Thursday, January 23, 2014

23 January 1926 - It's True, Form Goes Out The Window For Derbies

On 23 January 1926, Manchester City beat Manchester United 6-1, setting a derby record that remains (officially) unbroken.

United were back in the top flight after three seasons in the Second Division and were doing well in their return; they were sitting fourth when they hosted City, who, despite being an established First Division side with a recent string of comfortable mid-table finishes, were back in nineteenth. Their first meeting of the season had ended as a 1-1 draw at Maine Road, giving United hope that they'd improve the result at home.

Instead, they got their worst shelling of the season. City poured in goals from Sam Austin (2), Frank Roberts (2), Tommy Johnson, and George Hicks, while United's only score came from Clatworthy Rennox. It was the first time United had conceded six goals since a 6-3 loss to Newcastle in January 1921 (though they shipped five to both Liverpool and West Brom earlier in the year), though it wasn't even City's highest tally of the season; they beat Burley 8-3 three months earlier.

The loss dropped United down to tenth and pushed City up to fifteenth. City then went on to beat United again in the FA Cup semifinals, but ended up losing the cup to Bolton, then were relegated at the end of the season.

The 6-1 result set the official record margin in the derby, since matched twice by City (who beat United 5-0 in 1955 and 6-1 in 2011) and once by United (who won 5-0 in 1994). In 1941, United won 7-1, but it was an unofficial match, since league play was suspended for World War II.

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