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Friday, 20 April, 2001, 13:19 GMT 14:19 UK
Manchester derby memories
David Beckham
Beckham settles the derby match last November
BBC Sport Online revives memories of the great Manchester derbies through the eyes of the main protagonists.

27 March 1968: United 1-3 City
City beat reigning league champions United to take a massive step toward securing the title themselves.

George Heslop, Colin Bell and Francis Lee scored for what was arguably the greatest-ever City side while George Best grabbed United's consolation.

Paddy Crerand, who played in midfield for United that day, said: "I remember there were only a few games to go.

"We were the champions and were going for the title and we thought we were going to win it again.

That was some City side and it was probably the best they have ever had
  Paddy Crerand
Former United midfielder
"But City came to Old Trafford and beat us 3-1 and instead they went on to win the championship by two points from us.

"George Best gave us the lead after about 30 seconds and we thought we were on our way.

"But City played absolutely magnificent that night. Colin Bell, Mike Summerbee and Francis Lee were absolutely brilliant on the night.

"I have to admit that they played us off the park, but then that was some side and it was probably the best they have ever had."

6 November 1971: City 3-3 United

The great rivals shared the points in a thrilling First Division match.

Francis Lee, Colin Bell and Mike Summerbee grabbed City's goals and Sammy McIlroy, Alan Gowling and Brian Kidd struck for United.

Sammy McIlroy
McIlroy had the most memorable of debuts
McIlroy made his United debut and remembers: "I went along thinking they wanted me to help with the kit or something only to be told at 11 o'clock that I was playing.

"Denis Law had failed a fitness test in the morning and so I was going to make my United debut in place of him against City at the age of 17.

"I remember running out in front of 63,000 people at Maine Road and it was unbelievable.

"On top of that I scored in what was just a fantastic occasion. There were so many great players on both sides and it was just fantastic."

27 April 1974: United 0-1 City
City striker Denis Law scored with an impudent backheel that helped condemn his former side to relegation.

United's boss that day was the flamboyant Tommy Docherty, who remembers: "People always say that Denis' goal put us down, but that's not correct. We were going down anyway.

"Really it could have happened before, because Sir Matt had held on to the old brigade for too long.

Denis Law
Law consigned his former side to relegation
"I remember after Denis scored the fans ran on the pitch and I think the game was stopped four or five minutes earlier than it should have been.

"But I don't think that made any difference to be honest.

"I was in the middle of rebuilding the team and we bounced straight back again the next season.

"I would have preferred to have done my rebuilding work in the Second Division anyway."

23 September 1989: City 5-1 United
City trounced a United side that was in transition.

David Oldfield grabbed two goals for the Blues and Trevor Morley, Ian Bishop and Andy Hinchcliffe weighed in with one apiece, with Mark Hughes getting a spectacular consolation for United.

Ferguson and Knox
Ferguson (l) and then-assistant Knox look on in despair
Reds boss Alex Ferguson, who walked off to chants of "Fergie out" from his side's fans, recalls: "By late September our form had been inconsistent and we chose the worst possible day to reach rock-bottom.

"We were slaughtered 5-1 at Maine Road in the most embarrassing defeat of my management career.

"After the game I went straight home, got into bed and put the pillow over my head."

18 November 2000: City 0-1 United.
Newly-promoted City were undone by a brilliant David Beckham free-kick in the first Manchester derby for four-and-a-half years.

Beckham struck the winner after just 95 seconds of a tempestuous match and he said: "It was a big test for all the players and they kept their composure.

"I was very happy and it was nice to get another goal, but we did want to play a lot better than we did.

"We knew it was going to be hard and we knew we would get a little bit of stick."

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