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George Best playing against Chelsea

Goal of the Day: Best's winner v Chelsea 1970

Today's 'Goal of the Day' is from back in 1970 and a previous meeting with Chelsea in the League Cup...

Date: 28 October 1970, Old Trafford, League Cup

Background: A hard-fought League Cup fourth round tie at Old Trafford was finely poised, with Wilf McGuinness’s Reds tied at 1-1 with Dave Sexton’s Blues after John Hollins had cancelled out Bobby Charlton’s opener. With 20 minutes remaining, George Best strode towards the Chelsea goal, with Blues hard-man Ron ‘Chopper’ Harris in hot pursuit…

The goal: “He was running through on goal but he’s slightly overrun the ball,” recalled Harris, looking back. “I thought: ‘Here’s your chance, finally!” Marginally outside the penalty area, the defender launched into a challenge aimed more at dismemberment than dispossession, but then watched on agog as Best somehow rode the challenge, skipped past onrushing Chelsea stopper Peter Bonetti and slid home an ice-cool finish.

What happened next: United held on for a 2-1 victory to move through to the fifth round, but progress was ultimately halted at the semi-final stage by a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Aston Villa. Best, meanwhile, went on to end the season as United’s top scorer, with 21 goals from 48 games.

Reaction: While the nature of his attempted challenge suggested otherwise, Best retains a special place in Harris’s affections. Looking back on the goal, the defender admitted: “It was the opening clip on Grandstand for years — watching that, I was sure I’d catch him one day! George was the one player I couldn't get near, the best I played against.”

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