But CSKA Moscow had the last laugh - winning 2-1 at The Etihad Stadium.
In January 2009 Manchester United completed the signing of Serbian talent Zoran Tosic from Partizan Belgrade. It was part of a double deal that was also supposed to see Adem Ljajic arrive - but that deal collapsed due to Work Permit issues.
But in Tosic they had a player considered one of Serbia's brightest talents for years and a potential long-term successor to Ryan Giggs.
In the end, it did not happen. He played just 15 minutes of Premier League football for United before leaving, first on loan to FC Koln, then permanently - joining CSKA Moscow in June 2010.
Nowadays he is a hero at the club. He scored the goal that win them the Russian Premier League last season. So the Russian side would have been excited to see him take on former rivals Manchester City once again.
He has taken them on before, scoring in a 2-1 defeat last year.
But he was not able to participate in the fixture this evening - after an incident that has caused outrage in Russia.
Tosic was not allowed to enter the country because of an issue arising with his visa.
He trained with the club yesterday, after initial concerns, but was then asked to go back to the airport earlier today and told he could not play in the game.
CSKA are clearly not happy that the former Manchester United man was not allowed to take on City. Their director general Roman Babaev said, as reported by Reuters:
"From the start there were some inaccuracies as we asked that Tosic be given a transit visa and not a tourist visa. However, the British consulate told us that Serbian citizens do not need a tourist visa and can fly as transit passengers without having to get a visa and would instead be issued with one upon landing.”
“They were not willing to come to a compromise. They even would not let Tosic attend the match as a spectator and made it clear that they wanted the Serbian international to leave Manchester before the match started.
“The English always find something to complain about. Will we launch a protest? There is probably no point as it is too late, as it will not have an effect on the end result. However, this is a very unpleasant situation. I am sure that this would not have happened in any other country in Europe."
No protest necessary as Tosic had the last laugh. CSKA defeated City 2-1 without him anyway - which we imagine left a very wide smile on his face as he hung around Manchester airport.