But a Herculean effort from the Reds, masterminded by manager Ron Atkinson and captain Bryan Robson, dragged United into the next round via an unforgettable 3-0 victory.
Those at the game, almost to a man, describe that night as the greatest atmosphere ever generated at Old Trafford. Robson recalls "the ground shaking" while others have likened the noise that met United’s third goal as akin to an aeroplane taking off.
The full story of that incredible spring evening will be told on MUTV for the first time this Saturday at 21:00 GMT. Big Ron’s Big Night features interviews with those who were there – both on and off the pitch.
Subscribing to MUTV is easy:
Sky customers - call 08442 410 255 or visit www.sky.com/united to upgrade
Virgin Media customers - call 08708 48 68 88
UPC Ireland customers - call 0890 940 624 or visit www.upc.ie/television/premium