Or so we were told.
It may have escaped the notice of those beyond Merseyside that another match took place on the night United and City locked horns for the second leg of the Carling Cup semi-final.
While Everton were beating Sunderland 2-0 at Goodison Park, most eyes were fixed 35 miles east on what one excitable commentator described as 'the biggest derby in the country.'
Gary Neville and Carlos Tevez's public tiff provided the fuel that fed the frenzy. The rest was left to the usual suspects who drooled over, what in fairness, wasn't a bad game of football.
But the biggest derby in the country all of a sudden?
'There's nothing like it in London and there's certainly nothing like it in Liverpool anymore,' enthused the 'expert.'
If we ignore United's £700 million-plus debt, Manchester may now lay claim to two of the richest clubs in the world.
But, according to a man who knows a thing or two about derby games at both ends of the East Lancs Road, that doesn't necessarily equate to claiming the kind of bragging rights suddenly being bandied about.
As a boyhood Everton fan who grew up to play for the club - albeit briefly - Mickey Thomas enjoyed the best days of a long and colourful career at Old Trafford.
You might expect him to jump on the cream of Manchester bandwagon therefore, but the outspoken radio pundit is having none of it.
'So just because City have got a few bob they're suddenly up there at the top?'' queries Thomas.