Extended over the years since being used for the Commonwealth Games, the Etihad Stadium is now the sixth-largest venue in the Premier League and the home of Manchester City FC.
Known as the Etihad due to a lucrative sponsorship deal, the ground is officially known as the City of Manchester Stadium. It was previously called Eastlands.
The Etihad is just two miles from the very centre of Manchester and five from Old Trafford, home ground of bitter rivals Manchester United.
History of the Etihad Stadium
There were plans to build an Olympic Stadium here as far back as 1989 when Man City still played at Maine Road. However, with those bids unsuccessful a stadium was eventually needed for the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Construction of the Etihad began in 2000.
After a successful Games, the City of Manchester Stadium began a conversion process to be used for football only and reopened in the summer of 2003 to be used by Manchester City, the first game being a friendly against Barcelona which City won 2-1.
Expansion took place between 2014 and 2015 to lift the capacity from 47,000 to today’s 55,000.
- Capacity: 55,017 (for domestic football), 53,000 (UEFA matches)
- Record Attendance: 54,693 for Manchester City v Leicester City in February 2016, though 60,000 can attend concerts at the venue
- Pitch: 105m x 68m, made up of a Desso GrassMaster surface
- Stands: As with all modern stadia, the Etihad is a bowl-like structure with all sides joining. It is ostensibly made up of the East Stand, Colin Bell Stand, South Stand and the Family Stand
Memorable Games at the Etihad
Having been open for nearly 20 years already, the Etihad has seen its fair share of classic games. While Champions League glory has so far evaded Manchester City. However, their Premier League record since the opening of this stadium has been excellent.
The following five games are amongst their best domestic performances:
Manchester City 3-2 Queens Park Rangers
With Man City’s first Premier League title on the line, they had the chance to pip Man United to glory. They had the seemingly simple task of beating QPR at home on the final day.
With the game at 1-1, former Man City man Joey Barton was sent off and it seemed the title was in the bag. However, QPR took a shock lead and held that with fully 92 minutes on the clock.
With barely a fingernail left in the stadium, Dzeko dramatically tied the game before the home side piled forward. They scored a 94th-minute winner via Sergio Aguero to grab victory and take the title. The famous commentary of the winning goal has even inspired the naming of a racehorse, ‘Aguerooo’.
Manchester City 4-1 Manchester United
A famous Manchester Derby in September 2013; this was the first game of its kind to be overseen by two new managers, namely David Moyes and Manuel Pellegrini, with the 4-1 given by the home side to Man United living long in the memory. Manchester City also went on to win the league that year.
Manchester City 6-3 Arsenal
In December of the same title-winning season as above, Man City’s classic against Arsenal will be remembered for a combination of wonderful attacking play and shocking defending! Aguero, Negredo, Fernandinho (2), Silva and Toure were all on target for the home side in a bizarre encounter, the club also going on to win the Premier League once again.
Manchester City 5-0 Liverpool
While Liverpool eventually won the title in 2020, Man City have very much had the better in their individual clashes in recent seasons and especially at this venue.
In September 2017, another title-winning campaign, Man City faced a very talented Reds side full of expectation. But, they were simply torn apart by Pep Guardiola’s men who were helped by an early sending off.
Sadio Mane was given his marching orders at 1-0 (Aguero). Jesus and Sane scored twice each to wrap up the points in style.
Manchester City 6-0 Chelsea
Never mugs of the game in the Premier League era, Chelsea arrived here in February 2019 with every chance of an away win. However, the home side was on their A-game as Sergio Aguero equalled the league record for hat-tricks with help from Raheem Sterling (2) and Ilkay Gundogan.
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