Melbourne City FC’s six and seven-goal wins in consecutive Melbourne Derbies in 2020/21 broke countless A-League Men’s records, and once the third and final meeting between the teams had finished as a 1-1 draw, ensured that the history books would forever remember the season that City won the Derby by an aggregate scoreline of 14-1.
As the teams prepare to face each other for the first time in Season 2021/22 – and the 35th time overall – we take a look at seven (one for every goal in that April Derby) other one-sided single-season scorelines in high-profile Derbies from around the world to help put City’s unforgettable achievement into perspective.
There’s no better place to start for a relevant comparison than another of Australia’s high-profile intra-city contests, the Sydney Derby. During the 2017/18 season, in which the teams played each other on three occasions, Sydney FC was dominant in securing an aggregated scoreline of 10-3. Whilst the first meeting between the teams was evenly contested, ending 2-2, the damage was done in the next iteration of the fixture, with Western Sydney Wanderers suffering a five-goal defeat at home. The discrepancy was only compounded in the next meeting which Sydney won 3-1. That season’s Johnny Warren medallist, Adrian Mierzejewski, scored four times across the three fixtures.
Over to England, where many Australians will no doubt have a team they follow closely.
Superiority in Manchester has swung to-and-fro over the years, with reigning Premier League Champions Manchester City boasting two six-goal single-season blowouts in 2011/12 and 2013/14 – campaigns in which they also won the league. However, it’s ‘Fergie-era’ Manchester United who recorded the biggest cumulative margin in a single season of Premier League-era Derby meetings, winning 5-0 at home and 3-0 away in 1994/95. Russian Andrey Kanchelskis, who would later turn out for United’s crosstown rival, netted four times across the two meetings.
Though notoriously one-sided in favour of the fixture’s red participant, the Merseyside Derby has seen Everton avoid any catastrophic single-season blowouts in the Premier League era against the more dominant Liverpool, with a five-goal deficit in 2011/12 representing their worst Derby performance in a single campaign. The Toffees lost 2-0 and 3-0 that season, with Tim Cahill starting in the former fixture and the latter result marked by a Steven Gerrard hattrick. However, given a three-goal Derby loss already in 2021/22 and a large current discrepancy between the fixture’s blue and red halves both in regards to points and form, there could be an even more one-sided single-season scoreline by the end of this campaign.
Across the border now and there are few Derbies more iconic than the Old Firm, with Celtic and Rangers having met 60 times in the Scottish Premiership alone. From those fixtures, it’s the series of meetings from the 2016/17 season that stands out most, with Celtic accruing a nine-goal margin across four meetings. Two separate 5-1 results fell either side of Celtic’s 2-1 win and a 1-1 draw to make for an aggregate scoreline of 13-4 – still fewer than Melbourne City’s 14:1. Current Olympique Lyonnais man Moussa Dembélé netted four times in three Derby appearances that campaign.
El Derbi Madrileño (Madrid Derby)
Heading to mainland Europe – and whilst El Clásico may be the fixture that attracts more headlines, there’s no doubt about the significance of El Derbi Madrileño to those in the Spanish capital of Madrid. Given Real’s long-standing reputation as an intercontinental footballing powerhouse – and the team’s dominance in the head-to-head record against neighbours Atlético – the assumption would be that the 13-time European Champions would have recorded the most one-sided single-season scoreline. Whilst a pair of 4-1 wins in 2011/12 brings them close to doing so, going back more than 60 years would reveal a seven-goal discrepancy in Atlético’s favour back in the 1950/51 season. That campaign saw 13 goals scored across two meetings as Real lost 6:3 and 4:0 on their way to a ninth-placed finish as their fierce rivals celebrated a fourth league title.
Derby della Madonnina (Milan Derby)
Over to Italy now and it’s hard to go past the Derby della Madonnina – contested by AC Milan and Inter Milan – as a point of comparison to the Melbourne Derby given the participating teams’ co-occupancy of the iconic San Siro stadium. Both sides of Milan have enjoyed a six-goal aggregated margin over the course of a campaign, with AC managing it in the 2000/01 season and Inter replicating the achievement in 2009/10 – though the two instances were achieved in markedly different manners. The teams drew 2-2 in early 2001 before AC dominated in a 6-0 victory later in the season. In the 2009/10 season, Inter twice managed to shut out an AC team that included Ronaldinho, David Beckham and Andrea Pirlo, securing 4-0 and 2-0 results.
We finish with the one of the football’s most notoriously heated rivalries, Turkey’s Intercontinental Derby. On three occasions Fenerbahçe SK have dominated Derbies in a single campaign by an aggregate margin of five goals, namely in 1991/92, 1996/97 and 2005/06. The 19-time Turkish Champions may hold the advantage over their fierce rivals Galatasaray A.S. in terms of the head-to-head record but have ceded ground in regard to league titles won, with the latter now on 22 thanks to three wins since Fenerbahçe’s last in 2013/14.