The Top-5 greatest Manchester Derby goals of the Premier League era
The latest edition of one of English football’s most heated rivalries, of course, is set to take place this coming weekend, when Manchester United and Manchester City go head-to-head at the Etihad.
In a crunch showdown when it comes to both the Premier League title race and the hunt for Champions League football, the Red Devils and Sky Blues will be equally desperate for all three points, in a bid to not only aid their own endeavours, but to put a dent in those of their cross-city neighbours, too.
In turn, ahead of the fast-approaching Etihad clash, we at 101 have seen fit to take a look back at some of the finest Manchester Derby goals of the Premier League era.
We have managed to narrow the field from a wide variety of stunning finishes to just five of the best, taking into account both the quality of the goal itself, and significance to the eventual outcome.
Our final selection, along with footage of each goal, is showcased below.
5. Craig Bellamy – September 20th, 2009
One of two wonderful individual efforts netted by City’s explosive attacker amid what many would no doubt argue represents the Premier League era’s greatest-ever Manchester Derby, Craig Bellamy showcased all that was so special about his game in one fell swoop.
The confidence to drive inside when safer options were available, the pace to leave John O’Shea helpless, and the technique to pick out the far top corner in absolutely stunning fashion.
Bellamy beats out the likes of Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Sergio Aguero to take no.5 on our list:
4. Edin Dzeko – October 23rd, 2011
A goal which will not soon be forgotten for a whole host of reasons.
Edin Dzeko slotting past David de Gea in clinical fashion back in 2011 proved a historic moment in not only dealing Manchester United a heaviest home defeat for over half a century, but also in acting as a sign of things to come regarding the upcoming swing of dominance towards the blue half of Manchester.
Add to this the fact that the goal was laid on by one of the most sumptuous assists in Premier League history, on the part of David Silva, and it deservedly takes its place at n0.4 in our list:
3. Michael Owen – September 20th, 2009
A goal perhaps more widely remembered owing to its significance than the quality of finish itself, Michael Owen’s last-gasp derby winner back in 2009 remains one of the standout moments in the recent history of English football.
After a back-and-forth 90 minutes saw the Red Devils and Sky Blues deadlocked at three goals apiece deep into injury time, Owen was slipped in by Ryan Giggs, before picking out the far corner in clinical fashion, and sending Old Trafford into delirium in the process.
The fact that Owen had of course betrayed his Liverpool past in taking his talents to Manchester in the first place, made the moment all the sweeter for the Manchester United faithful:
2. David Beckham – November 18th, 2000
It feels only right that any list highlighting United’s top goals since the beginning of the Premier League era features at least one David Beckham special, and precisely that takes the runner-up spot in our selection.
30 yards from goal in a central position on the pitch, most would not even deem it worthwhile testing their luck from a set-piece situation.
Beckham, though, of course so long stood as one of the game’s finest free-kick takers, and saved one of his best-ever efforts for the grandest stage, bending a stunning strike across goal into the far corner of Nicky Weaver’s net.
Oh, it also proved the game’s only goal, as the Red Devils romped to another league title under the watch of Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wayne Rooney – February 12th, 2011
Was there ever really any question about which strike would find itself at top spot in the list of the Manchester Derby’s greatest Premier League era goals?
Individual brilliance, late drama, top-tier commentary and sheer audacity all combined on a special evening at Old Trafford back in February of 2011, as Wayne Rooney conjured up just one of countless moments to remember in the colours of Manchester United to guide Ferguson’s troops to a 2-1 triumph over City.
Did the ball come off the English international’s shin? Perhaps. Does it matter? Hardly.
Enjoy the no.1 pick in our countdown of Manchester Derby day’s finest below:
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