August 20, 2011
20-8-1971 Manchester United played their first home match of the 1971-72 season at Anfield in Liverpool. United had to play their first two matches away from Old Trafford due to hooliganism at the end of the previous season. The league game at
Anfield was played on a Friday evening in front of a crowd of 27,649. United won the game against Arsenal 3-1. The Gunners took an early lead through Frank McLintock, but goals by Gowling, Kidd and Charlton secured a home win.
The next morning The Guardian reported these scenes before the game:
“As soon as the teams arrived on the field the Kop vomited scores of young ‘supporters’ of both sexes who ran down the field to the end where United were warming up. The police, although hopelessly outnumbered, did their best and removed as many as they could capture. When the invaders discovered that United would attack the Kop end they retraced their steps and suffered further losses.”
April 2, 2011
2-4-1915 Manchester United beat Liverpool 2-0 at Old Trafford in front of a crowd of 18,000 on this day in 1915. George Anderson scored both of United’s goals in a end of the season mid-table match. A large amount of the money had been placed on United winning 2-0 at 7/1 and the FA investigated the game for match fixing. Three United and four Liverpool players where banned for life for match fixing. One of the players, Sandy Turnbull, was killed in the First World War and five of the others received a reduced ban due their service in the War, but Enoch ‘Knocker’ West, served a ban of thirty years, the longest ban in the history of the Football League.
West played for Sheffield United and Nottingham Forest before moving to Old Trafford in 1910. He won a league winners’ medal in 1911 for United and scored 80 goals for the Reds before he was banned in 1915.
Graham Sharp wrote ‘Free the Manchester United One‘ about West’s campaign to prove his innocence. West had sued the FA for libel, a case which he lost.
March 13, 2011
Manchester United terrier Paul Scholes was awarded his tenth yellow card of the season in yesterday’s Cup victory over Arsenal at Old Trafford and thereby earned the following punishment from the FA:
If a player receives 10 cautions between the first day of the season and the second Sunday in April they will suspended for a period of 2 matches and be fined £15.”
Photo: Today is a good day
March 11, 2011
Arsene Wenger took over in charge at Highbury before the 1996-97 season, ten years after that Alex Ferguson took over at Old Trafford.
Wenger has won the Premier League three times and the FA Cup four times. Only Ferguson has been more successful in the present era with 11 Premier League titles, five FA Cups and two Champions League wins.
Wenger has won 57,5% of his 836 matches in charge, while Ferguson has won 59% of his 1,375 in charge at United.
They have met each other six times in the FA Cup:
- 1998-99 Semi-final 0-0 and 2-1 to United in the replay
- 2002-03 5th Round 0-2 to Arsenal at Old Trafford
- 2003-04 Semi-final 1-0 to United.
- 2004-05 Final Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties after 0-0
- 2007-08 5th Round 4-0 to United at Old Trafford
United – Arsenal – United – Arsenal – United …
Photo: Gordon Flood
March 4, 2011
4-3-1995 Manchester United hammer Ipswich Town 9-0 on this day to record the biggest win in the history of the Premier League. Andy Cole scored five goals for United, a Premier League record he holds together with Alan Shearer (Newcastle vs Sheffied Wednesday, 1999), Jermain Defoe (Tottenham vs Wigan, 2009) and Dimitar Berbatov (Manchester United vs Blackburn, 2010). The other United goals where scored by Mark Hughes (2), Paul Ince and Roy Keane.
United line-up: Schmeichel, Keane, Irwin, Bruce, Kanchelskis, Pallister, Cole, Ince, McClair, Hughes and Giggs.
Ipswich keeper, Canadian Craig Forrest, returned to Old Trafford this time in goal for West Ham, in April 2000. West Ham where defeated 7-1. This time it was Paul Scholes who scored a hat-trick.
Photo: Giampaolo Squarcina
March 2, 2011
2-3-1991 On this day, twenty years ago, Ryan Giggs made his Manchester United debut when he came on as substitute against Everton at Old Trafford. United lost the First Division (yes before the Premier League was born) game 0-2. Dave Watson and Mike Newell scored Everton’s goals.
Manchester United: Sealey, Irwin, Martin, Ferguson, Donaghy, Pallister, Sharpe, Ince, McClair, Blackmore, Wallace
Everton: Southall, McDonald, Hinchcliffe, Ratcliffe, Watson, Keown, Nevin, McCall, Sharp, Newell, Ebbrell
Giggs, who recently extended his contract at United with one more season, has currently made 736 appearances and scored 158 goals. Bobby Charlton made 756 first team appearances.
February 15, 2011
15-2-2003 On this day in 2003 a furious Alex Ferguson, steamed up after a 0-2 defeat to Arsenal at Old Trafford in the 5th round of the FA Cup, kicks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’t boot in frustration. The boot hits David Beckham in the face causing a cut above his eye that needed stitches.
Ferguson, in a comment on the incident, said:
“It was a freakish incident. If I tried it 100 or a million times it couldn’t happen again. If I could I would have carried on playing!”
The tabloids loved the incident and even Prime Minister, Tony Blair, under tough questioning on Iraq at Downing Street press conference quipped:
“I have got a stack of football boots under here you know!”
Beckham left for Real Madrid at the end of the season in a £25M move.