Six memorable cup clashes between Man Utd and Crystal Palace ahead of FA final
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | April 27, 2016
Manchester United (3/10 title favourites with Coral) and Crystal Palace (12/5) lock horns in the FA Cup final on Saturday, May 21st this season, after seeing off respective fellow Premier League opposition Everton and Watford in the semis.
However, it won’t be the first time they have faced each other in cup clashes or even the final of the world’s oldest knockout football competition. So, Coral writers delve deep into the archives to find all six ties between the two, to remind readers of past battles, most of which came in the latter rounds…
2011/12 League Cup quarter-final: Man Utd 1-2 Palace AET
Most recently, the duo tussled at Old Trafford in the quarters of the League Cup in 2011, and not many had given Dougie Freedman’s then-Championship outfit Palace a chance against global force United.
However, Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a second-string side consisting of the likes of Ben Amos, Darron Gibson, Federico Macheda and Mame Biram Diouf, and were shocked by Darren Ambrose’s screamer to break the deadlock.
A Macheda spot-kick a few minutes later forced the tie into extra-time, but Glenn Murray’s winner took the Eagles swooping into the semis, where they lost out to Cardiff City on penalties.
1994/95 FA Cup semi-final: Palace 0-2 Man Utd (replay)
In another close encounter, the duo had to fight it out across two legs in the 1994/95 FA Cup semi-final, after Denis Irwin and future Palace boss Iain Dowie’s goals in 90 minutes, followed by Gary Pallister and Chris Armstrong’s extra-time strikes at Villa Park.
Defender Pallister was the hero three days later again, as he netted in the first-half following centre back partner Steve Bruce’s opener, in a feisty encounter that saw Roy Keane and Darren Patterson sent off for an altercation after the Republic of Ireland assistant stamped on Gareth Southgate.
Southgate stamp after 7:12
The Red Devils went on to lose in the final to Everton, however, to leave Fergie’s team without a major trophy for the first time in six seasons.
1989/90 FA Cup final: Man Utd 1-0 Palace (replay)
Another of their clashes saw the first tie go to extra-time, this time in a 3-3 thriller following a 2-2 draw after 90 mins. Odds of 5/2 say their upcoming battle will be a draw in normal time too.
Braces apiece from star attackers Ian Wright of Palace and United’s Mark Hughes followed openers from Gary O’Reilly and Bryan Robson.
The replay at Wembley five days later, saw left back Lee Martin grab the only goal of the game to hand Ferguson his first of 38 trophies at Man Utd and ultimately save the Scot’s job.
1987/88 League Cup third round: Man Utd 2-1 Palace
Back when United were still a team in transition under Fergie, they managed a tight 2-1 victory over Palace at Old Trafford in the third round of the League Cup, thanks to Brian McClair’s first-half double.
They inflicted the same scoreline upon neighbours Bury in the next round, but went down 2-0 to Oxford United, who lost to Luton Town in the semis, in the quarters.
1985/86 League Cup second round: Palace 0-2 Man Utd (aggregate)
The one and only time the two teams have met at Selhurst Park in either domestic cup competitions, Palace lost 1-0 in the first leg before going down by the same score at Old Trafford.
Manchester-born Peter Barnes provided the winner in London, while Northern Ireland hero Norman Whiteside grabbed the sole goal in front of their home crowd of just over 26k.
In Ron Atkinson’s last season at United, Whiteside extended the Red Devils’ run to the fourth round after netting against West Ham United, but then lost out to bitter rivals and eventual semi-finalists Liverpool.
1970/71 League Cup quarter-final: Man Utd 4-2 Palace
Finally, we go back to their first-ever cup clash, which took place during Wilf McGuinness’ ill-fated tenure in 1970, just before Sir Matt Busby regained control, of the club for a short second spell.
Club legends Bobby Charlton and Brian Kidd (twice), were amongst the goals, as was Scotsman John Fitzpatrick in a 4-2 result.
The Red Devils were later to beat the Eagles in another high-scoring clash later that season in the league 5-3, thanks to a George Best double and Denis Law hat-trick, but were knocked out of the League Cup semis by Aston Villa across two legs.
Check out more FA Cup content in our dedicated archive, ahead of the final on May 21st!