But from time to time the competition also throws up a few surprises with trips to some of the more obscure corners of Europe (and even beyond). Here, we take a look at some of the more unusual ties…
ASK Vorwaerts 0 United 2
17 November 1965
One of two clubs United have played in Europe that no longer exists (Dukla Prague’s the other), ASK Vorwaerts provided a rare trip behind the Iron Curtain for Matt Busby’s men. On what reports from the time described as “a bone-hard pitch” and in “biting wind and bitter cold”, the East German army side frustrated the Reds for 72 minutes before Denis Law broke the deadlock. John Connelly netted a second to secure the win in front of a crowd that was almost exclusively German. Apparently, no English servicemen stationed in Berlin had been allowed across the checkpoint that day.
Hibernians Valletta 0 United 0
27 September 1967
The Reds were 4-0 up after the first leg when they headed to Malta, and just as well. Played in extreme heat and on a dusty limestone pitch, both sides struggled to string passes together, let alone create goalscoring chances. The 0-0 scoreline didn’t exactly do justice to the most exciting thing to ever happen to Maltese football and those in attendance made their displeasure known, jeering the Reds off the pitch at the final whistle.
Waterford 1 United 3
18 September 1968
This trip to Dublin, for a match played at rugby ground Lansdowne Road, underlined United’s popularity in Ireland. Ticketless fans, desperate for a glimpse of the European champions, scaled the stadium walls before kick-off, while the start of the second half had to be delayed so George Best could sign