Five of the best: Manchester United games – Part 1

In the latest instalment of our “Five Of The Best…” series we take a look at five of Man United’s most memorable games. With so many classic games involving the Red Devils over the years it’s just been too hard to settle on five games, as so many have been brilliant for different reasons, so we’ve split the games into part 1 and 2, enjoy ! 

Man United 2  Sheffield Wednesday 1 Premier League 1992/93

A game that will go down as one of the most pivotal of the Ferguson era, and a forerunner to many last gasp wins in Fergie time.

United had gone 26 years without winning the top-flight and had finished runners up to Howard Wilkinson’s Leeds the previous season.

With six games remaining in the season they faced Sheffield Wednesday at home in a must win game, in order to keep pace with league leaders Aston Villa.

Sheffield Wednesday took an early lead via a John Sheridan penalty, and it looked like United had fluffed their lines yet again, until two bullet headers by captain Steve Bruce late late into stoppage time sealed a famous victory for the Reds.

Cue scenes of delirium around Old Trafford, with Fergie and assistant Brian Kidd hopping around on the sideline like madmen.

United would go on to win the inagurual Premier League crown and end their 26 years of hurt. Fergie would follow up his first league win with United by going onto dominate English football, winning 13 Premier League titles over the next 20 years.

 

 

Man United 4 Blackpool 2 FA Cup Final 1948

Another hugely significant victory for United as it represented the first Trophy of Sir Matt Busby’s legendary time as boss.

United were making their first FA Cup final appearance in 40 years, and faced a formidable Blackpool side containing superstars of the day sir Stanley Matthews and Stan Mortenson.

Busby’s side twice fell behind in the first-half with United number nine Jack Rowley pulling his side level on both occassions.

United would take the spoils however, as Stan Pearson and John Anderson struck late on to win the Red Devil’s their second FA Cup.

 

 

Juventus v Man United Champions League Semi Final 1999

Having drawn the first leg 1-1 at Old Trafford United travelled to the Stadio Delle Alpi facing an uphill struggle against a star studded Juve team, which included the likes of Zidane, Davids and Del Piero.

Things looked bleak for United when the home side raced into a early 2-0 lead. Juve had not however, counted on Roy Keane delivering the type of inspirational performance that means his name will be forever sung around Old Trafford.

The Irishman, despite having been booked and knowing that he would miss the final if United got there, gave hi side a lifeline when he pulled one back for the Reds with a glancing near post header midway through the first-half.

The Cork man galloped around the pitch like a man possessed lifting his team up to go on to a fantastic 3-2 victory sealed with goals by on fire strike duo Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole, with the deadly duo both assisting each other either side of half-time.

Despite their much publicised falling out Fergie described Keanes performance that night as one of the most selfless displays he has ever witnessed on a Football pitch.

Unfortunately our good friend YouTube seems to have been wiped of highlights of the classic encounter so for the best we can do is show you a highlight clip of Keane’s performance that epic night and to watch highlights of the game itself click here.

 

Man United 2 Bayern Munich 1 Champions League Final 1999

United went into the game looking for the final piece if a historic Treble, after a momentous 10 day period in which they had already been crowned Premier League and FA Cup Champions.

Bayern would take a early lead however via a Marco Beisler free kick. United missing their first choice centre midfield pairing of Roy Keane and Paul Scholes pushed and probed for a equaliser, but were left frustrated with their inability to create any clear cut chances.

As the game entered the second period it actually looked like Bayern would be the more likely to score, with Scholl and Jancker both hitting the woodwork.

Then on 90 minutes, having being behind for almost 85 minutes of the game, Beckham’s corner from the left was cleared to the edge of the box and Giggs scuffed shot was turned in from close range by Sheringham.

United were not finished yet however, and another Beckham corner again from the left was flicked on at the nearpost by Sheringham which found Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who stretched out a boot to flick the ball into the roof of the Germans net. The Norwegian’s goal gave United victory, and completed one of the most epic comebacks in Footballing History.

 

Man United 4 Benfica 1 European Cup Final 1968

United went into the game looking to win their first European Cup and the first of any English side for that matter.

Over 92,000 fans packed into Wembley and they would witness a cracking game lite up by the attacking play of United’s Best and Charlton, as well as that of Portuguese superstar Eusebio.

Charlton would make the breakthrough for United on 55 minutes with a superb flicked header. Benfica refused to give in however, and equalised with Graca’s close range strike on 79 minutes, meaning the game headed in to extra time.

United would fly out of the traps in the first period of extra time, Best would score a brilliant individual goal on 92 minutes, with 18-year-old Brian Kidd and Bobby Charlton netting soon after to put the game out of Benfica’s reach.

United would be crowned Champions of Europe for the first time, a achievement made all the more amazing considering it was only 10 years since the Munich Air Disaster had claimed the lives of the majority of their first team.

 

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