Saturday, May 12, 2012

Manchester derby wins Best Match in Premier League 20 Seasons awards

The game saw off competition from other thrillers such as Liverpool v Newcastle and Liverpool v Arsenal in a tight-run vote to find the fans' favourite encounter



The Manchester derby at Old Trafford in September 2009 has been voted the best match in the Premier League's 20 Seasons awards.

Manchester United saw off Manchester City 4-3 in a memorable encounter, which was won by Michael Owen, who grabbed a late winner after Craig Bellamy thought his double had secured City a point.

Sir Alex Ferguson, obviously in joyful mood after triumphing, described the match at the time as "probably the best derby of all time", while the then City manager Mark Hughes reflected on his side's frustration at the result, saying: "We're disappointed, we put in a hell of a shift today."

The game was played at an electrifying pace and the action began in just the second minute, as Wayne Rooney put Manchester United into the lead before Gareth Barry levelled, following a Ben Foster error, just 14 minutes later.

Darren Fletcher re-established United's lead with a header just after the break, but they were pegged back once again as Craig Bellamy drew his side level with a thunderous 25-yard effort.

Fletcher looked to have finally broken City's resistance with another header from a Ryan Giggs centre, but Bellamy would strike once more after breaking free and slotting under Foster.

It appeared as if the drama had ended, but Owen had other ideas. Collecting a Giggs through-ball in the 96th minute, the former England hitman delivered a crushing blow to the Citizens as he poked the ball beyond the onrushing Shay Given to give United all three points.

The derby won 18 per cent of the vote but two other Premier League classics were not far behind in second and third, respectively.

The Liverpool v Newcastle match of 1996 came second, with 15% of the vote, whilst the Reds' 4-4 draw with Andrey Arshavin-inspired Arsenal was third with 14%.

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