FA Cup: United's fourth-round heroes
Before our tie with Tranmere Rovers, ManUtd.com recalls five Reds who made match-winning impacts at this stage of the competition, starting with the manager...
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer: United 2 Liverpool 1; 1999
It was an epic impact like this that not only earned Solskjaer such monikers as 'the baby-faced assassin' and 'super sub' but also defined United's Treble-winning season. The substitute struck right at the death at Old Trafford to snatch victory from Liverpool in a game which boosted belief that the supposedly impossible Treble was, well, possible. Michael Owen put Liverpool into a third-minute lead and after United spurned numerous chances to equalise, Dwight Yorke eventually did it by tapping home two minutes from time to seemingly salvage a replay. Step forward Ole, whose clinical drive through goalkeeper David James' legs sealed a dramatic win in front of the Stretford End. Little did we know then how crucial that goal would be as a catalyst, or that Ole would do the same again as a sub in May on one of the greatest nights in United's history…
Clayton Blackmore: Hereford 0 United 1; 1990
United travelled to Edgar Street in the 1989/90 season on the back of a demoralising 2-0 defeat to Norwich, a result which left Alex Ferguson's men in 19th place, the lowest point of a tough league season. The Reds struggled on a poor pitch and it was Hereford who created the better chances. A phantom whistler in the crowd caused confusion at the back for United, but goalkeeper Jim Leighton rescued the Reds by saving from Robinson. United then raced down the other end of the pitch and Mike Duxbury crossed for Blackmore to snatch an 85th-minute winner.
Lou Macari: United 1 Queens Park Rangers 0; 1977
The visitors were the surprise package of the previous season, having finished as runners-up to Liverpool in the league, so United knew it would be a tough game. The OT turf was icy, but one player who dealt with the conditions better than most was Macari. He grabbed the only goal of the tie when his snap-shot was saved and he raced forward to head in the rebound. Reds boss Tommy Docherty had got one over on his soon-to-be-successor Dave Sexton and United went on to lift the FA Cup for the fourth time.
Albert Quixall: United 1 Aston Villa 0; 1963
The FA Cup was a welcome distraction for the relegation-threatened Reds in 1963 (Matt Busby's men eventually finished 19th); that said, it was a feisty game and a number of fierce challenges left players from both sides needing treatment. It was in this ragged state of play that Quixall grabbed United's vital goal. The inside forward's shot from distance looked tame, but somehow it trickled under the Villa goalkeeper Sidebottom. At the other end, United shot-stopper Harry Gregg showed his opposite number how the job should be done, making some crucial saves which undoubtedly kept United in the FA Cup and took the Reds further along the road to a first trophy since the Munich air disaster.
Jimmy Turnbull: Burnley 2 United 3; 1909
The Scot grabbed the headlines when he decisively scored twice against north-west neighbours Burnley in a rematch at Turf Moor. The first encounter between the two sides had been abandoned after 72 minutes due to snow, with Burnley leading 1-0 at the time. The postponement came, somewhat ironically, after the local newspaper had claimed:
“Snow covering the region could spoil sport, but as far as Association Football is concerned, it's a hardier affair and there is little possibility of any interference with today's programme.” Regardless, United took full advantage of this meteorological reprieve, winning 3-2 with Turnbull netting twice and Harold Halse scoring the other. The Reds went on to lift the trophy for the first time at Wembley.
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