Beaten 3-1 and 4-1 at Manchester City in successive Premier League seasons in 2002/03 and 2003/04, a first league victory at Eastlands came in 2005 for Manchester United.
Now managed by Stuart Pearce after Kevin Keegan's four-year reign ended suddenly, City had a fruitful start under "Psycho", losing just one of his first nine matches in charge, but had regressed back into mid-table mediocrity in his first full season.
For United, 2005/06 was a fraught campaign. Roy Keane's outburst before his shock November departure and the beginning of the Glazer ownership made Old Trafford an unhappy place filled with factions. In the penultimate game of the season, Gary Neville would confront one angry supporter.
And despite City's regression, they still earned a point at the Theatre of Dreams in September. Four months later, they dished out United's third defeat in Manchester's blue half in four years.
Patrice Evra, making his United debut, was withdrawn at half-time after a wretched first 45 minutes in English football. City were 2-0 up in the first-half courtesy of goals from Trevor Sinclair (scoring in his second consecutive Eastlands derby) and Darius Vassell.
Struggling to match City's fight, Cristiano Ronaldo's wild lunge on Andrew Cole merited a red card in the second period. Sir Alex Ferguson and Wayne Rooney, it would be reported, both allegedly directed foul-mouthed tirades at referee Steve Bennett after the match.
Ruud van Nistelrooy brilliantly halved the deficit with his sixth and final Manchester derby goal with 14 minutes remaining, but as United piled men forward, City caught them out on the counter-attack.
Robbie Fowler, previously of Liverpool and Leeds United, finished expertly before flashing five fingers - to represent the five European Cups Liverpool have won - in front of United's fans.