The Old Guard vs The Young Pretenders (Manchester United 4 Manchester City 3, 20th September 2009)
Michael Owen and his Manchester United teammates celebrate ecstatically as the veteran goal poacher scores a winner deep into stoppage time against arch rivals City.
‘You come at the king, you best not miss.’ So sayeth The Wire‘s Omar Little after a failed attempt on his life but the sentiment seems equally applicable here. New-money Manchester City came into this derby with a point to prove; that finally they were the match of their hideously successful neighbours, not just a troublesome handful but for once a genuine title rival. Manchester United, in turn, sought to put The Citizens in their place and show that there was still a clear gap in quality between the two sides. Over the course of an enthralling game it was United who triumphed in typically Fergisonic fashion but not before being dealt a scare by their east-city rivals. Despite the win it became clear the gap was closing.
What Happened Next…
- Neither team would win the title that season. Manchester United would finish second to a resurgent Chelsea side. Manchester City would finish fifth narrowly missing out on the Champions League…
- …However, The Citizens would go on to claim their rival’s crown two seasons later in a sensational down-to-the-wire title battle. City had officially announced themselves as a Premier League giant.
- Michael Owen celebrated this, the high point of his Manchester United career, by keeping The Devils’ (and later Stoke’s) bench warm until his anticlimactic retirement a few years later.
- Omar Little would terrorize gangsters on the mean streets of Baltimore for another four seasons. He remains one of the best-loved modern-day television characters of all time.