Whether it’s CU versus CSU, the Philadelphia Eagles versus the Dallas Cowboys, or Real Madrid versus Barcelona, the rivalries within the realm of sports help to ignite fire in a fan’s heart, and only deepen their love for their team and the game, even if they end up losing. However, the Manchester Derby; a battle between the amazing Manchester City, and Manchester United (I’m sure you can’t guess which team I like), is a rivalry that has lasted essentially since both clubs came into existence. I was lucky enough this year to get to go to, and experience the grit and glory as these two soccer titans clashed in Manchester, United Kingdom—and it’s now my civic duty not only to recap the match, but also to help everyone gather an understanding for the atmosphere that was created in this game for the ages.
Jump scene to Manchester, UK. It’s derby day, and the city has become split between two colors, red (Manchester United), and sky blue (Manchester City). Singing and chanting can be heard from around street corners, as each side begins to support their team, hours before kickoff. An hour or so before the game begins, the teams begin to file into the stadium—soon enough the teams storm the field, followed by the thunder of the fans, as they get excited for “go-time”. Game start—the crowd goes wild—and everyone is chanting, cheering their side on in hopes for a win. City started the game off strong, with many scoring chances in the first 20 minutes, alas without putting one in. United didn’t look quite as formidable, Man City definitely looked to be the favorite in this match-up.
Then, out of nowhere, a defensive error allowed United a chance on net, which they did not waste. Man City 0 – 1 Man United. However, spirits were still high that City would score… that is until 75 minutes into the 90-minute match rolled along. It was then that us blues began to realize the fate set before us today. I wish I could give a full in-detail account of the rest of the game—sadly, I’m still rather grouchy about the affair and writing about it more would just put more salt in the wounds. I’ll just leave it at this statement; I left the stadium begrudgingly, with harsh words and a negative disposition.
Despite my side’s humiliating defeat, it was still a great privilege to be able to see these two soccer giants battle it out. In a way—the match reminded me a lot of the Rocky Mountain Showdown, which I wrote about earlier in the year. Both the Rocky Mountain Showdown, and the Manchester Derby, exhibited not only friendly rivalries between the fans, but incredible sportsmanship between the players. No, there wasn’t the CSU cannon, and Ralphie didn’t storm the field, but the Derby had this air to it, you could feel the passion of everyone in the stadium—spurring from generations of die-hard fans, all supporting their team, win or lose. That’s what I think the moral of this is, that when it comes to sports, it doesn’t matter which game you like to watch, all fans can connect on their passion for “their team”.