During Man United's demise, Man City have been on the rise

Matt Jones 3/09/2018
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Champions: City celebrate winning the title last term.

Manchester City haven’t always been Manchester United’s biggest rivals. Even now, in the face of a complete switch in dynamic, Liverpool are and will always remain the majority of Red Devils fans’ most hated rivals.

But there is no doubt who the bigger threat currently are, their noisy neighbours.

Ten years ago, when the Abu Dhabi United Group turned their attention to England in the search for a sleeping giant to invest in, nobody could quite foresee what a sheer force they would transform City into.

From a slumbering beast, City have morphed into a seemingly unstoppable juggernaut in the last decade.

Consequently, while they have been on the rise, there has been a steady demise across town in the red half of Manchester – one that has continued to see the club plummet since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson five seasons ago.

As it stands, United remain the most successful club in English football history, but while it will take many more titles for City to eclipse them, the Red Devils are certainly in the shade of Pep Gaurdiola and Co right now.

Here, we take a look back at the rise of City and fall of United in the 10 years since the money from Abu Dhabi awoke a sleeping giant.

2008/09 

MAN CITY

Manager: Mark Hughes

Significant Ins: Robinho (Real Madrid €43m), Jo (CSKA Moscow €24m), Nigel de Jong (Hamburg €18m), Craig Bellamy (West Ham €15.5m), Wayne Bridge (Chelsea €13m), Shaun Wright-Phillips (Chelsea €11.25m), Shay Given (Newcastle €9m), Pablo Zabaleta (Espanyol €8.70m), Vincent Kompany (Hamburg €8.5m)

Significant Outs: Vedran Corluka (Spurs €13.75m), Andreas Isaksson (PSV €2.8m), Georgios Samaras (Celtic €2.5m)

Final position: 10th

MAN UNITED

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Significant Ins: Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham €38m), Zoran Tosic (Partizan Belgrade €7m)

Significant Outs: Gerard Pique (Barcelona €5m), Chris Eagles (Burnley €1.5m), Mikael Silvestre (Arsenal €950K)

Final position: Champions

Head to head: Premier League: City 0 United 1, United 2 City 0

Manchester United players celebrate after winning the English Premier League after clinching the title with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal in the English Premier League football match at Old Trafford, Manchester, north-west England, on May 16, 2009.The club's third title in a row equals Liverpool's record of 18 League championships. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo. (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The Red Devils were triumphant again in 2009.

2009/10 

CITY

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Significant Ins: Emmanuel Adebayor (Arsenal €29m), Carlos Tevez (West Ham €29m), Joleon Lescott (Everton€27.5m), Roque Santa Cruz (Blackburn €21.2m), Kolo Toure (Arsenal€18.7m), Gareth Barry (Aston Villa €13.9m), Adam Johnson (Middlesbrough €8m)

Significant Outs: Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea €7.25m) Elano (Galatasaray €7m), Richard Dunne (Aston Villa €6.8m), Kasper Schmeichel (Notts County€1.75m)

Final position: 5th

UNITED

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Significant Ins: Antonio Valencia (Wigan Athletic €18.9m), Mame Diouf (Molde €4.5m), Gabriel Obertan (Bordeaux €4m)

Significant Outs: Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid €94m)

Final position: 2nd

Head to head: Premier League: United 4 City 3, City 0 United 1; League Cup semi-finals: City 2 United 1, United 3 City 1 (United won 4-3 on agg)

Manchester United's English forward Michael Owen (L) scores the fourth goal during the English Premier League football match against Manchester City at Old Trafford, Manchester, north-west England on September 20, 2009. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES. FOR EDITORIAL USE Additional licence required for any commercial/promotional use or use on TV or internet (except identical online version of newspaper) of Premier League/Football League photos. Tel DataCo +44 207 2981656. Do not alter/modify photo (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

Remember that one? Michael Owen nets a dramatic winner for United (4-3).

2010/11

CITY

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Significant Ins: Edin Dzeko (Wolfsburg €37m), Yaya Toure Barcelona €30m), Mario Balotelli (Inter Milan €29.5m), David Silva (Valencia 28.75m),

Aleksandar Kolarov (Lazio €23.86m), James Milner (Aston Villa €22m), Jerome Boateng (Hamburg €12.50m)

Significant Outs: Robinho (AC Milan €18m), Stephen Ireland (Aston Villa €9.7m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Real Madrid loan fee €4m)

Final position: 3rd

UNITED

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Significant Ins: Bebe (Vitoria Guimaraes €8.8m), Chris Smalling (Fulham €8m), Javier Hernandez (Guadalajara €7.5m), Anders Lindegaard (Aalesunds €5m)

Significant Outs: Zoran Tosic (CSKA Moscow €9.5m), Ben Foster (Birmingham €7m), Federico Macheda (Sampdoria loan fee €465K)

Final position: Champions

Head to head: Premier League: City 0 United 0, United 3 City 1; FA Cup semi-finals: City 1 United 0

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 30: Rio Ferdinand (R) and Nemanja Vidic of Manchester United lift the trophy during the Manchester United Premier League Winners Parade at Old Trafford on May 30, 2011 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Another title success: Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic during the 2011 victory parade.

2011/12

CITY

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Significant Ins: Sergio Aguero (Atletico Madrid €40m), Samir Nasri (Arsenal €27.5m), Stefan Savic (Partizan Belgrade €12m), Gael Clichy Arsenal €7.75m)

Significant Outs: Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich €13.5m), Nedum Onuoha (QPR €4.7m), Shaun Wright-Phillips QPR €4.5m), Shay Given (Aston Villa €3.75m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Spurs loan fee €2.25m)

Final position: Champions

UNITED

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Significant Ins: David de Gea (Atletico Madrid €25m), Phil Jones (Blackburn €19.3m), Ashley Young (Aston Villa €18m)

Significant Outs: John O’Shea (Sunderland €4.5m), Gabriel Obertan (Newcastle United €3.4m), Mame Diouf (Hannover €1.8m), Wes Brown (Sunderland €1.5m)

Final position: 2nd

Head to head: Premier League: United 1 City 6, City 1 United 0; FA Cup third round: City 2 United 3

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 13: Scorer of the matchwinning goal Sergio Aguero of Manchester City celebrates with the trophy during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Queens Park Rangers at the Etihad Stadium on May 13, 2012 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Sweet success: A first Premier League victory for the Sky Blues.

2012/13

CITY

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Significant Ins: Javi Garcia (Benfica €20.2m), Matija Nastasic (Fiorentina €15.2m), Jack Rodwell (Everton €15m), Scott Sinclair (€7.8m), Maicon (Inter Milan €3.75m)

Significant Outs: Mario Balotelli (AC Milan €20m), Adam Johnson (Sunderland €12.6m), Emmanuel Adebayor (Spurs €6.40m), Nigel de Jong (AC Milan €3.5m)

Final position: 2nd

UNITED

Manager: Sir Alex Ferguson

Significant Ins: Robin van Persie (Arsenal €30.7m), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund €16m), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace €11.75m), Nick Powell (Crewe €7.5m)

Significant Outs: Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham €5m), Ji-sung Park (QPR €3.1m)

Final position: Champions

Head to head: Premier League: United City 2 United 3, United 1 City 2

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson lifts the Premier League trophy following the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Sir Alex Ferguson departed on a high, winning the 2013 crown in his final season.

2013/14

CITY

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Significant Ins: Fernandinho (Shakhtar Donetsk €40m), Stevan Jovetic (Fiorentina €26m), Alvaro Negredo (Sevilla €25m), Jesus Navas (Sevilla €20m), Martin Demichelis (Atletico Madrid €5m)

Significant Outs: Carlos Tevez (Juventus €9m), Scott Sinclair (West Brom loan fee €2.3m)

Final position: Champions

UNITED

Manager: David Moyes

Significant Ins: Juan Mata (Chelsea €44.73m), Marouane Fellaini (Everton €32.4m)

Significant Outs: Wilfried Zaha (Cardiff loan fee €1.8m), Anderson (Fiorentina loan)

Final position: 7th

Head to head: Premier League: City 4 United 1, United 0 City 3

Manchester City's footballers (Below C) celebrate outside Manchester Town Hall as they prepare to take part in a victory parade on an open-topped bus through the streets of Manchester, northwest England, on May 12, 2014, after becoming the English Premier League champions. Manchester City beat West Ham 2-0 on Sunday to finish two points clear of second-placed Liverpool. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

City stars are greeted by fans outside Manchester Town Hall.

2014/15

CITY

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Significant Ins: Wilfried Bony (Swansea €32.3m), Eliaquim Mangala (Porto €30.5m), Fernando (Porto €15m), Willy Caballero (Malaga €8m)

Significant Outs: Javi Garcia (Zenit €16.80m), Jack Rodwell (Sunderland €12.6m), Micah Richards (Fiorentina loan fee €1m)

Final position: 2nd

UNITED

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Significant Ins: Angel Di Maria (Real Madrid €75m), Luke Shaw (Southampton €37.5m), Ander Herrera (Athletic Bilbao €36m), Marcos Rojo (Sporting €20m), Daley Blind (Ajax €17.5m) Falcao (Monaco loan fee €7.6m)

Significant Outs: Danny Welbeck (Arsenal €20m), Shinji Kagawa (Borussia Dortmund €8m), Alexander Buttner (Dinamo Moscow €5.5m), Wilfried Zaha (Crystal Palace €3.83m), Bebe (Benfica €3m)

Final position: 4th

Head to head: Premier League: City 1 United 0, United 4 City 2

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 12: Juan Mata of Manchester United celebrates with Ashley Young as scores their third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on April 12, 2015 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

United won the Derby at Old Trafford.

2015/16

CITY

Manager: Manuel Pellegrini

Significant Ins: Kevin De Bruyne (Wolfsburg €76m), Raheem Sterling (Liverpool €63.7m), Nicolas Otamendi (Valencia €44.6m), Fabian Delph (Aston Villa €11.5m)

Significant Outs: Outs: Alvaro Negredo (Valencia €28m), Rony Lopes (Monaco €12m), Matija Nastasic (Schalke €9.5m)

Final position: 4th

UNITED

Manager: Louis van Gaal

Significant Ins: Anthony Martial (Monaco €60m), Morgan Schneiderlin (Southampton €35m), Memphis Depay (PSV €34m), Matteo Darmian (Torino €18m), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich €9m)

Significant Outs: Angel Di Maria (PSG €63m), Javier Hernandez (Bayer Leverkusen €12m), Jonny Evans (West Bromwich Albion €8.3m), Robin van Persie (Fenerbahce €6.5m), Nani             (Fenerbahce €6m), Rafael (Lyon €3.2m)

Final position: 5th

Head to head: Premier League: United 0 City 0, City 0 United 1

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 20: Marcus Rashford of Manchester United celebrates as he scores their first goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on March 20, 2016 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Marcus Rashford netted the winner for United at the Etihad Stadium.

2016/17

CITY

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Significant Ins: John Stones (Everton €55.6m), Leroy Sane (Schalke €50.5m), Gabriel Jesus (Palmeiras €32m), Ilkay Gundogan (Borussia Dortmund €27m), Nolito (Celta Vigo €18m), Claudio Bravo (Barcelona €18m)

Significant Outs: Stevan Jovetic (Inter Milan €13.5m), Edin Dzeko (Roma €11m), Wilfried Bony (Stoke City loan fee €2.35m)

Final position: 3rd

UNITED

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Significant Ins: Paul Pogba (Juventus €105m), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund €42m), Eric Bailly (Villarreal €38m), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (PSG free transfer)

Significant Outs: Morgan Schneiderlin (Everton €22.9m), Memphis Depay (Lyon €16m)

Final position: 6th

Head to head: Premier League: United 1 City 2, City 0 United 0; League Cup fourth round United 1 City 0

FILE PHOTO - (EDITORS NOTE: COMPOSITE OF TWO IMAGES - Image numbers (L) 592215668 and 596883044) In this composite image a comparision has been made between Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho (L) and Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City. Josep Guardiola brings his Manchester City team to Old Trafford to face Jose Mourinho's Manchester United in their first Manchester derby in the Premier League on September 10, 2016. ***LEFT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 19: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United celebrates after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Southampton at Old Trafford on August 19, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images) ***RIGHT IMAGE*** MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28: Josep Guardiola, Manager of Manchester City encourages his players during the Premier League match between Manchester City and West Ham United at Etihad Stadium on August 28, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Getty Images)

Locking horns again: Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola.

2017/18

CITY

Manager: Pep Guardiola

Significant Ins: Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Bilbao €65m), Benjamin Mendy (Monaco €57.5m), Kyle Walker (Spurs €52.7m), Bernardo Silva (Monaco €50m), Ederson (Benfica €40m), Danilo (Real Madrid €30m)

Significant Outs: Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester €27.7m), Wilfried Bony (Swansea €13m), Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield €9.1m), Nolito (Sevilla €7m), Fernando (Galatasaray €6m), Aleksandar Kolarov (Roma €5m)

Final position: Champions

UNITED

Manager: Jose Mourinho

Significant Ins: Romelu Lukaku (Everton €84.7m), Nemanja Matic (Chelsea €44.7m), Victor Lindelof (Benfica €35m), Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal swap deal)

Significant Outs: Adnan Januzaj (Real Sociedad €8.5m), Andreas Pereira (Valencia loan fee €3m), Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Arsenal swap deal)

Final position: 2nd

Head to head: Premier League: United 1 City 2, City 2 United 3

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 07: Paul Pogba of Manchester United celebrates victory after the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on April 7, 2018 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

Paul Pogba inspired United to a thrilling win at the Etihad Stadium last season.

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Jose Mourinho defends Ed Woodward over 'a specialist in failure' banner

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A crucial win for Jose Mourinho and United.

Jose Mourinho stuck up for under-fire Ed Woodward after Manchester United made a timely return to winning ways at Burnley.

Tottenham inflicted the heaviest home defeat of the Portuguese’s managerial career at the start of the week, compounding the shock loss at Brighton.

Mourinho’s men rallied impressively at Turf Moor on Sunday, when Romelu Lukaku’s first half brace secured a win far more comfortable than the 2-0 scoreline suggests.

The United manager clambered over the advertising hoardings at full time and gave his jacket to one of the fans that had chanted his name throughout, sticking with their team as they did on Monday.

“I think we start winning this match because of Old Trafford after Spurs,” Mourinho said.

“We lose at home, if the fans react bad, the team loses confidence, the week is not a good week, the team feels pressure and the next match is even more difficult.

“We lost at home, the fans were amazing to the team, the team understood that the direction was good, the result was bad.

“The week was not a sad week. It was a very good week of work and we started the week as you saw.

“Then the fans, of course, were together with the team, especially in the way the team was playing and I feel a bit sorry that we didn’t score a couple of goals in front of them because that would be magic for them.”

Victory provided welcome relief as a difficult start to the campaign that had seen pressure mount on players and staff.

Executive vice-chairman Woodward has been the focus of many supporters’ ire and a fan-funded plane flew over Turf Moor describing him as ‘a specialist in failure’.

“You know, in the match I am not looking to the sky – unless I am asking something for the guy to give me help,” Mourinho said of the banner.

“I didn’t see planes but Ed Woodward won this afternoon. He won 2-0.”

It would have been 3-0 had Joe Hart not have saved Paul Pogba’s penalty shortly before Marcus Rashford was sent off for putting his head into Phil Bardsley’s after reacting to a kick.

“I don’t know, I didn’t watch,” Mourinho said.

“(Referee Jonathan) Moss had a good game, a good performance, really. I think the same as the two assistants and in that action the only thing I can say is that probably the experience of Bardsley, with 20 years of football, against the impulse and naivety of a guy that is on top football for about three years but is still a young kid.

“Harsh? I don’t know – could get a yellow card for both and keep going.”

Rashford apologised for his sending off via social media shortly after the game. “Emotions got the better of me, I shouldn’t of reacted like that,” the forward said. “Sorry to everyone at the club and all the fans.”

Burnley were unable to capitalise on that man advantage in the closing stages of a match that Sean Dyche’s men had looked leggy in after Thursday’s Europa League exit to Olympiakos.

“It’s still physically a task,” he said. “This two week period now gives us a chance to rest and work, but certainly refresh ourselves for the challenge which is the Premier League.”

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It's 'so painful' to lose this way, says Mauricio Pochettino after Watford stun Tottenham

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Mauricio Pochettino believes his Tottenham side should have beaten Watford if they are to be considered contenders for the Premier League title and says their 2-1 loss was a “wake-up call”.

Spurs made a real early-season statement with a 3-0 demolition of Manchester United on Monday night to make it three wins from three, but they could not follow it up as the Hornets deservedly beat them at Vicarage Road.

The visitors went in front early in the second half when Abdoulaye Doucoure scored an own goal, but headers from Troy Deeney and Craig Cathcart in the space of seven minutes turned it around for the hosts, who have won their first four league games of a season for the first time since 1988.

Pochettino had warned his side there was a bump in the road coming if they believed their own hype and his words came true as they defended poorly from set-pieces and barely caused any threat of their own.

“It is so painful to concede two goals like this, it is so painful because the first half looked like a friendly game,” Pochettino said.

“I am very disappointed, very disappointed because if you want to be a contender…it is so difficult to understand because I thought we controlled the game in the first 45 minutes.

“We conceded two goals that if you want to be a contender you cannot concede.

“It is the beginning and it is a very good wake-up call for everyone and to listen more because people talk about the perception and not the reality.

“This is good to compare, some people talk about perceptions but the reality was on the pitch.

“The reality is if you want to be a contender today we should win and win easy because everything was ready to win the game. That is very painful, but I am not upset.

“We need to show more respect to this competition, we need to compete much, much better.

“It is difficult for me to understand because for four years we were a contender.

“You need to show respect because to compete to win it is not easy, the Premier League is so, so tough.

“That is why after the third game because we beat Manchester United and the circumstances that we beat them, we need to be more cautious.

“And I think that is good today to feel the pain it will help us for the future to be better.

“I was very, very disappointed and my message is you need to go there like a lion and try to score in every single action.”

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