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Six of the Best: Palace Wins over Manchester United

22 November 2018

It has been 27 years since the Eagles last recorded a league victory over Manchester United, marking their longest wait for a win against any other team they have faced since who still play in the top two tiers of English football.

Here, we take a look back at their six previous league wins against the Red Devils, in the hope that the current squad can make it lucky number seven this weekend!

14th February 1925

The first-ever meeting between the sides at the newly-built Selhurst Park saw the Glaziers record their maiden victory over United at the sixth attempt, thanks to a pair of goals by Welshman Tom Hoddinott [pictured above] with Arthur Lochhead responding for the visitors.

However, this would be one of only two Palace wins over the final 19 games of the season, and the only occasion they scored more than once! Unsurprisingly, relegation followed and it would take 39 years to return to the Second Division, while United were promoted to the top-flight as runners-up behind Leicester City.

10th October 1970

Palace’s first ever win at Old Trafford came on the occasion of Sir Bobby Charlton’s 500th league appearance for United, who also boasted George Best and Nobby Stiles in their line-up.

Searching for the goal that would equal Jack Rowley’s Red Devils goalscoring record, Charlton would see a couple of trademark thunderbolts repelled by the Glaziers’ defence during the first half, but just after the hour Peter Wall overlapped down the left and found Bobby Tambling, who drove home from the edge of the area to win the game with a goal worthy of Charlton himself.

16th December 1972

An afternoon never to be forgotten by the 39,484 in attendance as Bert Head’s team ran rampant. Paddy Mulligan opened the scoring in the 10th minute by driving the ball past Alex Stepney, and three minutes from half-time Palace doubled their advantage when the full-back completed an unlikely brace – the only goals during his time in SE25.

A minute into the second half it was 3-0 when Don Rogers rounded Alex Stepney, and late on debutant Alan Whittle added a fourth before another wonderful solo goal by Rogers added further gloss to the scoreline.

1st November 1980

Three weeks after Terry Venables’ departure, Ernie Walley was in charge of team matters, but he faced a tall order as United arrived on a 12 league game unbeaten run, and with Steve Coppell in their ranks.

However the key moment came in the 27th minute. With Kevin Moran off the pitch needing treatment, United were caught out of shape and Jim Cannon swung the ball out to Peter Nicholas on the flank, who noticed that Gary Bailey was badly placed and sent in a chipped shot aimed for the far post that dipped into the corner to register the only goal of the game.

9th December 1989

Coppell recorded his first victory against his former side as Palace manager, but his side had to do so the hard way after they fell behind when Lee Martin’s left wing cross was met by a diving Russell Beardsmore.

Only a pair of excellent saves by Nigel Martyn to deny Beardsmore and Brian McClair kept the Eagles in the game, but they equalised when Ian Wright crossed for Mark Bright to power home a header, and after the break he added his second by scrambling home a John Pemberton delivery to claim Palace’s last league success at Old Trafford to date.

11th May 1991

Coppell’s team rounded off their greatest-ever season in style when they romped to victory against United, who had their upcoming UEFA Cup Winners Cup final against Barcelona on their minds and rested six players.

The Eagles took the lead after just three minutes when Gary Walsh fumbled a corner and Ian Wright turned home from close-range to record his 25th goal of the season. Just before the hour mark John Salako netted after some sustained pressure in the opposition box, and 10 minutes later he thumped home a 25-yarder as Palace ended their First Division campaign in third position.

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