Derby 1 Manchester Utd 3
Derby County 1 Manchester United 3, Baseball Ground, English Football League First Division, December 9, 1978. Manchester United came from behind to beat Tommy Docherty´s Derby County 3-1 through a brace by Andy Ritchie either side of the break and a second-half goal from Jimmy Grenhoff.
Derby County went ahead in the contest when ex-Manchester United midfielder Gerry Daly netted on his third attempt in the third minute of play after being denied by a block from Lou Macari and then hitting the crossbar with the rebound. Manchester United worked hard to level the score, but Derby were dangerous on the counter attacks and almost doubled their lead shortly afterwards when Daly delivered a long ball to another former Old Trafford player in the shape of Gordon Hill whose powerful long-distance shot was just tipped over the bar by away goalkeeper Gary Bailey. United came close to equalising moments later, though, when Mickey Thomas, who was impressive on the wing throughout the match at Baseball Ground, unleashed a powerful left-footed effort which brought a superb save out of John Middleton in the County goal. With the first half wearing on, Manchester United began to dominate possession and The Reds finally had their equaliser when Andy Ritchie received a magnificent pass from Thomas and hammered the ball past Middleton and into the net two minutes past the half-hour mark. Dave Sextons side continued to put pressure on the home defence following the restart and got themselves in front for the first time a couple of minutes into the second half when Vic Moreland failed to clear a quickly taken free-kick by Thomas and Jimmy Greenhoff clinically fired the loose ball into the bottom corner of the net. Now sensing blood in the air, Manchester United scored again as Ritchie found the net with a header from a perfect cross by Greenhoff after 53 minutes of action, thus completing his brace, and when Dave Langan was sent off for Derby in the 78th minute the game was effectively over for The Rams. Derby County Team: John Middleton, Steven Buckley, David Langan, Jonathan Clark, Steve Powell, Vic Moreland, Gordon Hill, Gerry Daly, John Duncan, Steve Carter, Billy Caskey. Substitutes: None. Manchester United Team: Gary Bailey, Stewart Houston, Brian Greenhoff, Martin Buchan, Gordon McQueen, Sammy McIlroy, Steve Coppell, Jimmy Greenhoff, Andy Ritchie, Lou Macari, Mickey Thomas. Substitutes: None.
Manchester United Quickfacts
Despite a relatively decent start to the 1978-79 campaign, Manchester United finished in a disappointing 9th position in the First Division table, with 45 points collected from 42 matches played.