactly the problem. This one is the only one in history where the injury time specifically adds like this. Just watch the Spurs-Chelsea game that followed it. With all the injuries/subs/goals in the second half the game should still be playing according to the United-City precedent.

  27. Agreed, Ben Foster is horrible… “wait, let me get this ball way over on a silver platter for my left foot… wait for it… oh’ hello Mr Tevez, Mr Drogba, Mr Van Persie- didn’t see you coming from 20 yards away!” What is this a rec league? Not like his clearances are that accurate anyway…

  28. I’m actually really happy it was Michael Owen that scored the winner rather than anyone else. Also happy to see City lose haha. Overall a really entertaining game!

  29. Again, Bellamy’s goal celebration was about a minute long (55 seconds to be exact) and they allow 30 seconds for the substitution. That’s 1:30 extra time on top of the 4 minutes. Owen scored at 5:27, a few seconds short of the 1:30.

    The issue isn’t whether or not the time should have been added, the issue as far as I understand it is consistency from match to match concerning extra time.

  30. Classic crybabies like tedhill crying about a perceived officiating hack job.

    City scored at the very end of the 89th minute. They celebrated and it took probably a minute or more. Then Utd made a sub in the 92nd minute which took probably 30 seconds or so. Add that to the 4 minutes of MINIMUM stoppage time, you easily get 95-96 minutes of stoppage.

    And as long as the game is still being played, City should have tried playing some defense. The ref didnt score the goal.

  31. Wow, I didn’t realize yesterday that Owen may not have even finished that game winner. Am I crazy, or from the looks of the highlights (especially the camera angle from behind the goal) was that an own goal?

  32. Actually all the ‘controversy’ is just Hughes’ sour grapes. The Belamy scored his equalizer in the 90th minute, and City’s celebration is what did them in. The official indicated 4 minutes stoppage, but City celebrated for an entire minute, so add one. Then Carrick’s substitution calls for a mandated :30 off added time that occured in stoppage. Hence just over 5:30. Owens’ goal came just before +5:30. The official was ‘spot on’.

    This game though could have easily been 7-1 as Belamy’s long blast was City’s only real goal not created by a Man Utd turnover and United could have had 3 more

    (SBI-Mark Hughes is hardly the only person questioning the stoppage time. I happen to agree that the stoppage time was explainable, and nothing outrageous, but there are definitely folks outside of Man City people who are upset about it.)

  33. Steve T- with 2 of the top teams in the league, im sure the play and goals were certainly incredible.

    i also watched some of the bottom feeding teams, and their play and what few goals occurred were less then incredible

    while EPL is (in most opinion) the top league, that doesnt necessarily make it “the best”. that is a matter of opinion

  34. Classic Old Trafford hack job officiating. Why time was allowed to go well beyond five minutes is a mystery. I understand the final free kick by United, but City had cleared the ball twice and the whistle should have gone surely.

  35. I think goal keeping made the difference in this match. Foster just doesn’t have it. That first City goal should have never happened. VDS wouldn’t have made that mistake, thats for sure. Given was a wall in the second half despite letting 3 goals go in. His blocks against Berbatov were amazing (and lucky).


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