How the balance of power shifted in Manchester

Published: 2020-12-19 By: The Guru


When Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm of affairs at Old Trafford, Manchester United was undoubtedly the greatest force in England. This was the time when the Red Devils regarded the Premier League title as their birth-right, and only Chelsea and Arsenal could mount a challenge for the league title. 

At that time, Manchester City were in no position to compete for the domestic title and the superiority of their fierce rivals would show in the derby matches. Under Ferguson, United won against the Sky Blues for an incredible 26 times out of 47 and lost only 11 times. The two Manchester clubs were worlds apart from each other. 

However, things took a dramatic turn when the ownership changed at the Etihad. In the summer of 2008, Abu Dhabi United Group purchased the club and the Citizens saw an enormous change in their fortunes. 

The new ownership was lavish with their money. In their first season, they signed Robinho, Nigel de Jong, and Craig Bellamy to bolster the ranks. The next year, they splashed more money and secured the services of Carlos Tevez and Emmanuel Adebayor. 

Tevez’s signing generated controversy as the Argentine had played two years for the Red Devils. He swapped Old Trafford for the Etihad, something which greatly angered the United faithful. And if that wasn’t enough, the Citizens also erected a ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard with Carlos in the background. 

This was not forgotten by Ferguson who gave a strong retort after his side registered a dramatic 4-3 win at Old Trafford in September 2009. 

“Sometimes you have a noisy neighbour,” he said in a recent interview with Betway. “You cannot do anything about that, they will always be noisy. You just have to get on with your life, put your television on and turn it up a bit louder.”

However, Sir Alex had realized privately that City were now a threat to their supremacy in England. The Sky Blues had the money and they could afford to bring some of the best football players in the world. 

Yaya Toure arrived at the club from Barcelona in a £25million deal, and the Cityzens spent the same amount to bring David Silva from Valencia. While veteran striker Sergio Aguero was signed from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2011 in a deal worth £38million. 

The result of all these signings was that City became a credible title contender in a very short time. In April 2012, they outclassed United 1-0 at the Etihad Stadium, thanks to a wonderful goal from Vincent Kompany. Their subsequent victory over Newcastle United left them with a faint chance of winning the Premier League title in the final game against QPR. 

However, hope looked over when the Cityzens found themselves trailing by 2-1 in the ending stages of the match. But first Eden Dzeko equalized and then Sergio Aguero struck a superb goal in the 94th minute to win them the first league title in 44 years. 

Since then, United have won only one title while City have claimed three, with the latest two trophies coming under the current Spanish manager Pep Guardiola.  



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