With defeat to Liverpool in the League Cup final still fresh in the mind, Ron Atkinson's men headed to the Midlands keen to prove a point against an Arsenal side who held an imperious semi-final record, having won each of their previous four ties at that stage.
In an exclusive interview with ManUtd.com ahead of his Kilimanjaro Challenge, Robson shared his recollections of the game and expressed how much he enjoyed turning out for the Reds at Villa Park. The former captain told us: "It was probably my favourite away ground to play at. I enjoyed the big pitch - it was almost always in good condition - and I liked the fact that it was a proper traditional football ground."
Robson and his team-mates channelled this positivity to create a number of opportunities in the first half, but it was Arsenal who took the lead shortly before the interval. Not to be deterred, United rallied after the break and, led by Robson, hit back to move 2-1 up with 20 minutes of the game remaining. "Tony Woodcock had put Arsenal 1-0 up, but then just after half-time I managed to get the equaliser," the Reds legend recalled.
Following the skipper's excellent sweeping finish, Norman Whiteside's winning goal ensured that it would be United, and not the Gunners, who would be marching down Wembley Way in May. "It was a great moment," reflected Robson. "To have won the semi-final and be on the way to Wembley was fantastic."