Glory Days: How United's first Double was won
Twenty-six years ago today, United secured a league and cup Double for the very first time, providing a fitting finale to a campaign in which we said goodbye to Sir Matt Busby...
ROUTE TO WEMBLEY
Away-day wins at Sheffield United, Norwich City and Wimbledon – a neat sequence of 1-0, 2-0 and 3-0 – took the champions-elect to the last eight, where a Mark Hughes goal and two from the fleet feet of Andrei Kanchelskis downed Charlton 3-1 (despite Peter Schmeichel’s dismissal) to set up another eventful last-four tussle with Oldham.
Mark Hughes’s late goal got us out of jail first time around at Wembley, but United were not to be denied in the Maine Road replay. Early goals from ex-Latic Denis Irwin and Kanchelskis gave United a foothold in the final, with Bryan Robson and Ryan Giggs completing the job midway through the second half after Neil Pointon’s riposte halved Oldham’s arrears.
With time almost up in the first semi-final clash and United trailing Oldham 1-0, Mark Hughes somehow wriggled his way between two defenders to crash home a volley at full stretch and secure another tilt at the Latics.
Eric Cantona’s coolness proved crucial in the final reckoning against Chelsea, but Mark Hughes was the hero of the campaign, for his all-round refusal to be beaten and four goals across the Cup odyssey – starting with the third-round winner at Bramall Lane.
Chelsea – victorious in both our league encounters that season – fancied their chances of nicking a tight final, which was still goalless at the hour mark.
Some 30 minutes and four goals later, the Blues watched United cavort in the Wembley rain, wondering what had hit them.
Two penalties inside six minutes – both coolly converted by Cantona, after some helpful comments from the ever-talkative Dennis Wise – opened the door to history, which Hughes and McClair needed no invitation to walk through: United 4 Chelsea 0. The Double fantasy was now reality.
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