Manchester City V Manchester United Premier League Title Showdown Build-Up: Blues 5-1 Reds, 1989/90 (VIDEO)

Posted: Updated:
Print Article
HINCHCLIFFE
Give me five: Andy Hinchcliffe spells it out for the Kippax | PA

Manchester United's 6-1 loss to Manchester City in the Premier League back in October saw scars resurface for Sir Alex Ferguson and the supporters from 22 years earlier.

Even before that, in 1974 King of the Stretford End Denis Law's back-heel confirmed the Reds' first relegation since 1931. But in 1989, a second Live Aid concert could have been held for Ferguson and his flagging management.

What is arguably the making of the Scot at Old Trafford could also have been the breaking point for him too. "The 5-1", as it is instantly known by anyone with an "M" postcode, is regarded as one of the brightest days for City fans and one of the darkest for their United counterparts.

Purportedly bolstered by the quartet of Gary Pallister, Paul Ince, Neil Webb and Mike Phelan arriving in the summer, it made the Maine Road embarrassment all the more galling for a team expected to mount a title challenge.

David Oldfield, Trevor Morley and Ian Bishop struck to give City a 3-0 lead in the September sunshine, before Mark Hughes scored a typically spectacular volley to reduce the arrears.

But then Oldfield grabbed his second with a tap-in to dash any faint hopes of a United comeback, before Andy Hinchcliffe arrived at the far post.

Meeting David White's cross, he buried a header past the helpless Jim Leighton to take the tally to five in front of the dejected United fans. More memorable than his goal perhaps; he then gleefully brandished five fingers twice at an elated Kippax Stand.

In the week after the defeat, Ferguson said: “Believe me, what I have felt in the last week you wouldn’t think should happen in football.”

“Every time somebody looks at me I feel I have betrayed that man. After such a result you feel as if you have to sneak around corners, feel as if you are some kind of criminal,” said Ferguson.

Archie Knox, Ferguson's assistant at the beginning of his English management career and who would go on to enjoy success with Walter Smith at Rangers, recalled the trauma it caused in an interview with The Scotsman.

“I think Alex said he felt like going home and putting his head in the oven. That’s it. It was a disaster. After games, we were parking our car under the stand and leaving through the laundry and that kind of stuff. There was a bit of that going on. It affected him.

"He says he became a bit of a hermit and, aye, he went into his shell round about that time. We weren’t maybe as close socially as we had been. I was trying to get him out for a drink but he didn’t want to."

But Knox also said Ferguson "was not going to throw the towel in” despite the defeat.

Ferguson has won just as many trophies in that turbulent 89/90 season as City have in 36 years, but defeats to the Citizens have invariably been spectacular.

The 5-1 was his first of eight losses to the Eastlands side. United have also been trounced 3-1 (twice), 4-1 and, most recently, 6-1 by the Laser Blues, with a few one-goal margin victories making up eight wonder results for City.

Around the Web

Soccer: Manchester United & Man City Set to Battle, CONCACAF & More

Carlos Tevez crucial again for Manchester City as Roberto Mancini enjoys more ...

Man City's Mario Balotelli handed Italy boost for Euro 2012

Ruthless Manchester City condemn Wolves to relegation

Manchester City quartet join Wayne Rooney in Team of the Year