Man United 0 Man City 1

Alex Stepney

Man­chester Uni­ted 0 Man­chester City 1, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion, April 27, 1974. Man­chester Uni­ted re­ceived the coup de grace from Man­chester City and Scot­land in­ter­na­tion­al stri­ker De­nis Law when he hit a late win­ning goal in front of a crowd of al­most 60,000 people at Old Traf­ford on the pen­ul­tim­ate day of the 1973-74 sea­son.

Man­chester Uni­ted, who were sit­ting 21st in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble, entered The Man­chester Der­by on the back of a nar­row 1-0 de­feat ag­ainst Ever­ton at Good­ison Park, where­as 13th pla­ced Man­chester City had edged out West Ham Uni­ted by 2-1 at Maine Road. Man­chester Uni­ted en­joyed a string of de­cent scor­ing op­por­tun­it­ies dur­ing the fir­st ha­lf of the tussle, but the des­per­ate ho­me te­am failed to con­vert them in­to goals. Fol­low­ing the re­sump­tion of play, new sign­ing Den­nis Tue­art al­most fou­nd the back of the net for Man­chester City early in the sec­ond pe­riod when the left wing­er un­leashed a dev­ast­at­ing shot which hit the cross­bar, and shortly af­ter­wards Three Li­ons in­ter­na­tion­al Mi­ke Sum­mer­bee put Man­chester Uni­ted goal­keeper Al­ex Step­ney to the test wi­th a power­ful low ef­fort. The der­by mat­ch ev­entually turned in Man­chester City’s fa­vour when a spec­tac­u­lar back heel goal from De­nis Law af­ter 82 min­utes of ac­tion ce­men­ted Man­chester United´s re­leg­a­tion to Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Two. The Ab­er­do­ni­an seemed ut­terly heart­broken af­ter scor­ing ag­ainst his for­mer em­ploy­er, and he was sub­sti­tuted in­stantly by Man­chester born mid­fielder Phil Hen­son, nev­er to kick a ball in the Foot­ball Lea­gue ag­ain. The ga­me at Old Traf­ford was aban­doned just a few mo­ments la­ter due to a pitch in­va­sion, but the res­ult stood. Else­where in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion, al­ready crow­ned cham­pi­ons Leeds Uni­ted nar­rowly be­at eighth po­si­tioned Queens Park Ran­gers 1-0 at Shepherd´s Bush in West Lon­don thro­ugh an early sec­ond ha­lf goal by Al­lan Clarke, whi­le Fred­die Goodwin´s Birm­ing­ham City avoided de­mo­tion to Lea­gue Di­vi­sion Two by over­com­ing bot­tom-of-the-ta­ble Nor­wich City by 2-1 at St Andrew´s cour­tesy of a goal each from Ken­ny Burns and Bob Hat­ton. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Al­ex For­syth, Stew­art Hou­s­ton, Bri­an Green­hoff, Mar­tin Bu­chan, Jim Hol­ton, Lou Ma­cari, Ger­ry Da­ly, Jim Mc­Cal­liog, Wil­lie Mor­gan, Sam­my Mc­Ilroy. Sub­sti­tute: Mick Mar­tin. Joe Cor­rigan, Glyn Par­doe, Wil­lie Don­ach­ie, Mi­ke Doyle, Tom­my Booth, Alan Oakes, Mi­ke Sum­mer­bee, Co­lin Bell, Fran­cis Lee, De­nis Law, Den­nis Tue­art. Sub­sti­tute: Phil Hen­son.

 

Manchester United Quickfacts

Des­pite poor per­form­ances and res­ults through­out the 1973-74 cam­paign, Man­chester Uni­ted were still the best sup­por­ted club by far in the coun­try wi­th an av­er­age ho­me at­tend­ance of 42,721.

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