It’s that time again as Manchester giants United and City go head to head on Wednesday night for a place in the League Cup quarter finals.
But what of the last time the two faced off in the competition? Let’s take you back.
While the rivalry between the two has always been pretty fierce, tensions have never been higher than around the beginning of this decade.
Champions of Europe a year previously, 2009 saw United wrap up a third consecutive league title while just missing out retaining their continental crown, losing out to Barcelona in the Champions League final in Rome.
City meanwhile, were the new kids on the block having been taken over by billionaire Sheikh Mansour (below) and his Abu Dhabi consortium in 2008.
While league finishes of 9th in 2008 and 10th in 2009 may not seem like much progression was being made at the Etihad, it was clear that manager Roberto Mancini was laying the groundwork for a forthcoming period of success for the club. The likes of Vincent Kompany, Gareth Barry and Emmanuel Adebayor were forming the spine of a team capable of challenging for honours and City fans were in good spirits.
Millions were spent and expectations were raised like never before on the blue side of Manchester.
On the red side, central to United’s success at the time was a powerful forward line containing the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney, Dimitar Berbatov and Carlos Tevez. It was the latter who grabbed most of the headlines during the summer of ’09.
Having helped United become league champions in both of his seasons at the club as well playing a major role in their conquering of Europe in ’08, Tevez was a hero to the Old Trafford faithful.
Fans had fallen in love with his combative style and his nose for a goal when the team most needed it.
Having failed to agree a new deal at the club, Tevez then became the focus of a wrangle between the Old Trafford boardroom and the Media Sports Investment company who held the rights to the player’s contract at the time.
Tevez was the subject of much transfer speculation that summer and when whispers began that he might cross the Manchester divide by signing for City, United fans laughed them away.
How could he sign for City, particularly at a time when they’ve just received huge financial backing and could actually become a threat? No chance.
Well that’s what happened.
After finally cutting ties with United, Tevez did what is considered a mortal sin in Manchester and signed for the other major Premier League club in the city.
This billboard which the club planted in the Deansgate area of the city in celebration of their coup only served to further anger United fans, as well as their manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
With the 2009/2010 season seeing United challenging for the title again and a much-improved City making a genuine stab at qualifying for the Champions League for the first time, appetites across Manchester were whetted when the two were drawn against each other in the semi-final of the League Cup.
Earlier on in the campaign United had beaten City 4-3 in what is often described as the greatest ever Premier League match and Carlos Tevez was given a less than friendly reception on his return to Old Trafford.
Barbs were exchanged with Ferguson famously referring to City as ‘noisy neighbours’ while Mancini was claiming that it was about time United realised his side were the real deal.
As always, the League Cup semi-finals were a two-legged affair with the first meeting taking place at the Etihad Stadium on the evening of Tuesday January 19th.
Ryan Giggs gave United the lead after 17 minutes before a Rafael Da Silva foul on Craig Bellamy resulted in referee Mike Dean awarding a penalty in favour of City.
Of course, with Tevez being the central character in the saga, it had to be him that took the kick and he duly obliged, leveling the scores at 1-1.
With the crowd in the Etihad whipped up into a frenzy, Tevez silenced his tormentors once more by giving City a 2-1 lead in the 65th minute and they held on to hold a 2-1 first leg advantage.
(pic credit: BBC Sport)
So it was over to Old Trafford to see if United could turn the tie around and stop City in their pursuit of a first major trophy in 34 years.
In keeping with Manchester Derbies of the time, the game was an absolute classic. We’ll let the below video tell the rest of the tale:
So there you have it. United went onto win the League Cup that year as well as the Premier League twice more, in 2011 and 2013.
City meanwhile, did finally get their hands on that elusive trophy by claiming the 2011 FA Cup.
Better things were to come as the floodgates opened and they were crowned champions of England in 2012 and again in 2014. League Cups victories in 2014 and 2016 have only added to the clubs trophy cabinet while United have only one trophy to their name (the 2016 FA Cup) since Ferguson departed the dugout.
With new City manager Pep Guardiola and United chief José Mourinho desperate to stamp their authority on Manchester football, something will have to give on Wednesday night as the two massive clubs go head to head at Old Trafford.
As for Carlos Tevez, well he ended up falling out with City in much the same way he did with United previously and now plies his trade back home with Argentinian side Boca Juniors.
Welcome to Manchester.