Manchester U 7 West Brom 0

Bobby Charlton

Man­chester Uni­ted 7 West Brom­wich Al­bion 0, Old Traf­ford, Eng­lish Foot­ball Lea­gue Fir­st Di­vi­sion, April 8, 1970. Man­chester Uni­ted had won all of their three pre­vi­ous ho­me fix­tures ag­ainst West Brom­wich Al­bion, but on­ly the bold­est of clair­voy­ants could have pre­dicted the res­ult of this mat­ch. Wilf McGuinness´s men were 3-0 up at the in­ter­val and ad­ded four more goals in the sec­ond pe­riod to out­class The Bag­gies to the tune of a 7-0 score.

Man­chester born and bred, Wilf McGuin­ness had sig­ned as a pro­fes­sion­al wi­th Man­chester Uni­ted on the 25th of Oct­ober 1954 and pro­ceeded to make 85 fir­st te­am out­ings for the club be­fore a broken leg fin­ished his pro­fes­sion­al play­ing ca­reer when he was just twenty-two-years of age. Af­ter hanging up his foot­ball boots on a per­man­ent basis, McGuiness con­tin­ued as a coach at Uni­ted and when le­gendary gaf­fer Sir Matt Busby went in­to re­tire­ment at the end of the 1968–69 sea­son, the for­mer wing ha­lf was ap­poin­ted as his suc­cessor; but un­for­tu­nately he would on­ly last eight­een months in the hot seat at Old Traf­ford. In April 1970, how­ever, his Man­chester Uni­ted troops gave fel­low mid-ta­blers West Brom­wich a trash­ing they will prob­ably nev­er for­get to this day. The Man­chester out­fit may nev­er have per­formed at their very best un­der McGuin­ness, but The Reds still had plenty of fire­power, and al­though they came in­to the Fir­st Di­vi­sion en­counter ag­ainst West Brom­wich on the back of a dis­ap­point­ing and heavy 5-1 loss to New­castle Uni­ted at St Ja­mes´ Park a mere four days earli­er, it did­n’t take them long to re­cov­er as they used an of­fens­ive ex­plo­sion to de­mol­ish The Throstles by a 7-0 mar­gin. At Old Traf­ford, John Fitz­patrick, Bob­by Charl­ton, and Alan Gowl­ing all went on to re­gister a brace each for Uni­ted be­fore Ge­orge Best re­cor­ded the fi­nal goal of the clash ten min­utes from time.

West Brom­wich boss Alan Ash­man, a for­mer chick­en farm­er, could on­ly sit and watch as Fitz­patrick opened the scor­ing ac­count for Man­chester Uni­ted wi­th a mag­ni­fi­cent head­er with­in the fir­st min­ute of the mid­week ga­me. It was the be­gin­ning of a very busy even­ing, in­deed, for West Brom shot stop­per John Os­borne. Wi­th a quart­er gone, Charl­ton net­ted the sec­ond goal of the fix­ture, and el­ev­en min­utes be­fore the sound of the ha­lf-time whistle, Gowl­ing made the sco­reline 3-0 in fa­vour of the rampant ho­me si­de. The Old Traf­ford men con­tin­ued their on­slaught fol­low­ing the in­ter­mis­sion and Fitz­patrick notched up a fourth goal for the hosts in the 59th min­ute of the one-sided af­fair. Sev­en min­utes la­ter, Charl­ton put Man­chester Uni­ted five goals ahead whi­le Gowl­ing ad­ded a sixth in the 76th min­ute of the tie, and wi­th ten min­utes re­maining on the referee´s clock, Best net­ted the last goal of the con­test wi­th a fine strike to hand the red shirts a com­pre­hens­ive 7-0 win ag­ainst The Bag­gies. Des­pite com­ing un­der a lot of cri­ti­cism, Wilf McGuinness´s Man­chester Uni­ted fin­ished eighth in the Fir­st Di­vi­sion ta­ble, and rea­ched the semi-fi­nals of bo­th FA Cup and Foot­ball Lea­gue Cup, dur­ing his fir­st sea­son in charge. John Fitz­patrick, for his part, went on to notch up ten goals in 147 ap­pear­ances in all com­pet­i­tions for Man­chester Uni­ted be­fore doc­tors ad­vised him to re­tire be­cause of a chron­ic knee con­di­tion. Man­chester Uni­ted Te­am: Al­ex Step­ney, Da­vid Sad­ler, To­ny Dun­ne, Ian Ure, Pad­dy Cre­rand, John Fitz­patrick, Wil­lie Mor­gan, Nob­by Sti­les, Ge­orge Best, Bob­by Charl­ton, Alan Gowl­ing. Sub­stitutes: No­ne. West Brom­wich Al­bion Te­am: John Os­borne, Ray Wilson, Doug Fraser, Alistair Robertson, Alan Mer­rick, Lyn­don Hug­hes, Asa Hart­ford, Co­lin Sug­gett, Jef­frey Astle, Alistair Bro­wn, Bob­by Hope. Sub­stitutes: No­ne.

 

Manchester United Quickfacts

Man­chester Uni­ted failed to win any of their six open­ing mat­ches of the 1969-70 cam­paign, their fir­st vic­tory of the sea­son com­ing in a 3-1 tri­umph ag­ainst Sun­der­land at ho­me in late Au­gust.

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