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Premier League - Football: Greatest ever Manchester derbies

The 187th Manchester derby takes place on Sunday, with City immersed in the Premier League title race and United battling for a top-four finish.

There will certainly be plenty at stake when the two teams meet at the Etihad Stadium, with the Citizens priced at 2/5 to claim the spoils, while a Red Devils win is available at 13/2 and the draw 15/4.

It is usually a match that lives up to its top billing, and in the lead-up to Sunday's heavyweight showdown we have taken a look back at some of the greatest and most iconic Manchester derbies of all time.

Man United 4-3 Man City - September 2009

The anticipation for the first derby of the 2008/09 season was palpable, with United the dominant force in the division having won back-to-back titles, while City's spending power was starting to take effect, with the likes of Emmanuel Adebayor, Joleon Lescott and Carlos Tevez having arrived over the summer - the latter from United.

The contest at Old Trafford certainly lived up to expectations, with United taking the lead on three occasions through Wayne Rooney and Darren Fletcher twice, only to be pegged back each time by Gareth Barry's first City goal and a brace from Craig Bellamy.

However, just when it looked like City had salvaged a point, up popped Michael Owen with a 96th-minute winner, undoubtedly his best moment in a United shirt.

Sir Alex Ferguson's side did not look back following that triumph, as they went on to win a third successive league title, but it was the beginning of the end for City boss Mark Hughes, who was sacked and replaced by Roberto Mancini two months later.

Man United 0-1 Man City - April 1974

At first glance, a 1-0 victory for City over their rivals does not look particularly memorable, but when that goal was scored by a United legend on the day the Red Devils were relegated from the top-flight, it certainly takes on extra significance.

Denis Law was the former United star that netted against the club he represented with distinction for over a decade, and at the time he thought he was scoring the goal that would relegate his former employers.

As it turned out, United would have been relegated anyway as rivals Birmingham City won their final match of the season against Norwich City, ending the Red Devils' 36-year stay in the top-flight.

For Law, who remains third on the list of United's all-time leading scorers, it was a poignant moment, and he was substituted soon after scoring in what turned out to be the final club appearance of his professional career.

Man United 1-6 Man City - October 2011

The day City arguably announced themselves as Premier League heavyweights came at Old Trafford on 23rd October 2011, when they embarrassed United 6-1 in what Sir Alex Ferguson described as his "worst ever day" in charge of the Red Devils.

Mario Balotelli opened the scoring for City during the first half, which prompted him to brandish his infamous "Why Always Me?" t-shirt, in reference to the firework that had reportedly gone off in his house the previous day.

However, it wasn't until the sending-off of United defender Jonny Evans early in the second half that the floodgates opened, with Balotelli notching his second alongside a brace from Edin Dzeko and a goal apiece for Sergio Aguero and David Silva.

Darren Fletcher was United's scorer on an otherwise miserable day for the hosts, and it was City who went on to be crowned Premier League champions thanks to that unforgettable AGUEROOOOOO moment.

Man City 3-1 Man United - November 2002

In the early part of the 21st century City were not the footballing superpower they are today and expectations were low when they faced reigning Premier League champions United at Maine Road in 2002.

City had just been promoted back to the top-flight the previous season and had not beaten their fierce rivals in 13 years (a 5-1 win in 1989 that easily could have made this list).

However, Kevin Keegan's side, in particular striker Shaun Goater, had not read the script in the build-up.

After Nicolas Anelka's early opener had been cancelled out by a strike from United forward Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it was the veteran Bermudan Goater who took centre stage, first embarrassing Gary Neville to put City 2-1 up on 26 minutes, before adding a second just after the break.

Renditions of "Feed the Goat and he will score" were sung around Maine Road, which was hosting its final Manchester derby, while for Goater it capped a superb five-year spell with City, as he left the club the following summer.

Man United 1-1 Man City - April 2001

This falls more into the notorious rather than greatest category, but the Manchester derby of April 2001 is certainly memorable, particularly if your name is Roy Keane or Alf-Inge Haaland.

The duo had been involved in a four-year feud after Haaland, then of Leeds United, had accused Keane of feigning injury during a match in September 1997.

Keane bided his time but got his revenge on Haaland during the latter stages of this derby contest, hitting the Norwegian with a heinous knee-high tackle that saw him sent off, fined and hit with a three-game ban.

It was later revealed in Keane's autobiography that the challenge was no accident, and it is safe to assume United won't be using the Irishman to try and negotiate a move for Erling Haaland in the future - the Borussia Dortmund forward is the son of Alf-Inge and was three months short of his first birthday when this Manchester derby took place.

In terms of the match itself, Teddy Sheringham's second-half penalty for United was cancelled out by a late equaliser from City defender Steve Howey.

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