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Inside story of Man Utd 1-6 Man City – “It changed the perspective for both of us”

Saturday marks the ten year anniversary of Man City thrashing Man Utd 6-1 at Old Trafford – a result that turned City from “noisy neighbours” to Premier League champions

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Pep Guardiola after Manchester City defeat Club Brugge in Champions League

Manchester United were forced to take “noisy neighbours” Manchester City seriously after their humiliating 6-1 mauling at Old Trafford.

Saturday marks 10 years since City inflicted United’s worst derby defeat, which saw the Blues go on to claim the club’s first Premier League title.

Sir Alex Ferguson taunted City with his infamous “noisy neighbours” jibe after United won an epic derby clash 4-3 at Old Trafford in September 2009.

But Fergie was forced to eat his words when City mauled United 6-1 in their own backyard two years later, a win which heralded a shift in the balance of power in Manchester.

The scoreline which saw the changing of the guard of Manchester’s top dogs

Joleon Lescott was part of the side that stunned United with that historic win, but reckons the seeds were sown in City’s FA Cup semi-final win over their local rivals the season before.

City beat United 1-0 at Wembley in 2011, before going on to beat Stoke by the same scoreline in the final to lift the FA Cup, the club’s first trophy for 34 years.

The following season City claimed their first league title triumph since 1968, beating United on goal difference through Sergio Aguero’s dramatic late winner against QPR with virtually the last kick of the season.

But Lescott is convinced the 6-1 win was only possible after City beat United in that FA Cup semi-final at Wembley, to shake off their inferiority complex.

“It changed the perspective for both of us,” said Lescott.

“We realised that if we can beat United in a semi-final – at that time they didn’t lose many semi-finals, especially under Sir Alex Ferguson – then we are genuine contenders.

“Also it made them realise that we weren’t just hopefuls or the ‘noisy neighbours’, which was the tag.

“They respected us more and realised we were genuine contenders after the FA Cup win.”

How much do you remember this match? Let us know your memories of the day in the comment section

Jonny Evans’s red card proved a huge turning point in the match

City’s players were branded ‘mercenaries’ for joining City on huge contracts, bankrolled by new owner Sheikh Mansour’s billions, Lescott admitting the jibes served to motivate them even more.

“One hundred percent it did [motivate the players], at times, but it wasn’t the core of our motivation,” said Lescott. “That was just to be successful.

“We had extra motivation as a group of players, because no-one was taking us seriously outside the club.

“We were only together because City were throwing money at all of us – that was the perception – but it wasn’t the reality of our motivation. We believed we could challenge and be successful.”

Mario Balotelli famously unveiled his “why always me” shirt after scoring


2011 Manchester United FC)

On the game itself, Lescott recalls feeling City would score every time they had the ball, such was their confidence against United, who had Jonny Evans sent off two minutes into the second-half.

“As soon as they went down to 10 men, we knew we were going to win,” said Lescott.

“It was one of those games where you go forward and think you’re going to score.

“I just remember seeing a blue shirt and thinking ‘I just need to keep this in – keep it in play and someone’s got a goal here’.

“I didn’t notice it was empty at the end, because we could only hear our fans anyway. It wasn’t like it was getting any quieter for us.

“It’s hard to describe because you don’t know it’s going to happen. You don’t know you’re going to dominate a team like that.

“I’m not going to lie and say we thought we would go there and win 6-1, but we definitely believed we could go there and win.

“We wanted to win that game to prove to everyone that we were serious about the league.”

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