Manchester United vs. Manchester City: 5 Reasons Derby Victory Is Vital
Some games are what we call season-defining.
They have the ability and potential to shape a season and either the success or failure that comes with it.
It's without doubt the biggest game of the entire campaign for both squads.
And for United, victory in the Manchester derby is crucial—here are five reasons why.
1. Title Ramifications
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The most obvious reason why this match is so huge for the Premier League season is that the title hopes of both clubs hinge on a result here.
United currently lead City by just three points with this match and two more matches remaining.
A win for City would give them the title lead and with superior goal advantage, they would know that on top of the table with two weeks to go places them in an excellent position for the premiership.
However, a win for the Red Devils would put them six points clear with two matches remaining—all but assuring them of another league title.
Leaving it to the final round to secure victory is always tough—as we shall discuss later—so taking the three points over Manchester City is crucial for the title ramifications that it has.
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Few United fans will ever forget the day that they saw Manchester City beat United 6-1 at Old Trafford.
Few United players will ever forget it either.
They achieved a mini-victory over the Citizens by defeating them in the FA Cup, but that has nothing compared to taking them down at home in the Premier League.
By taking victory in the derby, United would achieve the perfect revenge over their crosstown rivals.
They would defeat them at home, squash their title aspirations and nearly chalk up their 20th league premiership in the process.
It wouldn't get much sweeter than that.
3. Already Done the Hard Work
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After their 3-2 loss at home to Blackburn and their 3-0 loss away to Newcastle at the start of the New Year, Manchester United looked like they'd thrown away their title chances. They'd given City a three-point lead, who at that stage seemed unstoppable no matter where they played.
Yet United started to string the wins together and started to win the close matches.
22nd Jan: They landed a crucial 2-1 victory away from home over Arsenal, with Danny Welbeck scoring in the final 10 minutes to give them the win.
5th Feb: The Red Devils somehow managed to win a point at Stamford Bridge—coming from 3-0 down with 40 minutes to play to secure a 3-3 draw.
26th Feb: Ryan Giggs scored in the final minute of play on the road to Norwich City, to give them a 2-1 victory and all three premiership points.
2nd Apr: They scored twice in the final 10 minutes to win 2-0 over Blackburn.
All games that they could have lost, but they did the hard work and fought valiantly to give themselves a lead in the English Premier League.
To throw that away now with a loss to Wigan, a draw to Everton and a loss to Manchester City would undo all the hard work throughout the season.
By winning the derby over Manchester City, they'll show their work wasn't in vain, and that they won another Premier League title because of it.
4. Remaining Fixtures
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As mentioned before, victory in the derby would place United six points clear of City with two rounds to go—a seemingly impossible position from which to lose the title.
Yet with the remaining schedule that they have, even a draw could place United in a tough position in their title hunt—making all three points at the Etihad crucial for the Red Devils.
Manchester United: United are at home to Swansea in Week 37—a side that's taken points off Manchester City, Arsenal, Newcastle, Tottenham and Chelsea this season.
They finish their season with an away game to Sunderland, who at home have only been defeated four times all season. United also only managed 1-0 wins over both these sides earlier in the season.
Manchester City: City has an incredibly tough fixture to an in-form Newcastle side at home, which could turn out to be as tough, if not tougher, than their match against the Red Devils.
City's away form has been well-documented this season, and taking on the Magpies at home will certainly test that. They then finish their season with a home match to Queens Park Rangers, who will most likely be safe from relegation, but not by much.
By winning the local derby, United will all but secure themselves the league title. A draw would place so much pressure on their matches against Swansea and Sunderland; a loss would make it almost impossible to win back the trophy.
Securing the three points over City is crucial for their title chances considering their remaining fixtures.
5. Prove They'e Still the Best in England
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For years now, teams have challenged United to be the best team in England and time and time again, the Red Devils have proven that they are the most consistent club that can compete at the highest level.
Arsenal have challenged, Chelsea have challenged, City have challenged.
But year-in and year-out, Manchester United has been there in the top two—proving that they are the best in England.
By winning the local derby and thus winning their 20th league title, Manchester United would once again prove that they are the side to catch.
They are the ones holding the trophy; they are the ones to beat next year.
They are the best team in England and once again, they are one of the best clubs in the world.
Glory, glory, Man United! Manchester City, here we come!
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