Since the Premier League began back in 1992, Manchester United have always been the team to beat. The Red Devils have lifted the trophy twelve times in its twenty year history, making them the most successful team in the Premier League era. United’s unparalleled success over the last two decades has seen them establish themselves as one of the best clubs in the world, and for long periods, the best team in Manchester by far.
However, times are changing. Since being taken over by Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi United Group, Manchester City are on the up. Oil rich, managers Mark Hughes and current boss Roberto Mancini have never been shy in terms of financial muscle. This cash injection has seen Man City rise from mid table uncertainty to title contenders. But who has made this change so dramatic?
The deadline day signing of Robinho in 2008 for £32.5 million was a real statement of intent from the new owners, laying out a four year plan to get Manchester City into the higher echelons of English football. Further big money signings have followed, with many new faces falling into the category of the best in the world. Yaya Toure, David Silva, Edin Dzeko, Sergio Aguero and Samir Nasri have all came in through the door at the newly named Etihad stadium. Etihad means United in Arabic, and these signings have certainly made United aware of the splash their ‘noisy neighbours’ are making in the Premier League.
The Manchester derby is now one of the best games of football on the planet, with the superstar forces of Man United; Rooney, Nani and Giggs now matched by the young guns of City; Aguero, Silva and Toure. With talent all over the pitch, the game itself is fast becoming as famed as the ‘El Clasico’ in Spain. The most recent league meeting between the two ended in a 6-1 thumping for Man United at the hands of their city rivals, a pill very bitter to swallow, even more so at home.
With the teams tied on 54 points in the league, things couldn’t be tighter between these two great rivals. Winning the Premier League has got to be the main aim for both sides, and anything less will be seen as a failure. Manchester United and Manchester City fans will never see eye to eye, with both claiming they are superior in the title race. Their differences may be well documented, but with both teams aiming for similar successes, they certainly make Manchester a City United.
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