The last Man City derby XI of the pre-"Noisy Neighbours" Era

Both sides face off in a battle for the Top Four on Thursday

Manchester United, Manchester City, derby, Nedum Onuoha, Richard Dunne, Darius Vassell

Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin Van der Sar dives in vain as Manchester City's Benjani Mwaruwari scores the second goal of the game. Neal Simpson/EMPICS Sport

As Alex Ferguson would say, we're into "squeaky bum time" now.

With little of the Premier League season remaining, just one point separating the sides and the Top Four race wide open, this Thursday's Manchester derby will be crucial for City and United beyond the simple equation of bragging rights.

Given United's wealth and commercial value and City's own Abu Dhabi Group funded rise, finishing in the Top Four should normally be the least of either of their lofty ambitions.

It's now nine years since Sheikh Mansour undertook the takeover of City and turned them into "noisy neighbours" in Ferguson's eyes.

In February 2008, the final Manchester derby of the last pre-Sheikh Mansour season took place and a City managed by ex-England boss Sven Goran Eriksson won 2-1 at Old Trafford.

But who were the members of the starting XI and what are their individual statuses now?

Joe Hart

The only player from this team that kept his place in the squad long into the Sheikh Mansour era, winning the Premier League twice and an FA Cup. While still on the club's books, the England goalkeeper however has now reached the end of the line at City with Pep Guardiola essentially demoting him and leaving him to go on loan to Torino.

His future is unclear but one thing is without doubt, he is almost certainly leaving the Etihad Stadium this summer.

Nedum Onuoha

The centre back and full back possessed plenty of pace and was also part of a crop of City academy graduates in this side along with Stephen Ireland and Micah Richards. 

The 30 year old left City in 2012 and currently plays for QPR. 

Micah Richards

Highly rated when he first emerged from City's academy, he was first choice right back for a time. However his career has gone downhill since for club and country and presently the 28 year old is at Aston Villa down in the Championship. 


Manchester United's Oliveira Anderson (right) is challenged by Manchester City's Stephen Ireland (bottom) and Nedum Onuoha. Martin Rickett/PA Archive/PA Images

Richard Dunne

The former Ireland defender is forever immortalised as the Ironman of Moscow and for four years in a row during the mid-2000s, he regularly won Man City's Player of the Season award. 

However, as he discussed with Newstalk's Team 33, the writing was on the wall for him at the club when the club's former chief executive made dismissive remarks regarding his marketability at a time when City were seeking out a global reach. He would leave for Aston Villa in 2009.

Now retired and living in France, he does TV punditry on Irish and British channels. 

Michael Ball

The left back's time at City was brief, lasting between 2007 and 2009 when he was released.

He retired at Leicester City three years later. Currently he is a columnist for the Liverpool Echo in his home city.

Darius Vassell

The former England forward has retired from playing and is about to publish his autobiography Road To Persia

He scored City's opener in the February 2008 derby but would leave City for Turkish football just over a year later. 

Stephen Ireland  

The former Ireland midfielder had already cut short his six cap long international career. The following season would be a peak one for Ireland (the player) at City when he would score 13 goals in all competitions from midfield.

But things have gone downhill since he left City for Aston Villa in 2010. These days the Cork man is at Stoke City but injury means he has not made a single appearance this season.  

Didi Hamann 

The former Germany World Cup finalist had left Liverpool two years earlier and would remain at the club until 2009.

After some early coaching experiences after retiring, he is now a pundit who often appears on Irish TV. 

Gelson Fernandes

The Swiss midfielder would only remain at City between 2007 and 2009. At 30, he is still playing, featuring for French side Rennes.  

Martin Petrov

A talented winger, the Bulgarian finished his career in his homeland with CSKA Sofia in the 2013-14 season.  

Benjani Mwaruwari

The Zimbabwean would score City's crucial second goal in the 2-1 derby win just days after signing for Portsmouth.

The 38 year old former striker retired three years ago.