It’s no longer just the people of Manchester who look forward to City v United, claims Vincent Kompany ahead of Sunday’s Etihad Stadium clash.
For several years United had the better over their closest rivals, as they won an abundance of silverware whilst City plummeted as low as the third-tier of English football. This was a pattern which tended to follow when the two sides met, with 13 years passing between the Blues 5-1 win at Maine Road before their next triumph in 2002.
However, since Sheikh Mansour’s takeover of the club in 2008, City have been on a meteoric rise. Not only did they end their 35-year wait for a trophy when they won the FA Cup in 2011, they eliminated their great rivals in the semi-final. And then a year later, they snatched the title from United with virtually the last kick of the campaign.
Matches between the two have also taken on a more unpredictable nature, never more so than in October 2011 when City recorded a sensational 6-1 win at Old Trafford. United, though, exacted revenge with a 3-2 win in the FA Cup of the same campaign, and also collected three points with a victory of the same score on the way to the title last term.
It’s no wonder, then, that the first clash of the season between the sides has taken on so much interest, and not just from Manchester. City skipper Kompany, whose headed goal defeated the Reds in what many consider to be the title decider of 2011/12, certainly believes a worldwide audience will be tuning in this Sunday afternoon.
“The derby is always a game you look forward to,” he said. “And I don’t think it’s just the people in Manchester, but all over the world who look forward to it. It’s a game that attracts a lot of attention. I never take it for granted and I feel blessed that I am able to participate in those games. You do your best to make sure you play well in these games.”
Both sides have new managers in the dugout this season; Manuel Pellegrini in the blue corner and David Moyes in the red, and both have collected seven points each from the opening four fixtures. This would perhaps point towards a draw when they meet at the weekend, but as we have seen in the recent past…who knows?