Manchester United 1999 vs Manchester City 2019: Which starting XI is better from Gary Neville to Kyler Walker and David Beckham to Bernardo Silva
Manchester City are the one of the best teams in England right now and a match for anyone in Europe.
Their dominance comes 20 years on from when rivals Manchester United were the supreme force of football.
So after City saw off their threat at Old Trafford to move a step closer to retaining their Premier League crown, talkSPORT.com looks at Pep Guardiola’s swashbucklers and compares them to United’s 1998/99 treble winners.
United’s 1999 side is arguably United’s greatest and one of the Premier League’s best ever and with Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Roy Keane, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs in their side, they swept aside all that stood before them.
City’s team of 2019 have a number of quality players, including Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling, so which side has the better squad 20 years apart? talkSPORT.com rates the starting XI of both teams.
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The Dane was an integral part of United’s treble winning side and while he only kept 11 clean sheets in the Premier League, there can be no denying the role he played in helping to win the treble. Announced he would leave the club at the end of the 1998/99 season, he saved his best until last. Schmeichel made a number of notable saves, memorably keeping out a Dennis Bergkamp penalty in the FA Cup semi-final and making a trademark star jump save to somehow stop Ivan Zamaorano’s diving header against Inter. Rating out of 10: 9
Eyebrows were raised when the little-known Ederson joined City for £36m in 2017, but he has proved to be a revelation in goal. Against Tottenham on Saturday he kept his 33rd clean sheet in the Premier League, his 16th of the season, and no other keeper has recorded as many in that time. Brave and commanding, he has shown again he is comfortable with the ball at his feet and is a man for the big occasions, making several fine saves in the win over Liverpool. He has only had to make 54 saves this season, such is City’s dominance in possession. 8
The England right-back admitted he hit a wall heading into the 1998/99 season after that summer’s World Cup and was taken off after a poor showing in the opening day draw with Leicester. Neville went onto have a typically steady season for United, making 34 league appearances and was sent off once. He was excellent in the vital 2-1 win over Tottenham, making a last-ditch challenge to deny Steffen Iversen. 8
Walker fell out of form midway through the current campaign and was at fault for two of the goals in the shock 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace. So enraged by his display was Pep Guardiola, he dropped the England international for the next three matches and replaced him with Danilo.
Has since worked his way back into favour and opened his City account with a long-range effort against Newcastle. 7
An imposing central defender, the Dutchman made his debut for United that season and played 31 times in the Premier League. Also scored his only goal for the club in a 6-2 thrashing of Leicester. Schmeichel said of Stam: “In the treble-winning season, he proved himself as one of the best-ever defenders. He was awesome.” Marshalled the back four as they only conceded 37 in total, giving them the best goal difference in the League. 8
Stones has played the full 90 minutes in just two matches since mid-February and has had to settle for a place on the bench this season. Guardiola has favoured pairing Nicolas Otamendi or Vincent Kompany with Aymeric Laporte and Stones was poor in defeats to Crystal Palace and Chelsea. 6
Although Sir Alex Ferguson favoured Henning Berg in European matches, Johnsen still managed to play a respectable 22 league games that season. On pitch for the FA Cup final and the Champions League final, the Norwegian was reliable when needed. 7
Laporte, 24, has established himself at the heart of Guardiola’s defence and is one of the best young centre-backs in the world. Classy on the ball and not afraid of getting stuck in, he has played 29 times in the Premier League. Despite his fine form, he is yet to be capped by France. 9
Even at the age of 33, Irwin played 48 games in ’98/99, including 29 in the Premier League. Irwin barely put a foot wrong that season and was equally comfortable defending as he was attacking, scoring twice. The Irishman was described that season as an ‘8 out of 10 player’ by Sir Alex, a compliment to his remarkable consistency. 8
The Frenchman has impressed whenever he has featured for City, but that has not happened often enough this season and Mendy has only made ten league appearances after being plagued with a knee injury. 6
Returning from the World Cup that summer as the nation’s villain, England’s most famous footballer ignored the abuse and hate to have one of his best seasons in a United shirt. Scored six times in the Premier League and his most crucial strike came on the final day against Tottehnam, an equaliser which helped set United on their way to pipping Arsenal to the title. 8
Like his namesake David, Silva is a joy to watch. His close control, tireless running and ability to create something out of nothing have made him a key player in the City midfield. Was excellent against Fulham and was instrumental in the vital win over Spurs last weekend, as City edged out a 1-0 win. A slick operator, the Portuguese has played 30 league games this season, scoring six times and earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year. 8
United’s captain and midfield enforcer, Keane was injured for much of the 1997/98 season and could only watch from the side as his side surrendered their title to Arsenal. When he returned, he was noticeably fitter and was described as the ‘heartbeat’ of the midfield which included Beckham, Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs. His 35 league matches were his second most since his maiden season at Old Trafford. 9
The Brazilian will turn 34 in May, but despite this, he has continued to be an important and versatile player, even dropping into defence earlier in the season. City’s understated organiser, Fernandinho has slipped under the radar despite his performances in a team full of superstars and while this could be his final season at the club, he has played another crucial role that could land him a third Premier League title. 7
While Scholes only scored six goals from midfield in the Premier League that season, he was vital in helping break down teams with his trademark vision and contributed seven assists. United only lost twice in the top-flight that season when Scholes played. 8
The diminutive attacker remains a class act and one of the Premier League’s best midfielders. Has six goals to his name this season in 26 appearances and was excellent when City beat United 3-1 back in November, opening the scoring and dictating play. 8
Hamstring injuries meant Giggs managed to start only 20 of the 38 League games United played as they won the title, but when he did feature, he was still effective and contributed to the 37 league goals scored between the fabled midfield of himself, Scholes, Beckham and Keane. 7
Raheem Sterling, Sergio Aguero and Leroy Sane
On and off the pitch this season, Sterling has been having a huge impact. In 2018-19, he has been managing a goal every 143 minutes (17 in 33) and looks set to have an even better campaign than he did last year. Against Bournemouth, he became the first player in Premier League history to score in his first six appearances against a single opponent.
Aguero has been at his lethal best once again, hitting hat-tricks against Arsenal and Chelsea and has the best minutes-per-goal rate in Premier League history (108.0), the joint highest number of hat-tricks in the league’s history (11). Has kept Gabriel Jesus on the bench with his 19 league goals.
Sane, the German winger has not been used as frequently as he would have liked, but still has nine league goals and is huge threat from set-pieces.
Sterling: 9 Aguero: 9 Sane: 7
Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole
Yorke was United’s leading scorer overall and leading marksmen in the Premier League for them with 18 goals in his first season. His understanding was alomst telepathic with Cole, who had one less Premier League goal and the latter did net the winning goal against Spurs in the last match of the season to win the league. Both: 9
Manchester United total: 90 Manchester City total: 84
Source: SportsLatest TS