Sport Soccer

Saturday 25 November 2017

10 dark days for Manchester United Fans

Sir Alex Ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson

MANCHESTER UNITED 0 MANCHESTER CITY 1

DIVISION 1, APRIL 27, 1974

Tommy Docherty's side went into their final game of the season knowing that only a victory against neighbours City would keep them in the top-flight of English football. But Denis Law, a European Cup winner with United, wrote his name into City folklore in the 81st minute of his final ever competitive game with a backheeled goal that all but sealed their neighbours' demise. As it happened, due to other results United would have been relegated anyway, not that the Stretford Enders saw it that way on one of the darkest days in the club's history.

BOURNEMOUTH 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0

FA CUP, JANUARY 7, 1984

After being eliminated from the League Cup by Third Division side Oxford United, Ron Atkinson's United team faced another tricky cup tie when they were drawn against Harry Redknapp's Bournemouth in the third round of the FA Cup. Atkinson's hapless outfit were undone by second-half goals from Milton Graham and Ian Thompson to send Dean Court into raptures and United fans on the rampage.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 CRYSTAL PALACE 2

DIVISION 1: DECEMBER 9, 1989

Following disappointing spells under managers Dave Sexton and Atkinson, United turned to Aberdeen manager Alex Ferguson, who had not only broken the Old Firm duopoly north of the border, but also taken the Cup Winners' Cup to the Granite City. The Scot's transition, though, was anything but smooth and in 1989, three years after arriving at Old Trafford, the natives were getting restless.

"His first three years were dark times," the supporter who revealed the above banner during the defeat to Palace later said. "I just felt the fans had to do something because the club was accepting second best." After taking the lead against the Londoners, Palace's Mark Bright scored twice for a victory that led to United fans calling for Ferguson's head.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 QUEENS PARK RANGERS 4

DIVISION 1, JANUARY 1, 1992

United went into the new year top of the league -- two points ahead of Leeds United -- and the supporters were in buoyant mood as they started to dream of ending the 25-year wait for a championship title. However, when Gerry Francis' Queens Park Rangers visited Old Trafford on New Year's Day, the team languishing in 15th spot registered one of the best wins in their history and, conversely, one of United's worst defeats. A hat-trick from Dennis Bailey secured Rangers' famous win while United fans were sent home with the biggest new-year hangover Manchester have ever suffered.

LIVERPOOL 2 MANCHESTER UNITED 0

DIVISION 1, APRIL 26, 1992

Ferguson had the opportunity to close the gap on league leaders Leeds United and where better to do it than at Anfield? Ferguson famously said that his goal after arriving in England was to knock "Liverpool right off their f***ing perch" and here was United's chance to rub salt into the wounds of the Merseysiders, who were languishing in sixth. However, goals from Ian Rush and Mark Walters left United red-faced and ended their title challenge, while handing the championship to Leeds. The defeat meant that United had not won the title for a quarter-of-a-century.

BARCELONA 4 MANCHESTER UNITED 0

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, NOV 2, 1994

Having finally won the league in 1993, United next turned their focus to Europe and in 1994 travelled to Barcelona to face Johan Cruyff's dream team. Ferguson's side, though, were handed a devastating blow in front of 114,273 spectators as goals from Hristo Stoichkov, Romario and Albert Ferrer sent United back to England with their tails between their legs.

MALCOLM GLAZER TAKES CONTROLLING SHARE OF CLUB

MAY 12, 2005

Despite continued success on the pitch, what was going on in the boardroom at Old Trafford caused most concern for many United supporters. After going public in 1990 the club had benefitted greatly from investment in the club, though when Malcolm Glazer took a controlling share of the club in May, 2005 many lifelong supporters turned their backs on the club while others protested outside the ground.

BENFICA 2

MANCHESTER UNITED 1

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, DEC 7, 2005

With Wayne Rooney and Ruud van Nistelrooy playing up front and Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs on the flanks, Ferguson's intentions were clear when they went to Portugal for the final Champions League group game of the season. Unfortunately, though, it was also United's final Champions League game of the season as they were eliminated from the competition before the knockout stages for the first time since 1994. Defeat led to strong suggestions that Ferguson would either step down or be sacked.

MANCHESTER UNITED 1 MANCHESTER CITY 6

PREMIER LEAGUE, OCT 23, 2011

After decades of living in their neighbours' shadow, Manchester City marched into to not only take all three points and increase their lead atop the Premier League table, but hand United a thorough beating that will never be forgotten. Goals from Mario Balotelli, Sergio Aguero, Edin Dzeko and David Silva left United fans distraught and City supporters jubilant.

SUNDERLAND 2

MANCHESTER UNITED 1

LEAGUE CUP, JAN 7, 2014

Following a dismal run of results that saw United dumped out of the FA Cup by Swansea City and the Premier League champions in very real danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League, Tuesday night represented a golden opportunity for David Moyes' side to bounce back. However, a lifeless display from United saw them crash to a 2-1 defeat in the League Cup semi-final first leg. Under-pressure manager David Moyes later hit out at officials after the club lost their third game in a row for the first time since 2001. "I feel we are having to play the opposition and the officials," said the Scot.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport