The Panel on Optus Sports Australia discussing the scintillating match, against the backdrop of a large screen showing a jubilant Phil Foden of Manchester City.

If the world needed a dependable venue for thrilling football, Manchester in England will be a top contender. That city is home to two top football clubs in the world: Manchester United and Manchester City.

United and City are arch-rivals of the highest order.

The two teams clashed in a memorable derby on 2nd October 2022, producing a nine-goal thriller. It was a record for a Manchester derby with two hat-tricks, all for Manchester City against Manchester United.

A Team with a proud History

On most days, Manchester United is described as both the richest and the most successful football team in the world but on this derby day, the team was a mere shadow of itself.

United went down four goals to nothing in the first half. Their rivals, Manchester City, passed the ball around them in their own half at will.

By the time it was over, Manchester city netted six goals made up of two hat-tricks.

The sensational striker, Erling Haaland, scored the first hat-trick and Phil Foden also produced another. Manchester United somehow pulled back three goals, bringing the final score to a 6-3 thrashing. It was another thoroughly demoralising defeat for Manchester United.

In my 2022 book, Absolute Radio, I wrote about a former work colleague, Justice Kweku Ackaah-Boafo and his passion for football. His Lordship Justice Kweku Ackaah-Boafo now serves as a judge at the High Courts of the Republic of Ghana. Ackaah-Boafo was just one of numerous former colleagues who are totally crazy about football and is a lifelong supporter of Liverpool Football Club.

Sports in Absolute Radio

In chapter 31 of the book, I told the story of his passion for football and made reference to a disastrous result from a particular clash between Manchester United and Liverpool. The match took place in October 2021 at Old Trafford. Manchester United lost that duel 5-0 on their home turf. I quoted one of the commentators who said, “for United, it gets no worse than this, given the context, given the meaning of the game…”

Erling Halaand, Manchester City’s goal-scoring machine.
Photo credit: Optus Sports Australia

Almost a year later, Manchester has once more succumbed to a devastating and embarrassing loss to their neighbour. Any defeat is awful, and a heavy defeat of this sort is demoralising.

This disastrous loss is made worse by the fact that Manchester United has had no trophies in the last five seasons.

Not Good Excuse

There is much to be said for Manchester City’s stellar performance under tactical coach, Pep Guardiola, and the sterling contribution by players like Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden and Erling Haaland.

City has become an incredible winning team, but it is still no excuse for the appalling performance of a historically great team like Manchester United.

It is all at once a story of triumph and disaster in Manchester.

For Manchester City, it is not just that they won another decisive match; it is the triumphant way they won by thrashing an otherwise respectable opponent.

And for Manchester United, it is not just another loss in their hometown; it is a total humiliation – one pile on top of so many.

Phillip Nyakpo is the author of Absolute Radio, an inspiring true story that examines the foundation of Ghana’s private broadcasting industry. The book is now available worldwide in Paperback, Kindle, eBook and Audiobook. Phillip writes a blog regularly on

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