Manchester United F.C. 4–3 Manchester City F.C. (2009)

The first fixture between Manchester United and Manchester City in the 2009–10 Premier League season was played on 20 September 2009 at Old Trafford. It was the 153rd Manchester derby between the two clubs. Manchester United won the game 4–3 courtesy of a late winner from Michael Owen deep into second-half injury time. Wayne Rooney opened the scoring early on, but a mistake from Ben Foster in the United goal allowed Gareth Barry to equalise for City. Two goals each from Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy meant that the score was 3–3 going into four minutes of injury time, before Owen secured the win for the home side in the 96th minute. The match saw the return of striker Carlos Tevez to Old Trafford after leaving United that summer.

After the game, United manager Sir Alex Ferguson described it as "probably […] the best derby of all time".[1] In May 2012, the match was voted as the best of the first two decades of the Premier League in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards.[2]

Manchester United vs Manchester City (2009)
Match programme Manchester United F.C. 4–3 Manchester City F.C. (2009)
Match programme
Event2009–10 Premier League
Manchester United Manchester City
4 3
Date20 September 2009
VenueOld Trafford, Manchester
Man of the MatchDarren Fletcher (Manchester United)
RefereeMartin Atkinson (West Yorkshire)


The Manchester derby is a fixture contested between two football teams from the Manchester region, Manchester United and Manchester City. Before this fixture, there had been 152 meetings between the two sides, with the first fixture being held in 1881. The non-competitive fixture ended in a 3–0 victory for Newton Heath (who later became Manchester United) against West Gorton (Manchester City). The first competitive meeting was in the qualifying stages for the FA Cup in 1891, which Newton Heath also won 5–1. The most recent match between the two sides had been at Old Trafford in May 2009, when Manchester United won 2–0. In total, Manchester United had recorded 62 victories in competitive meetings with their rivals; Manchester City won 41 of the matches and there had been 49 draws.

Heading into the game, the home side Manchester United were in second place in the Premier League table after five matches, trailing Chelsea by 3 points. Manchester City were in fourth place but level on points with Manchester United, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa, but with a game in hand on all apart from Liverpool. United had won four of their five matches, while City had won all of their first four fixtures.



Manchester United had several players out of contention for the match. Paul Scholes was serving a one-match suspension, and Rio Ferdinand was considered a doubt with a calf injury, although he did eventually recover to start the match. Gabriel Obertan (calf), Rafael (shoulder), Edwin van der Sar (finger) and Owen Hargreaves (knee) were all ruled out through injury, with Hargreaves the only one with a long-term injury. Leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney, who had scored five times, started in a two-man strike partnership with Dimitar Berbatov. Park Ji-sung replaced the suspended Scholes as the only change to the starting line-up from the previous Premier League fixture against Tottenham, when he had been sent-off for two yellow cards.

Manchester City were without top-scorer Emmanuel Adebayor, who was serving a three-match ban for violent conduct in their last match against Arsenal which City had given up contesting.[3] He was replaced by Carlos Tevez, who was an injury doubt but was fit enough to start on his return to his former club in the only change for City. Robinho, Vincent Kompany and Roque Santa Cruz all missed out through injury.


The derby turned out to be a classic, with City's Craig Bellamy and United's Darren Fletcher playing main roles. Wayne Rooney gave United first blood after just a bit more than one minute, but Gareth Barry was able to equalise after a quarter of an hour. Midfielder Fletcher then entered the frame, scoring on 49 minutes. A quick equaliser from Bellamy made sure the scores were levelled after 52 minutes. With ten minutes remaining, Fletcher made it 3–2. The game was far from won for United, however, since Bellamy scored a dramatic equaliser on 90 minutes. However, lots of time was added on, and in the sixth additional minute, substitute Michael Owen struck 4–3 from close range to cap a remarkable derby.

Referee Martin Atkinson was criticised by Manchester City's manager Mark Hughes for bad time-keeping. The fourth official had signalled four minutes of additional time, but Michael Owen scored a 96th-minute goal.[4] Atkinson was defended by former referee Graham Poll, himself considered one of England's greatest officials,[5] who pointed out that during injury time itself there had been a goal celebration, a substitution and a delay caused by a fan on the pitch.[6]


Manchester United4–3Manchester City
Rooney Goal 2'
Fletcher Goal 49'80'
Owen Goal 90+6'
Report Barry Goal 16'
Bellamy Goal 52'90'
Manchester United
Manchester City
GK 12 England Ben Foster
RB 22 Republic of Ireland John O'Shea
CB 5 England Rio Ferdinand
CB 15 Serbia Nemanja Vidić Yellow card 43'
LB 3 France Patrice Evra
RM 13 South Korea Park Ji-sung Substituted off 62'
CM 8 Brazil Anderson Yellow card 36' Substituted off 90+3'
CM 24 Scotland Darren Fletcher
LM 11 Wales Ryan Giggs
CF 10 England Wayne Rooney
CF 9 Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov Substituted off 78'
GK 29 Poland Tomasz Kuszczak
DF 2 England Gary Neville
DF 23 Northern Ireland Jonny Evans
MF 16 England Michael Carrick Substituted in 90+3'
MF 17 Portugal Nani
MF 25 Ecuador Antonio Valencia Substituted in 62'
FW 7 England Michael Owen Substituted in 78'
Scotland Sir Alex Ferguson
Man Utd vs Man City 2009-09-20
GK 1 Republic of Ireland Shay Given
RB 2 England Micah Richards
CB 19 England Joleon Lescott
CB 28 Ivory Coast Kolo Touré
LB 3 England Wayne Bridge
CM 18 England Gareth Barry
CM 34 Netherlands Nigel de Jong Substituted off 83'
RW 8 England Shaun Wright-Phillips
AM 7 Republic of Ireland Stephen Ireland
LW 39 Wales Craig Bellamy Yellow card 55'
CF 32 Argentina Carlos Tevez Yellow card 27'
GK 12 England Stuart Taylor
DF 5 Argentina Pablo Zabaleta
DF 15 Spain Javier Garrido
DF 16 Brazil Sylvinho
MF 17 Bulgaria Martin Petrov Substituted in 83'
MF 40 Slovakia Vladimír Weiss
FW 50 England David Ball
Wales Mark Hughes
Man of the match
Match officials
Match rules
  • 90 minutes
  • No extra time or penalties
  • Seven named substitutes
  • Maximum of three substitutions


Statistic Manchester United Manchester City
Goals scored 4 3
Possession 59.5% 40.5%
Shots on target 8 4
Shots off target 10 4
Blocked shots 6 3
Corner kicks 11 1
Fouls 15 16
Tackles 14 26
Offsides 0 1
Yellow cards 2 2
Red cards 0 0
Source: Sky Sports[7]


  1. ^ "Boss Ferguson hails 'best derby'". BBC Sport. British Broadcasting Corporation. 20 September 2009. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  2. ^ "Manchester derby wins 20 Seasons Best Match". Premier League. 12 May 2012. Archived from the original on 15 May 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2012.
  3. ^ Ogden, Mark (16 September 2009). "Emmanuel Adebayor to miss Manchester Derby after accepting three-match ban". Telegraph Online. Telegraph Media Group. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
  4. ^ Taylor, Daniel (21 September 2009). "Mark Hughes fumes at Manchester United's overtime winner". The Guardian. London.
  5. ^
  6. ^ Poll, Graham. "GRAHAM POLL: Well done ref, you timed the Manchester derby just right — and United showed how City to play to the whistle". Daily Mail. London.
  7. ^ "Owen breaks City hearts". Sky Sports. British Sky Broadcasting. 20 September 2009. Archived from the original on 10 October 2015. Retrieved 10 October 2015.

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