Thursday, November 12, 2009

12 November 1881 - Manchester's Heathens and Saints

On 12 November 1881, Newton Heath FC defeated hosts West Gorton (St. Mark's) FC, 3-0, in a friendly. It was the first Manchester derby, as the Heathens later became known as Manchester United and the Saints later changed their name to Manchester City. The Ashton Reporter covered the match, calling it "a pleasant game."

Since that first match, played at the invitation of West Gorton, there have been 152 competitive matches between the two teams. United currently have the advantage with 62 wins to City's 41 (there have been 49 draws). The derby's top scorers are City's Joe Hayes and Francis Lee, tied at 10 goals each. United's top derby scorer is Bobby Charlton with 9.

A number of players have taken the pitch for both City and United, including Denis Law, Peter Schmeichel, and, most recently, Carlos Tevez.

United are currently on a three-match derby win streak. City's last derby win was on 2 February 2008, which completed a City double over United that season.

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