Top 5 Manchester City’s Biggest Rivals

Manchester City is one of England’s most successful football clubs. They have won thirty-four major trophies, ranking fourth in the country alongside Chelsea.

Their achievements include winning the FA Cup in 1904 and their first top division league title in 1936–37. In 2018–19, they made history, winning all major English trophies in a single season.

Despite earlier successes, their first European triumph was in the 2022–23 UEFA Champions League. They’ve also won the League Cup and got to the semi-finals of the Champions League four times. Manchester City has won the second division title seven times, with their most recent victory in 2001–02.

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Who Are Manchester City’s Biggest Rivals?

1. Liverpool F.C.

Manchester City’s biggest football rival is Liverpool F.C., and it is one of the greatest rivalries In the Premier League. This rivalry is rooted in the intense competition between the two clubs, which has grown since the mid-2010s.

While historically Liverpool has seen more success, with lots of league titles and European trophies, Manchester City’s rise in the 2010s, especially after being bought by the Abu Dhabi United Group, has made the rivalry even more intense.

The rivalry between the two clubs has been marked by close title races, exciting matches, and fights for dominance in both domestic and European competitions.

Since the 2017–18 season, Liverpool and Manchester City have been the top dogs in English football, with one of the two clubs winning every Premier League title.

They’ve also reached many UEFA Champions League finals, with each club winning one. Geographically, Liverpool and Manchester are close, just 35 miles apart in the northwest of England.

The rivalry between the cities goes way back to the Industrial Revolution, with economic and industrial competition being big reasons for it.

Even though they were part of the same county until 1974, the cities have kept up a strong regional rivalry, each one trying to outdo the other economically. The rivalry between Liverpool and Manchester City is also about the managers.

Jürgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola lead their respective teams and have added fuel to the fire of this rivalry. Both managers have had success in their careers and have made the rivalry even more intense with their tactics and styles of play.

People who talk about football, like pundits and journalists, often say that the Liverpool-Manchester City rivalry is one of the best in English football. Fans from both clubs are passionate about their teams, and whenever Liverpool and Manchester City play each other, it’s a big deal.

So, the rivalry between Manchester City and Liverpool is all about fierce competition, geography, and history. It’s an important fixture in English football, with both clubs fighting hard for success and the pride of their fans.

2. Manchester United F.C.

Manchester City and Manchester United are one of the biggest football teams that play in the same city, Manchester. They have been playing against each other for a long time, starting from 1881. The matches between them are called the Manchester derby.

The rivalry between these two teams is long and full of interesting moments. They have played a total of 192 matches so far. Out of these, United won 78, City won 61, and 53 ended in a draw.

They have both won a lot of trophies in England, with United winning 67 and City winning 34. In the early years, both teams were just starting, and their matches didn’t have much significance. But as time passed, they became dominant teams in Manchester.

They have faced each other in different competitions. The rivalry between City and United grew stronger over the years. In the 1970s, there were some controversial incidents during their matches, like players getting injured and red cards being given.

One famous incident was when Denis Law scored a goal for City against United, which contributed to United getting relegated. In the 2000s, City’s rise as a top team in England intensified the rivalry.

The matches between City and United are always highly anticipated by fans and football enthusiasts. They have their nicknames for each other, like City fans calling United “The Rags” and United fans calling City “Citeh”. These nicknames show the playful side of the rivalry.

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3. Arsenal F.C.

The rivalry between Arsenal F.C. and Manchester City F.C. has its roots in the late 2000s, sparked by key player transfers and competitive clashes.

Historically, Arsenal enjoyed more success, but City’s rise under new ownership intensified the competition. In the late 2000s, City’s increased spending on players, criticized by Arsenal’s manager Arsène Wenger, fueled tensions.

Key transfers, including Emmanuel Adebayor and Samir Nasri, worsened the rivalry. Adebayor’s controversial celebration against Arsenal fans in 2009 displayed hatred.

Wenger’s criticism extended to the City’s sponsorship deals, questioning compliance with financial regulations. Despite Wenger’s protests, City continued to strengthen their squad with Arsenal’s players.

The rivalry intensified during City’s title-winning seasons, while Arsenal struggled in the league but found success in domestic cups City’s dominance led to Wenger’s departure in 2018.

Mikel Arteta’s appointment as Arsenal manager in 2019 renewed the rivalry. Arteta, formerly Guardiola’s assistant at City, brought a fresh dynamic.

Despite their friendship, their managerial roles strengthened the competition. City’s dominance continued, but Arsenal’s resurgence under Arteta posed a challenge.

Transfers of Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko to Arsenal told City’s acknowledgment of Arsenal’s potential threat. The 2022-23 season saw Arsenal leading the Premier League, reigniting the rivalry.

Despite City’s victories, Arteta and Guardiola maintained mutual respect. However, Arsenal’s eventual second-place finish underlined the competitiveness between the clubs.

The 2023 FA Community Shield clash, won by Arsenal in a dramatic penalty shootout, also fueled the rivalry. City’s defeat ended their 12-game winning streak against Arsenal in the league.

4. Tottenham Hotspur F.C.

Manchester City’s biggest rivals include Tottenham Hotspur, although this rivalry is newer compared to others. It started heating up in the late 2000s when both teams were competing for a top 4 spot in the 2009/10 season.

That year, Tottenham won the spot over City, with a crucial goal scored by Peter Crouch. The rivalry was boosted during the 2018/19 Champions League Quarter Finals. Tottenham managed a 1-0 victory at home, and although they lost 4-3 away, they advanced due to the away goals rule.

The second leg was especially intense, with Manchester City almost snatching victory in the last minutes, but it was disallowed after a VAR review. Despite Manchester City’s overall success in recent seasons, Tottenham often seems to have the upper hand in their encounters.

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5. Chelsea F.C.

Manchester City and Chelsea FC share a significant rivalry in English football, which can be called the battle for dominance. Both clubs have established themselves as a formidable team, competing fiercely for domestic titles and European honors.

As of this month, Chelsea holds a slight edge with 71 victories compared to Manchester City’s 65, with 41 matches ending in draws. In the Premier League, matches between these two teams have often been intense and closely contested.

Recent encounters have shown the tactical prowess and attacking abilities of both sides. These matches have been decided by individual moments of brilliance.

Apart from league battles, Manchester City and Chelsea have also clashed in cup competitions like the FA Cup and UEFA Champions League. Notably in the 2018/2019 Carabao Cup final, with Manchester City emerging victorious in a thrilling penalty shootout.

One of the most significant recent meetings was the UEFA Champions League final in the 2020/2021 season. Chelsea secured a narrow 1-0 victory, claiming their second Champions League title.

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