Manchester Utd 4 Benfica 1

Sir Matt Busby

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.


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