Manchester Utd 4 Benfica 1
Manchester United 4 Benfica 1, Wembley Stadium, UEFA European Cup Final Fixture, May 29, 1968. Sir Matt Busby will always be remembered for the European Cup Final in May 1968. Ten years after the Munich Air Disaster, his Manchester United team became the first English side ever to win the European Cup when they overcame Benfica 4-1 at Wembley.
On their way to the European Cup Final, Benfica had disposed of Glentoran, Saint-Etienne, Vasas, and Juventus, while Manchester United had knocked out Hibernians, Sarajevo, Gornik Zabrze, and Real Madrid. England international Bobby Charlton opened the scoring account with a powerful header eight minutes into the second period to make it 1-0 to Manchester United. Then, with a mere ten minutes remaining on referee Concetto Lo Bello´s clock, Jaime Graca managed to score the equaliser and Benfica almost won the match when Portugal international Eusebio blasted the ball goalwards. But the effort was brilliantly saved by shot stopper Alex Stepney and with no further addition to the score the European Cup Final went into extra time. Then, two minutes after the restart, George Best put Manchester United in the lead for the second time during the match as the Northern Ireland forward produced a great individual run before he slipped round the goalkeeper and easily tapped the ball over the chalk line. It was followed by two late goals from Brian Kidd and Charlton which made the final scoreline read 4-1 in favour of Manchester United. The whole nation immediately realised how important this historic triumph was for the English game and the victory was fully recognised shortly after as managerial legend Matt Busby was knighted in the Queen´s Birthday Honours List. At long last the wait for Manchester United Football Club to clinch the European Cup was over. Manchester United Team: Alex Stepney, Shay Brennan, Bill Foulkes, David Sadler, Tony Dunne, John Aston, Paddy Crerand, Nobby Stiles, George Best, Bobby Charlton, Brian Kidd. Substitute: Jimmy Rimmer.