Old Trafford, Sat 29 December 1979
MANCHESTER UNITED 3
(McQueen 7, Jordan 38, McIlroy (pen) 71)
United: Bailey; Nicholl, McQueen, Buchan, Houston; Coppell, McIlroy, Wilkins, Thomas; Jordan, Macari. Sub not used: Ritchie.
Arsenal: Jennings; Rice, Young, O'Leary (Walford), Devine; Hollins, Talbot, Brady, Rix; Sunderland, Stapleton.
United went into this snow-capped Old Trafford tie in December 1979 having been beaten 2-0 by Liverpool at Anfield three days earlier in a crucial top-of-the-table clash. Only two points separated the title rivals (back in the days of two points for a win), while Arsenal were hot on our heels in third after a morale-boosting 1-0 win over Tottenham.
Action: The Reds got off to a dream start, Gordon McQueen heading in front after just eight minutes and it was one-way traffic early on, Lou Macari hitting a post and Mickey Thomas being brilliantly denied by Pat Jennings. Further goals from Joe Jordan and Sammy McIlroy either side of half time ensured the points for United and kept the pressure on Liverpool.
Reaction: The Reds followed the win a 1-1 draw away to Tottenham in the FA Cup with Sammy McIlroy again on target, before they lost the replay 1-0 at Old Trafford in extra time. Another 1-1 draw, this time at Ayresome Park against Middlesbrough saw the Reds lose the chance to gain ground on Liverpool, try as they might Dave Sexton’s men couldn’t close the gap and the Division One trophy stayed up the East Lancs Road for the second successive season.
In the charts: Another Brick In The Wall by Pink Floyd held top spot in the singles