What’s the best derby – Merseyside or Manchester?

Andy Dawson takes a totally unbiased view on which of Sunday’s two mega-derbies is the best…


Andy Dawson takes a totally unbiased view on which of Sunday’s two mega-derbies is the best…

We’re all going down with a double dose of DERBY FEVER this Sunday as Liverpool, Everton and the Manchester sides get embroiled in some hardcore local spoil-sharing, while the rest of the nation looks on, agog.

Yes, agog – deal with it.

Here’s the best Merseyside and Manchester derbies in the history of everything as we try to decide once and for all which is the best one…

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Everton 4-4 Liverpool (February 1991)

A midweek FA Cup replay and arguably the daddy of all the Merseyside derbies. This one was so intense that it made Kenny Dalglish realise that he couldn’t carry on as Liverpool manager – it literally finished him off. Two days afterwards, he handed in his resignation to the Anfield board, even though the Reds were sitting at the top of the table at the time.

Fever Factor: 10

Liverpool 3-2 Everton (1989 FA Cup final)

Played in the shadow of the Hillsborough disaster and undoubtedly the most appropriate cup final fixture given the tragic circumstances, red and blue fans sat mixed together throughout the stadium. Grief was set aside for 120 exhilarating minutes, with Ian Rush’s second goal sealing the victory for Liverpool.

Fever Factor: 9

Liverpool 0-1 Everton (October 1984)

The match that saw the power on Merseyside begin to shift. The Reds had bossed their blue neighbours for years, hoovering up trophies galore, but Howard Kendall had slowly and quietly assembled a team that could rival them at last. Graeme Sharp’s 25-yard volley was the difference between the two sides, but Everton dominated the game from start to finish and went on to snatch the league championship trophy from the red half of Merseyside, where it had lived for the previous three years.

Fever Factor: 8

Everton 2-3 Liverpool (April 2001)

A proper blood and thunder derby with 12 yellow cards and one red for Igor Biscan. This one started at a hundred miles an hour and never let up. Just when it seemed as though both sides would have to settle for a point (the fairest outcome on the night), Liverpool’s Gary McAllister pinged a free kick in from a ridiculous 44 yards out, deep into stoppage time.

Fever Factor: 10

Man United 0-1 Man City (April 1974)

After switching sides, United legend Denis Law thought he’d backheeled the goal that would relegate his former club, where he rightly held legendary status. In the end, the Reds did go down, but it wasn’t Law’s cheeky, uncelebrated goal that sealed their fate.

Fever Factor: 9

Man United 4-3 Man City (September 2009)

The first meeting between the two rivals after City’s big-spending era kicked off, and it was as frenetic as you’d hope, with United’s top dogs tag in the City seriously under threat after decades of underachievement from the Blues. United took and lost the lead three times, before Michael Owen settled it deep into stoppage time and Old Trafford went berserk.

Fever Factor: 10

Man United 1-6 Man City (October 2011)

OOOF! City’s moneybags ways were seriously beginning to pay off by this point, with United handed an almighty spanking on their own patch. A red card for Jonny Evans signaled the capitulation by the home side, on a day enhanced even further by the news that City’s Mario Baloteli had been letting off fireworks in his bathroom.

Fever Factor: 9

Man City 5-1 Man United (September 1989)

The major stand-out match for Blues during the domination of the fledgling Premier League by their red rivals, but this came while Fergie was still assembling his all-conquering side. City roasted the reds from beginning to end, but still missed out on finishing above them in the league, goal difference separating the two teams in the end.

Fever Factor: 9

Fever Factor Final Score: Merseyside 37 Manchester 37 – Shit the bed, it’s a draw!

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What do you think?