It’s time to vote for your favourite standout scoreline in Manchester United history

Here at the Manchester Evening News we care about ‘The Matches that Matter’ to Manchester United fans.

That’s why we’ve teamed up with LiveScore to establish the most significant, notable and remarkable results that will live long in the memories of United fans.

Our writer Samuel Luckhurst picked out United’s penalty shootout win over Chelsea in the Champions League final in 2008 as his standout scoreline – and after surveying supporters we have now put together a top 10 list of United results.

Allow us to jog your memories match by match – before your vote for your ultimate United score.

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Leicester 1-3 Manchester United – May 25, 1963

United were still reeling from the tragedy of the Munich air disaster five years earlier when Beatlemania began in 1963. Matt Busby’s side finished 19th in the First Division, just three points above relegated neighbours City.

Yet the season was salvaged in the FA Cup and their first trophy since that fateful third take-off attempt in 1958. Similarly to the Matthews Final of 1953, Denis Law dominated a game he was outscored in. David Herd, scorer of two goals – including the winner – assumed the role of Stan Mortensen. Law’s goal – a balletic strike on the turn – was one of his finest, enhanced by virtue of rolling the ball past Gordon Banks.

In the dressing room, Bill Foulkes and Harry Gregg, heroic survivors in the slushy snow of Munich, celebrated mournfully. Those not haunted by the memory of stumbling from the wreckage were merrier and the win marked the rebirth of United. George Best would debut later that year, Denis Law received the Ballon d’Or in 1964 and two titles followed in 1965 and ’67.

Benfica 1-4 Manchester United – May 29, 1968

The fate that accompanies all of United’s European Cup wins is stark. At Wembley in 1968, ten years after Munich, Busby was still in the dugout, Foulkes in defence and Bobby Charlton, a teenager traumatised in Munich, now a global sporting icon. Charlton twice scored stylishly at Wembley.

United memorably thrashed Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon in 1966 but Benfica had the final pedigree. They had triumphed in the 1961 and ’62 European Cup finals and came runners-up in ’63 and ’65.

A tight match in regulation time, Charlton’s opener was matched by the crafty Jaime Graca and Eusebio spurned a presentable opportunity to win the cup by leathering the ball into Alex Stepney’s midriff.

In extra-time, United got a second wind and Best finally escaped his pursuers, rounded the ‘keeper Jose Henrique and slotted the ball into the empty net. Birthday boy Brian Kidd and Charlton turned a contest into a procession. All three extra-time goals were scored in the first 10 minutes.

What the fans said: “Well, for a start, I was there in Wembley cheering myself hoarse. It was a great occasion which marked the highlight for the golden generation of Law, Charlton and Best. Although the final result was emphatic, there was a moment when it could have gone the other way, when Stepney saved a thunderous shot from Eusebio. I was only 18 at the time – and arrived home very tired in the early hours of the morning after a very slow coach journey home. I cannot have been much use in the office the next morning!”

Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United – May 21, 1977

A sliding doors moment in United lore is what if Louis Edwards had not sacked Tommy Docherty after the ‘77 Cup final? United had recovered from their relegation in 1974 and were renascent, reaching two successive Cup finals and finishing third and sixth in consecutive seasons. Their immortal XI of Stepney, Nicholl, Buchan, Brian Greenhoff, Albiston, Coppell, Macari, McIlroy, Hill, Pearson, and Greenhoff had title-winning potential.

The Jubilee final of ’77 was the zenith of United’s colourful 70s. ‘Watch out, there’s a Greenhoff about’ a banner read and it was Jimmy’s chest the ball deflected in off to secure United’s first major silverware since the European Cup. Stuart Pearson and Jimmy Case had scored more polished goals in a madcap first 10 minutes of the second-half that ended with Greenhoff’s winner.

Liverpool, already champions, would go on to win their maiden European Cup. United had scuppered their Treble chances yet their supporters serenaded Liverpool with ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ as they embarked on their lap of honour at full-time.

Two months later, Docherty was dismissed for having an affair with Mary Brown, wife of the United physio, Laurie. Tommy and Mary remained married until his death in December 2020.

Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona – May 15, 1991

English clubs were back on the continent after their five-year ban that was a result of the disaster at the 1985 European Cup final in Heysel. United’s victory in Rotterdam was all the more significant for they had built on the breakthrough FA Cup win the previous year and the hegemony of the Ferguson era had begun.

Of all the evocative images of United’s matchgoers, the resplendent sight in Rotterdam takes some beating. Tens of thousands of Reds made the journey over the channel to the Netherlands to see United overcome the might of Johan Cruyff’s Barcelona.

Despite the cameras cutting to Steve Bruce, Mark Hughes had nicked the first goal from Bruce’s goalbound header. The second was vintage Hughes, who rounded Carles Busquets and drilled the ball in from an acute angle, a strike unforgettably soundtracked by Brian Moore: “Hughes is onside, there’s a chance for another one here… maybe not now… YES THERE IS! A fantastic goal by Hughes!”

Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday – April 10, 1993

The birth of Fergie Time. You know the plot: title run-in, United are striving to end their championship drought of almost 26 years, Sheffield Wednesday go 1-0 up, and there are just five more games to play.

Bruce was denied by Hughes in Rotterdam but there was no denying the United captain against the England goalkeeper Chris Woods. Two crosses, four minutes apart, the first from Denis Irwin, the second Gary Pallister, via a deflection, two heroic headers from the warhorse with the armband.

United fans danced to ‘Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life’ at full-time. Trevor Francis, the Wednesday manager, quipped to Ferguson United had won it in ‘the second leg’. With belief now coursing through the club, United win their next three games and are crowned champions by Nicky Henry’s winner against second-placed Aston Villa.

Cue an uproarious coronation night at Old Trafford the following evening, with Busby in attendance. He would pass away eight months later.

Arsenal 1-2 Manchester United – April 14, 1999

“Vieira, whoa, Vieira, whoa,

He gave Giggsy the ball,

And Arsenal won f— all”

That chant was ringing in Patrick Vieira’s ears at Old Trafford earlier this month. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s stoppage-time winner against Liverpool in the FA Cup fourth round sparked talk of a Treble and Ryan Giggs’s sensational solo goal made it believable.

The last ever FA Cup semi-final replay was an instant classic. David Beckham deceived David Seaman, Dennis Bergkamp fortuitously equalised, Roy Keane was sent off, Nicolas Anelka scored, and was mobbed by Arsenal fans all while the flag was raised and Phil Neville clattered Ray Parlour to concede a last-minute penalty. Bergkamp was foiled by Peter Schmeichel as United fans were strolling towards the exit behind him.

Then Vieira played his unwitting assist to Giggs inside his own half. Supporters were on the pitch again and this time the goal stood.

At full-time, there was a full-on pitch invasion and a United fan held aloft a banner that read ‘Now for the Fergie treble’.

What the fans said: “It meant United still had a chance to win a treble, although it was only a semi-final. United were winning the league, cup and Champions League. All thanks to Giggs’ wondergoal.”

Juventus 2-3 Manchester United – April 21, 1999

A game that Roy Keane tires of hearing about. Juventus were United’s benchmark in the Champions League and took a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes that gave them a 3-1 aggregate advantage. Keane did not roll up his sleeves as his were always short, and went about transforming defeat into victory, rising to meet David Beckham’s inswinging corner and continuing with his quest despite a booking that ruled him out of the final.

United galvanised, then played one of their best spells of football captured on film. Dwight Yorke equalised to put them through on away goals and, at the death, Yorke bundled his way through, drew Angelo Peruzzi, was upended but Andy Cole slotted the ball in.

“Full speed ahead Barcelona,” Clive Tyldesley exclaimed. United had reached a European Cup final for the first time in 31 years.

Bayern Munich 1-2 Manchester United – May 26, 1999

A climax so evocative Tyldesley’s commentary spawned the name of the United film: beyond the promised land.

“Late in May in 1999, Ole scored a goal in injury time, what a feeling, what a night,” the United fans still rock to. Two substitutes. Two added-time goals. Three trophies.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attained immortality with his instinctive volley after Teddy Sheringham’s scruffy 91st minute equaliser sapped a dominant Bayern Munich of belief.

Already Premier League champions and FA Cup winners, United were riddled with nerves in Barcelona whereas Bayern were unfazed by the occasion. Mario Basler, their goalscorer, was talismanic and Mehmet Scholl and Carsten Jancker hit the woodwork. Schmeichel clawed away a looping Stefan Effenburg volley.

Ottmar Hitzfeld, the Bayern coach, fatefully removed Basler and Lothar Matthaus. While most of the United players got stage fright, the superstar Beckham doubled for Keane, indefatigably running into the Bayern third to help win the first corner.

“Can Manchester United score? They always score.” Tyldesley remarked. They did. Steve McClaren implored Ferguson to change the formation. Ferguson ignored him. “This game isn’t over.”

Solskjaer scored in injury time.

What the fans said: “It is still the comeback of all comebacks not only clinching the Champions League but also the treble.”

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea – May 21, 2008

The red stars floated into the Moscow night sky and hours later United supporters were looking to the heavens.

Some braved the spectacle of a penalty shootout. Some could not bear to watch. Anderson, the United midfielder who had turned the tide with his sudden-death conversion and impassioned celebration, was on his knees and unable to watch as Ryan Giggs, the most experienced footballer on the pitch, brushed away the drizzle from his brow and awaited referee Lubos Michel’s whistle. Petr Cech could not have dived further away from Giggs’s side-footer.

A penalty failure has never felt more inevitable than Nicolas Anelka’s. His body language was one of resignation – the slumped shoulders, the surly disposition and short run-up. Once of Liverpool and a ‘City reject’, Anelka’s penalty was telegraphed and Edwin van der Sar, flimsy against Chelsea’s previous six efforts, slapped his palms bullishly. A smile curled on his face in the millisecond between shot and save. United were European champions again.

Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa – April 22, 2013

United’s last title under Ferguson was in the middle tier of his 13 triumphs. Devoid of a credible challenger, they were 15 points clear of Manchester City in March and, despite a wobble caused by the contentious Champions League elimination by Real Madrid, United won the championship with four games to spare.

Robin van Persie singlehandedly decided the destination of the title by opting for United over City. He struck early against Villa and his second, a first-time volley at the edge of the area from Wayne Rooney’s visionary pass, was permission for the trophy engraver to get to work. The Dutchman crowned the first-half with a hat-trick goal, ensuring a 45-minute procession until United’s 20th English championship was confirmed.

So there you have it, your top 10. Thanks to those of you who helped us shape your list and you can still have your say by voting on your favourite of those results via the LiveScore hub here. And remember, it’s more than a score!

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