Eriksen and United: The story so far

Saturday 16 July 2022 15:00

It’s taken a while for Christian Eriksen’s path to lead him to United, but both player and club have plenty of history.

Across his illustrious career, Eriksen has faced only one club more often than he’s taken on the Reds. The Denmark legend has lined up against United on 16 occasions (he’s only played Chelsea more often, 17 times), with the story beginning a decade ago in Amsterdam. 

Sir Alex Ferguson’s United made their debut in the Europa League in the 2011/12 tournament, and our first opponents in the competition were Ajax, featuring a young Eriksen who had just turned 20 two days before. Despite his youth, the Danish playmaker was already well established in the Ajax side and was in his third season in the first team as the Reds arrived at the Amsterdam Arena for the second-round tie on 16 February 2012.

United were still smarting from dropping into the Europa League via the Champions League having finished third in their group and took it out on Ajax, winning 2-0 in the Dutch capital with goals from Ashley Young and Chicharito. Eriksen played 90 minutes in that match, and started the second leg in Manchester for an Old Trafford debut which saw the visitors win 2-1 but still exit the competition 3-2 on aggregate.

Eriksen contests an aerial duel with Wayne Rooney during that first leg in Amsterdam.

He repeated that 2-1 winning scoreline on his next trip to Old Trafford two years later, this time in the colours of Tottenham Hotspur, having moved to north London in August 2013.

Spurs took the lead in the first half when Eriksen crossed for Emmanuel Adebayor to head home, and the Dane went from provider to goalscorer in the second half by heading home to double Tottenham’s lead.

Thankfully for United, his next four visits to M16 with Spurs were nowhere near as fruitful, the Reds winning all four without conceding, although he was a central part of their 3-0 win at Old Trafford at the start of the 2018/19 season, laying on the Lucas Moura goal that put Spurs 2-0 up.

In total, Eriksen played 13 times for Spurs against United, winning five, drawing one, losing seven and scoring twice.

Eriksen playing for Tottenham at Old Trafford in 2016.

Eriksen didn’t face United in his time with Inter, although the United connections continued there, playing alongside former Reds Ashley Young, Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez and Matteo Darmian in the San Siro.

Having signed for Brentford in January 2022, he again returned to Manchester in opposition colours in May of this year, playing the 90 minutes in United’s 3-0 win at Old Trafford. That was the Reds’ last home game of the 2021/22 season – now Eriksen will be making a quick return but this time, finally, in the colours of Manchester United.