Man United vs Man City: Is Manchester red or blue? Top details

Man United vs Man City: Is Manchester red or blue? Top details

Helix Odhiambo
updated at April 12, 2023 at 7:59 PM

Football is blessed with some of the most competitive and intense derbies and rivalries that fans look forward to every year. Among them is the Man United vs Man City derby that has attracted massive attention worldwide. This article takes an in-depth look into both teams, including their history, head to head stats and success.

Man City vs Man United's history
Players clash in the Manchester derby during an English Premier League football match at the Etihad Stadium on 7 April 2018. Photo: Ben Stansall
Source: Getty Images

Famously known as the Manchester derby, the crunch showdown has featured top footballers and managers locking horns. So, is Man United better than Man City? Let us find out below based on stats.

Which club is older?

The Red Devils were formed in 1878 as Newton Heath LYR. It later changed to Newton Heath FC before becoming Manchester United in 1902.

Their neighbours were formed in 1880 as West Gorton (St.Marks) before rebranding to Ardwick FC. It later settled on Manchester City. The club also has several nicknames, including the Sky Blues, Cityzens, and the Citizens.

Man United vs Man City rivalry

Man United vs Man City rivalry
Players create a wall during a Manchester derby at Old Trafford on 6 December 1992. Photo: David Ashdown
Source: Getty Images

Man City vs Man United's history dates back 140 years when they first met in a friendly match on 12 November 1881. Back then, they played as West Gorton vs Newton Heath, respectively.

West Gorton lost 3-0 to their visitors, but that was just the beginning of a colossal rivalry spanning 100 years. Who has more wins, Man United or Man City?

Man United vs Man City head to head

Man United vs Man City stats
Red Devils midfielder Fred challenges Kevin De Bruyne of the Sky Blues during a Premier League match at Etihad Stadium on 6 March 2022. Photo: Matthew Ashton
Source: Getty Images

The clubs have met 187 times as of March 2022. The Red Devils have won 77 games while City has managed 57 victories in the derby. The other 53 have ended as draws. Here is a summary of Man United vs Man City stats.

  • Meetings: 187 (as of March 2022)
  • Most wins: The Red Devils
  • Largest victory: United 1–6 City (1926 & 2011)
  • Goals scored: United (266), City (259)
  • Total goals: 525 goals
  • Most appearance: Ryan Giggs (The Red Devils) 36 games
  • Top scorer: Wayne Rooney (The Red Devils) with 11 goals

Man United vs Man City results

Man United vs Man City's last 10 results
The Sky Blues have won the most games than their neighbours in the past 10 games. Photo: Alex Grimm, (modified by author)
Source: UGC

According to Man United vs Man City's last 10 results, the Sky Blues have won five matches and lost four. Is this a sign of a change of guard?

The signing of Pep Guardiola as manager has helped the Sky Blues overcome their neighbours in the past few years. However, since Alex Ferguson left United, the club has struggled to replicate his performance.

Pep's beautiful and possession-based football continues to attract attention, with many considering them the best in the world.

Man United vs Man City record scorers

England International Wayne Rooney, Joe Hayes, Francis Lee and Sergio Aguero are the leading scorers in the derby.

Bobby Charlton (9 goals)

The legendary striker played 745 games for the Red Devils, scoring 247 goals. He established himself among the best players in football history.

Sergio Aguero (9 goals)

The Argentine is regarded as one of the best strikers to play football. He was a prolific figure in Manchester Derbies and a nightmare for the Red Devils.

Aguero joined the Citizens in 2011 and left in 2021, having scored 260 goals in 400 appearances. He is the all-time top scorer of the club.

Francis Lee (10 goals)

City vs United squads
Man City's Francis Lee controls the ball during a football match. Photo: Peter Robinso
Source: Getty Images

Lee played for City between 1967-1974 as a forward. He featured in 248 League games and scored 112 goals.

Joe Hayes (10 goals)

Man United vs Man City legends
Former England and City forward Joe Hayes pose for a photo at Arsenal's Highbury Stadium in London circa 1959. Photo: Rolls Press
Source: Getty Images

Joe Hayes was a key player for the Sky Blues during the 1950s and 60s. He scored 152 goals for the club in 364 appearances, including 10 in the derby.

Wayne Rooney (11 goals)

Rooney is the leading scorer and among the top Man United vs Man City legends. He scored one of the best goals in the derby in February 2011, earning the Red Devils a 2-1 triumph over their rivals.

Rooney scored 253 goals for the club in 559 matches between 2004-2017.

Here are the top five footballers who played for the Sky Blues and the Red Devils.

Carlos Tevez

The Argentine played for Sir Alex Ferguson's side between 2007-2009. He lifted the Premier League and UEFA Champions League with the club. Tevez later joined the Sky Blues and won an FA Cup and a Premier League title in four seasons.

Peter Schmeichel

Peter Schmeichel was a core member of the Red Devils squad that dominated football in the 1990s. However, his shocking move to the Citizens in 2002 left several United supporters heartbroken.

Andy Cole

Andy Cole joined the Red Devils in January 1995. He spent seven years with the club scoring 121 goals. He moved to City in 2005, where he only spent one year.

Owen Hargreaves

The English international signed for the Red Devils in 2007. Owen made 34 appearances in all competitions for the team and lifted the Premier League and the Champions League titles. He later joined the Citizens in 2011 but struggled to play due to injuries.

Denis Law

Denis Law began his career with the Cityzens but made his name at United. He formed a formidable attacking trio alongside George Best and Bobby Charlton. He is United's third-highest scorer with 237 goals. He returned City in 1973.

Man United vs Man City trophies

Manchester united vs Manchester city Premier League trophies
Former Sky Blues skipper Vincent Company (left) and ex-United captain Rio Ferdinand hold trophies won by their clubs. Photo: Action Foto Sport, Matthew Peters (modified by author)
Source: Getty Images

How does Manchester United vs Manchester City Premier League trophies compare? The Red Devils have won a record 13 league titles since its inception in the 1992-93 season. However, the Sky Blues only have 5 in their cabinet. The Red Devils have won 42 pieces of silverware compared to City's 22 since the 20th century.

Man United vs Man City spending

The Red Devils recorded a net expenditure of $1.2 billion on transfers in the past 10 years, more than any other club in Europe's top five leagues.

The Cityzens are second with a net expenditure of 1.08 billion on transfers.

City vs United squads

Both clubs have assembled a pool of talented players to aim for more glory this season. But who has the best squad?

City squad 2021/22

City vs United squads
City players during a training session at their Football Academy on 8 March 2022. Photo: Martin Rickett
Source: Getty Images
  • Goalkeepers: Ederson, Zack Steffen, Scott Carson
  • Defenders: Kyle Walker, Ruben Dias, John Stones, Nathan Ake, Aleks Zinchenko, Aymeric Laporte, Joao Cancelo
  • Midfielders: Ilkay Gundogan, Jack Grealish, Rodri, Kevin De Bruyne, Bernardo Silva,
  • Forwards: Gabriel Jesus, Raheem Sterling, Riyad Mahrez

United squad 2021/22

City vs United squads
United players train at Carrington Training Ground on 11 March 2022 in Manchester, England. Photo: Ash Donelon
Source: Getty Images
  • Goalkeepers: David de Gea, Lee Grant, Dean Henderson, Tom Heaton
  • Defenders: Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Harry Maguire, Diogo Dalot, Luke Shaw, Alex Telles, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Raphael Varane, Teden Mengi
  • Midfielders: Paul Pogba, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Fred, Bruno Fernandes, Amad, Nemanja Matic, Donny van de Beek, Scott McTominay, Hannibal
  • Forwards: Cristiano Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Elanga, Shola Shoretire

The Man United vs Man City rivalry has come a long way, with United boasting a better record against their neighbours. However, with City's recent resurgence, the Red Devils have suffered to reclaim their dominance and success.

READ ALSO: Ranking the Top 10 biggest and best England Football derbies also compiled a comprehensive list of the top 10 biggest and best England football derbies that many fans look forward to every year. The majority of these derbies feature some of the top clubs in England.

Learn more about these rivalries, from the Manchester derby to the North London derby and the Merseyside derby, here!

Helix Odhiambo photo
Helix Odhiambo
Helix Odhiambo is an award-winning Kenyan journalist and content creator with over 6 years of experience. In 2016, he won the Goal Blaze Correspondent Award for young writers.