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02/01/2014 13:37, Report by Steve Morgan
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United's first FA Cup win

As United's bid to win a twelfth FA Cup begins with a home tie against Swansea, we recall the club's maiden success in 1909. Click the image above to view a gallery...

Ernest Mangnall’s Manchester United team entered the club's first FA Cup-winning season of 1908/09 as league champions, having cantered down the home straight in '08 in a manner befitting Usain Bolt.

The club's first league title was won with a record 52 points (two points for a win), nine more than runners-up Aston Villa. Goals were also in bounteous supply as United were the division's leading scorers with 81, Sandy Turnbull (25) and George Wall (19) leading the way.

But if Mangnall’s best-laid plans had not hit the skids, they’d certainly suffered a wobble as 1908/09 unfolded. Five straight league wins to start the season had suggested another procession could be in the offing, but that was followed by a bout of wholly unpredictable form including nightmare defeats at Sunderland (6-1) and Middlesbrough (5-0). No wonder the FA Cup became a welcome distraction from the faltering champions' league travails.

The route to United's first FA Cup final started at home to Southern League outfit Brighton (1-0), continued with another home win over Everton (1-0) and then gained momentum with a 6-1 thrashing of Blackburn Rovers with Scottish stars Sandy Turnbull and Jimmy Turnbull (namesakes but not related) notching a hat-trick apiece.

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