Manchester City 5-1 Manchester United
First Division, September 23, 1989
Newly-promoted City had won just one of their first six First Division matches as they prepared to welcome their Manchester neighbours to Maine Road. United, too, had made an indifferent start to the campaign but what followed stunned English football.
David Oldfield (11, 52)
Trevor Morley (13)
Ian Bishop (35)
Andy Hinchcliffe (62)
Mark Hughes (50)
September 23, 1989
Maine Road, Referee: Neil Midgley, Bolton, Att: 43,246
The start of the game was marred by controversy off the pitch as scuffles between supporters forced the referee to lead the players back into the dressing rooms after only three minutes.
Play was held up for ten minutes as police separated the warring fans, but once the action resumed the hosts wasted no time in hitting their straps. Even so, what transpired shocked even the most ardent City fan.
The home side raced into a 3-0 half-time lead, thanks to goals from David Oldfield, Trevor Morley and Ian Bishop, with United centre-half Gary Pallister enduring a torrid time at the heart of the defence.
The visitors gave themselves some hope early in the second half when Mark Hughes pulled a goal back with a trademark bicycle kick, but that strike merely delayed the onslaught rather than quelling it.
And City had the last word - or two - when Oldfield added his second before Andy Hinchcliffe rounded off proceedings with a breathtaking fifth goal with a diving header from White's pinpoint cross.
If you were in the blue half of Manchester, that was a night never to be forgotten.
Finding the net twice, the Australian striker terrorised Gary Pallister throughout the game. United's defence opted for a high line to counter Oldfield's runs, but to no avail as he continued to surge forward and beyond them as he caused havoc throughout the 90 minutes.
The striker was still awaiting his first goal of the season, with his last strike having come the previous campaign as City clinched promotion from Division Two. But he found his form against the old enemy, scoring once and being denied further glory only by the excellence of United keeper Jim Leighton.
By his own admission, Pallister had a nightmare. Signed from Middlesbrough for a British record fee of £2.3million only a month previously, he was still finding his feet at United and City ruthlessly exposed his nerves as he endured a shocking afternoon at the heart of the Red Devils' defence.
Did You Know...?
City had made their their worst start to a season for more than nine years. They had won only one of their first six games back in the top-flight and were knocked out of the League Cup at Brentford the previous week.
During the second half, loud booing and chants of "Fergie Out" could be heard from the United faithful after Ferguson replaced Russell Beardsmore with Lee Sharpe. City's fans responded by singing: "You're going down with the Millwall".
The four goal margin of victory remains City's biggest win over their fierce local rivals.
What Happened Next
Neither side covered themselves in glory in their respective league campaigns, both finishing in the bottom half on 48 points. United could claim local bragging rights courtesy of finishing 13th to City's 14th by virtue of goal difference, and they did have the consolation of winning the FA Cup. As for City's fans, they had to revel in the glory of this win for a long, long time - they next tasted victory in a derby match 13 years later!
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