Manchester United take on Crystal Palace in this year’s FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday – and their history in the competition is one to be proud of.
They’ve won the world’s most famous cup competition 11 times and another this weekend would move them level with record holders Arsenal, who have 12 titles.
Marathonbet took a look back at United’s dazzling past in the cup and found five famous goals to get fans in the mood ahead of Saturday’s game.
GIGGS v ARSENAL: RYAN’S GOAL HELPS SECURE TREBLE
There was no way this goal wasn’t going to be included in this list.
It was April 11, 1999, and Manchester United took on Arsenal in an FA Cup semi-final replay at Villa Park. Both teams were fighting it out for the league title and this match ended up being one of the all-time Arsenal/United classics.
With the game still tied in the dying minutes of normal time, Arsenal’s Ray Parlour skinned his defender on the edge of the box and was brought down by a trailing leg. Referee David Elleray pointed straight to the spot. Penalty. Up stepped Dennis Bergkamp – Arsenal’s ice-cool candidate to send the Gunners to Wembley. Right foot, bang, SAVE! Peter Schmeichel parried the Dutchman’s effort away and sent the game into extra-time. Then THIS happened… and United went on to win a famous Premier League/FA Cup/Champions League treble.
NORMAN WHITESIDE’S WONDER GOAL WINS THE CUP
Aged 16, Norman Whiteside was Manchester United’s youngest ever debutant, the youngest player to ever score in an FA Cup final against Brighton in 1983, and the youngest player to appear at a World Cup.
Another of Whiteside’s great achievements came in the 1985 FA Cup final against Everton. United were underdogs to beat a Toffees side that had lifted the trophy 12 months earlier and also won the league title and European Cup Winners’ Cup. The game was a closely contested battle but looked to be heading in favour of the Merseysiders when United defender Kevin Moran became the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final for a late lunge in the 78th minute.
Nerves in abundance, the match went to extra-time and provided the perfect stage for Whiteside to make history. He cut in from the right flank before unleashing an unstoppable curler past Neville Southall into the far corner. United lifted the FA Cup yet again – and Whiteside became an in instant hero. What a goal.
CANTONA STRIKE DEFEATS LIVERPOOL IN 1996 FINAL
A Manchester United win over Liverpool is always special for fans, so imagine the pandemonium when Eric Cantona scored this beauty in the 1996 FA Cup Final.
With the game tied and looking likely to head to extra-time, United whipped in a corner on the 85th minute that was punched away to the edge of the box by David James. The ball fell to Cantona. He took a step backwards, made space to pull his leg back and fired a bullet of a volley through a crowded box into the net.
MARK ROBBINS GOAL; THE START OF THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM
It was the 1989-1990 season and Sir Alex Ferguson shelled out big money for Neil Webb, Mike Phelan, Paul Ince and Gary Paillister. United had a decent start to proceedings after beating champions Arsenal 4-1 on the opening day. But form soon started to decline.
They suffered a humiliating 5-1 away defeat to Manchester City and followed it up with a run of six defeats and two draws in their next eight games. A banner at Old Trafford read: “Three years of excuses and it’s still crap … ta-ra Fergie.”
Ferguson himself described the poor run of form as “the darkest period” he had ever suffered in the game.
Come January 7, 1990, United were drawn away to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup Third Round. Mark Robins scored this goal to put the Red Devils through to the next round – and eventually on the road to winning the FA Cup that year.
It is widely believed that Robins’ goal saved Sir Alex’s job. He told The Guardian earlier this year: “I had no idea that goal against Nottingham Forest would become so important in the history of Manchester United. How could I at the time? Nobody knew it was a pivotal moment for Sir Alex Ferguson.”
Here it is…
CANTONA’S CHIP STUNS SHEFFIELD UNITED
Bramall Lane, Sheffield, January 9, 1995. The day French United legend Eric Cantona scored one of his greatest ever goals.
The Red Devils met Sheffield United for a third-round FA Cup tie on a blustery afternoon under the floodlights. There was little to separate the two teams for most of the match until Mark Hughes put Sir Alex’s side ahead on the 80th minute. With the Blades chasing the game, it allowed time for Cantona to add another goal to his impressive portfolio.
He picked up the ball on the edge of the box and, when most strikers would have tried to cut in or unleash a powerful shot, the inch-perfect frontman delivered this absolute peach…