It is hardly a surprise now that Manchester City are leading the Premier League and are the favourites to win this time, while arch rivals Manchester United are playing catch-up from the fourth place, just two points behind. However, former City manager Roberto Mancini believes that he was the one who provided this cutting edge to the rivalry between the two teams.

Mancini had managed Manchester City for four years, from 2009 to 2013, and had helped them win their first silverware in 43 years, in the form of the FA Cup in 2011. He followed that up by taking the Citizens to their first league title in the Premier League era, next season, which firmly established Manchester City as one of the heavyweights of English football.

Under Mancini’s reign, Manchester City also achieved the famous 6-1 drubbing of arch rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford, a match that has since gone down into the club’s folklore.

“I helped to change the dynamics of the Manchester derby and it was very difficult to do that,” Mancini said to the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy of Qatar. “United were a top club for many years and to achieve the status of equality was very tough. We bought a lot of good players who worked very hard and gave the club their first title win in a long time.”

Manchester Derby more interesting under Mancini’s reign?

With the last Manchester Derby ending in a boring goalless draw, there have been calls for the teams to play more attacking football (one of the teams at least). However, last month’s Manchester Derby at Old Trafford was termed as one of the most boring derbies in the Premier League era.

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Statistics seems to suggest that the derbies were a tad bit more interesting when Mancini was the boss at Manchester City. During Mancini’s reign, the Manchester Derby averaged 3.16 goals per match, and that number has gone down to three a game after the Italian parted ways with the Citizen.