Sunderland 3 Man United 2
Sunderland 3 Manchester United 2, Roker Park, English Football League First Division, November 24, 1984. Manchester United suffered an unexpected defeat to Sunderland at Roker Park. United were two goals up thanks to goals from Bryan Robson and Mark Hughes before The Rokerites turned the score around with a hat-trick from Clive Walker.
England U21 goalkeeper Gary Bailey let in three goals as Manchester United were edged out 3-2 by Sunderland in front of a boisterous home crowd at the legendary Roker Park which had been designed by Scottish architect Archibald Leitch in the late 1890s. United had beaten Luton Town 2-0 at Old Trafford in their previous First Division encounter with Norman Whiteside netting a second half brace for the title contenders, whilst Sunderland had lost 1-0 against West Ham United at Upton Park where Tony Cottee had scored the winner for The Hammers seven minutes into the second period. On a windy Saturday afternoon in the North East, Barry Venison nearly put The Rokerites into an early lead when the twenty-year-old defender fired a fierce shot just a few inches over the crossbar, while Whiteside came close to scoring for the visitors shortly afterwards with a close range effort which hit the woodwork. As the contest progressed, Manchester United managed to break the defensive deadlock thanks to Bryan Robson whose relatively weak shot found its way past Sunderland custodian Chris Turner and into bottom right-hand corner of the net in the thirteenth minute of the fixture, and only two minutes later Mark Hughes doubled the advantage for the visiting side when the Welshman ran onto a clever through pass by Robson and clinically placed the ball into the bottom left corner of the goal.
The Wearsiders hit back instantly, though, when Clive Walker stormed through the Manchester United defence before the spring-heeled flank forward put the ball beyond the reach of Bailey to reduce the deficit for the hosts a mere minute later. Then, with twenty minutes of the game gone, both teams were dramatically reduced to ten men each as Hughes and David Hodgson were both handed their marching orders by the referee after a fight. Manchester United and Three Lions full back Mike Duxbury had the ball in the net moments later, but he was correctly ruled out for offside, and instead it was the home outfit who found the target again as Walker netted his second goal of the tie with a penalty kick after previous Manchester City defender Gary Bennett had been brought down by Bailey in the eighteen-yard area in the 42nd minute. And with just one minute remaining of the action packed first half, Walker scored another goal from the spot after United stopper Gordon McQueen had fouled Sunderland midfield playmaker Stan Cummins in the penalty box. Following the intermission, Len Ashurst´s Roker men almost had their fourth goal of the clash through Cummins who saw his powerful shot from over twenty yards out superbly parried away by Bailey early in the second half. During the closing stages, Remi Moses had a great opportunity to equalise for Manchester United, but his effort was deflected into a corner by Peter Daniels and the match at Roker Park ended with a 3-2 win for the Tyne and Wear club. Sunderland Team: Chris Turner, Barry Venison, Peter Daniel, Gary Bennett, Gordon Chisholm, Steve Berry, Howard Gayle, David Hodgson, Colin West, Stan Cummins, Clive Walker. Substitutes: None. Manchester United Team: Gary Bailey, John Gidman, Gordon McQueen, Billy Garton, Mike Duxbury, Remi Moses, Jesper Olsen, Bryan Robson, Gordon Strachan, Norman Whiteside, Mark Hughes. Substitute: Arnold Muhren.
Bryan Robson Quickfacts
Bryan Robson made his competitive debut for Manchester United in a 1–0 League Cup Second Round First Leg defeat against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane on the 7th of October 1981.