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Manchester United vs Manchester City: which team has won the derby most times in history?

Manchester United hold the historical edge over Manchester Cty in almost every aspect of the derby statistics going into Sunday's game at the Etihad.

Manchester United vs Manchester City: which team has won the derby most times in history?

The first Manchester derby took place on 12 November, 1881, when two early iterations of the teams that would become Manchester United - Newton Heath - and Manchester City - St. Mark’s (West Gorton) – met. Newton Heath won 3-0 to claim the first game between the sides, who will take to the pitch at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday in the 187th official Manchester derby.

It wasn’t until 1902 that Newton Heath became Manchester United in name, with St Mark’s becoming Manchester City in 1894 after a few years under the name Ardwick Association FC. The first “official” derby was staged that very season, 1894-95, after both clubs had joined the Football League in 1892, Newton Heath going into the First Division and Ardwick Association into the second tier. It would be several more years before the teams met in a top-flight derby, in 1906.

Manchester United rule the derby roost

Manchester United have won 77 derbies in all competitions, to City’s 56, with 53 fixtures ending in a draw.

Across all competitions, the teams have met most often in the old First Division, where they contested 104 derbies, United winning 35 and City 30. There have been 12 fixtures played in the Second Division, United claiming six triumphs to City’s two. In the Premier League era, United still hold the advantage with 24 victories to City’s 16.

Only in cup competition have City ever got the better of United, with five EFL Cup victories to United’s four. In the FA Cup, United have won six ties to City’s three, with no draws between the teams in the world’s oldest cup competition.

Manchester derby scoring records

Overall, there have been 518 goals scored in the Manchester derby, United again edging their city rivals with 265 of those to City’s 253. City do hold the bragging rights in terms of biggest historical wins though, beating United 6-1 on two occasions and at Old Trafford to boot (1926 and 2011). United did once beat City 7-1, but this was during a War League match during the Second World War, when the sides played each other 44 times in non-competitive fixtures during the conflict, none of which are considered official matches.

Individually, Wayne Rooney holds the record for the most goals in the Manchester derby, bagging 11 during his Old Trafford career. The former England captain is followed by City players Joe Hayes (10), Francis Lee (10) and Sergio Agüero (9), with United’s second-most prolific derby goalscorer Bobby Charlton also hitting the net nine times during his playing career.


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