Has the view of derby day for City and United fans changed?
In recent times, City fans have looked at the derby as an opportunity to beat the neighbours from hell and claim the local bragging rights, at least until the next derby.
United fans however, have often viewed a match against the blues as a local derby on the same lines as Bolton and Wigan, claiming a win over Liverpool is more important than beating City. But with the progress we have made this season, United have made more noise than usual about us. So are City finally turning the tables on United?
Everybody loves a local derby and, although games against the likes of Bolton and Wigan can be good for local football, there’s nothing like a clash between the two Manchester clubs. Last September’s match at Old Trafford was billed as the most eagerly anticipated clash between the two for a long time, and it certainly lived up to its expectations.
Then we have the two League Cup matches, which proved just how serious United took City’s threat to their trophy winning days. Sir Alex Ferguson uses the competition to blood his youngsters, yet when faced with the blues in the semi-final, changed his tact and put out his first team instead for both legs.
And it was clear from the way the United fans reacted following the second leg that the game actually meant more to them than it had done during the early to mid nineties, when the reds were so dominant both home and away. What is also clear is that United have changed their view of derby day. Many now feel that beating City is more important than beating Liverpool and that is testament to the blues ever growing status in the Premier League.
As for City fans, a derby against United is still a big game and the supporters will be as keen as ever to see the blues put one over on their neighbours. But we now see every game as an opportunity to take three points and have a good record against the ‘big four’ this season. In fact, our only defeat against any of those clubs was at Old Trafford and have beaten Chelsea twice, Arsenal once and drawn twice with Liverpool. We are no longer afraid of anyone and that has shown in many games this season.
In time, this fixture could turn out to be just another local derby for us.
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