Man City v Man United: Omens suggest unhappy derby farewell for Pellegrini
Having been dumped out of the Europa League by bitter rivals Liverpool the last thing Manchester United need is a trip to the Etihad to face their noisy neighbours.
The Red Devils go into Sunday’s teatime kick-off as the 7/2 underdogs, with the Citizens priced up at 4/5 and the draw available at 5/2
The game will be the last experience of the Manchester Derby for Manuel Pellegrini, with the Chilean making way for Pep Guardiola at the end of the season.
The title race may have slipped from City’s grasp in recent weeks but the Sky Blues boss would love little more than to get one over the red half of Manchester before he bids farewell to Eastlands.
However, if the final derbies of his predecessors in the Premier League era are anything to go by it could be an unhappy last derby day for the 62-year-old.
In the nine times a City manager has faced United for the last time since the dawn of the Premier League the Sky Blues have won just twice.
Here’s the lowdown on how those matched have panned out…
Peter Reid was the man in charge when the First Division became the Premier League and he last took charge of a Manchester Derby on March 20 1993,
Niall Quinn gave the hosts a 1-0 lead after 57 minutes but United drew level through Eric Cantona and earned a share of the spoils at Maine Road.
Reid was eventually replaced by Brian Horton and his last derby came on February 11 and was one to forget for City fans.
Paul Ince put United 1-0 up after 58 minutes and quickfire strikes from Andrei Kanchelskis and Andy Cole in the 74th and 77th minute respectively put the game to bed.
Next up was Alan Ball and he last overlooked a City-United clash on April 6 1996. While his Sky Blues would score two goals that day – through Mikhail Kavelashvili and Uwe Rosler – United would still run out winners. Cantona had opened the scoring after just seven minutes only for Kavelashvili to draw level. Cole then fired United ahead just before half-time, only for the Citizens to peg United back again through Rosler in the 71st minute. Step forward 22-year-old Ryan Giggs who earned United all three points once again with his 77th-minute effort.
City’s wilderness years meant no derby day under Asa Hartford, Steve Coppell, Phil Neal and Frank Clark but one of the most hotly anticipated games in the country returned under Joe Royle’s City reign.
Royle fared slightly better than Messrs Ball and Horton but could still only manage a draw in his last derby on April 21 2001. Teddy Sheringham converted a 71st-minute spot-kick to give United the lead at Old Trafford but a tasty final few minutes saw Steve Howey level with six minutes to spare and Roy Keane given his marching orders just two minutes later for that infamous lunge on Alf-Inge Haaland.
Next to try his luck was Kevin Keegan and his final Manchester derby came on February 13 2005 and was a routine win for United thanks to a 68th-minute strike from Wayne Rooney and a 75th-minute own goal from who else but Richard Dunne.
Stuart Pearce couldn’t fare any better with a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty the difference between the two sides on May 5 2007 but Sven-Goran Eriksson bucked the trend ion February 10 a year later when Darius Vassell and Benjani Mwaruwari strikes trumped Michael Carrick’s 90th-minute consolation strike at Old Trafford.
The pendulum swung back in United’s favour for Mark Hughes’ last derby, however, in a famous 4-3 win for United.
Wayne Rooney gave United the lead only to see Gareth Barry restore parity. Darren Fletcher twice gave the Red Devils the lead again only to see a Craig Bellamy double apparently seal a share of the spoils.
That was until Michael Owen struck deep in injury time to hand United a win that would go down in derby folklore.
The only other City manager to win their final derby was Roberto Mancini who oversaw a 2-1 in for the Sky Blues on April 8 2013.
James Milner put the visitors ahead at Old Trafford after 51 minutes but Vincent Kompany put through his own net eight minutes later. Sergio Aguero was the hero for City that day as his fine 78th-minute strike was enough to seal all three points.
Pellegrini becomes the latest City manager to take charge of his final derby this weekend but does he have the passion and determination required to see off the challenge of United?
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.