So the Kop were apoplectic when Norman Whiteside popped up with an 88th minute equaliser for Big Ron’s Reds.
03/01/1999: United 3 Middlesbrough 1
January means one thing… FA Cup football. The old pot may have lost some sheen in recent years but there was plenty of sparkle about this Treble season tie. Boro almost a shock Old Trafford win for the second time in a just over a fortnight when Andy Townsend rolled home the opener, but a second-half surge set the Reds towards Wembley. Andy Cole’s fierce strike levelled matters and Ryan Giggs’ late solo effort clinched progress, but it was Denis Irwin’s penalty in-between which provoked Boro’s fury.
04/01/1998: Chelsea 3 United 5
Some days, everything just clicks. For 77 minutes the Reds were dominant and five goals up after a devastating display of offensive football at Stamford Bridge. David Beckham and Andy Cole grabbed clinical braces with Teddy Sheringham powerfully heading home the fifth to seal the tie. The Blues staged an unlikely late comeback, with Graeme Le Saux and Gianluca Vialli (two) giving the scoreline a false look, but afterward Sir Alex preferred to focus on the positives. “The FA Cup generates a real feeling of anticipation,” he said, “that makes players show their true character.”
05/01/1895: Newton Heath 4 Manchester City 1
The Manchester derby has come a long way. Rewind 117 years and the Red and Blue factions were duking it out in Division Two in front of just 12,000 supporters at Bank Street, in only the second officially-recognised Cottonopolis derby. It went the same way as the first, with the Heathens ratcheting up a three-goal margin of victory. John Clarkin’s brace had the hosts two goals clear by the break, and further strikes from Robert Donaldson and Richard Smith book-ended James Sharples’ overhead kick for the Blues.