Bryan Robson in action during the 1990 FA Cup final against Crystal Palace.

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16/10/2013 18:14, Report by Nathan Thomas

Robson's toughest tie

Bryan Robson became the only United captain to lift the FA Cup three times when the Reds beat Crystal Palace in 1990 - but the cup final replay's place in club history owes more to the fact it yielded Sir Alex Ferguson's first trophy.

The 1-0 win, secured by a rare Lee Martin goal, was straightforward enough but the initial encounter five days earlier had been anything but - Robson and his team-mates had to work extremely hard to even force a replay against a Palace side who'd knocked out eventual league champions Liverpool in the semi-final.

Speaking exclusively to ManUtd.com ahead of his Kilimanjaro Challenge, the former Reds skipper recalled how the unfancied Eagles caused a host of problems. "Crystal Palace had some great players at the time. It's only now that we realise, having seen players like Ian Wright and Mark Bright go on to forge great careers for themselves, why we had such a tough time against them."

United had to come from behind on two occasions in a six-goal thriller. Robson himself hauled his side level after Gary O'Reilly's early opener for Palace and then Mark Hughes put the favourites 2-1 up. Two consecutive goals from Wright forced extra-time and then edged the Eagles in front again, only for Hughes to equalise with minutes to spare.

Robson, who toiled away in midfield trying to seize control for United, believes the 3-3 draw was one of the toughest games he played on the big stage. "I would say from all the semi-finals and finals that I played, Palace was the most physical of them all. The referee was letting things go and it proved to be a really difficult encounter."

Bryan Robson is climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to help raise money for Manchester United Foundation. To sponsor him, please visit www.justgiving.com/robsonfamily.


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