Can Manchester United continue last season's ascendancy in the Manchester Derby?

Can Manchester United continue last season's ascendancy in the Manchester Derby?

The clashes between Manchester United and Manchester City are among the most keenly anticipated games in every Premier League season, attracting a huge worldwide audience and plenty of discussion and debate among fans of the game.

This season will be no different, and with the first meeting of the sides set to take place on December 12th at Old Trafford, the football world will be rubbing their hands with excitement and analysing the bet exchange at the prospect of another tasty Manchester Derby.

While City have been running away with so many trophies over the last few years, it’s actually United who have had the edge in some of the recent Premier League Manchester Derbies. Last season, it was the red half of Manchester that earned a league double over the bitter rivals. Here, we take a look back at how they’ve turned the tide over the last couple of years, to see if they can repeat their success over City in the 2020-21 campaign.

April 2018: Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United

City were on cloud nine when United came to the Etihad Stadium towards the end of the 2017-18 campaign. The club were leading the Premier League table by a huge margin, chasing all kinds of records as manager Pep Guardiola sought his first Premier League title. But United rained on their parade with a sensational victory that proved City were indeed fallible after all.

The game started as most expected, with City easing into a 2-0 lead thanks to goals from Vincent Kompany and İlkay Gündoğan. But in the second half, United found their form out of nowhere, Paul Pogba struck twice in quick succession to draw his side level, before Chris Smalling notched the winner with 20 minutes to cue, sparking delirium among the away supporters.

November 2018: Manchester City 3-1 Manchester United

City would get their revenge in the 2018-19 campaign, completing a league double over United. Gündoğan was again on the scoresheet, finding the net after David Silva and Sergio Agüero had already established the home side in the game. Anthony Martial’s penalty briefly gave United hope, but it was a comfortable win all in all for Guardiola’s side.

April 2019: Manchester United 0-2 Manchester City

This was a crucial win in the 2018-19 title race, as one slip-up would have allowed Liverpool to capitalise and most likely win the title. But City held their cool at Old Trafford despite the huge amount of pressure on their shoulders. Second half goals from Bernardo Silva and Leroy Sané earned them the three points, and ensured Liverpool stayed at arm’s length.

December 2019: Manchester City 1-2 Manchester United

While City were dominant in the 2018-19 season, the 2019-20 campaign belonged to United as far as the league Manchester Derbies were concerned. In December, Ole Gunnar Solskjær earned his first win over City as United boss, as first half goals from Marcus Rashford and Martial gave his side a commanding lead at half-time.

United stood firm in the second half, and while a late Nicolás Otamendi goal briefly gave the home side a glimmer of hope, it was always going to be United’s day.

March 2020: Manchester United 2-0 Manchester City

Another strong United display followed a few months later, as City were once again put to the sword by their bitter rivals. Martial was on the scoresheet once again, giving United a first-half lead. Despite intense pressure from City throughout the rest of game, United eventually got a second and saw out the victory, with Scott McTominay’s long-range effort embarrassing Ederson and sealing a sweet win for the hosts.