Goal of the Day: Hughes v City

Friday 06 December 2019 11:25

Today's 'Goal of the Day' comes from a man who has ties with both the red and blue sides of the Manchester divide...

Date: 6 December 1992, Old Trafford, Premier League.

Background: This was the first Manchester derby of the Premier League era and United desperately needed to win as we started off the afternoon 12 points behind league leaders Norwich City. Alex Ferguson’s side were ahead inside 20 minutes after a quick free-kick caught City off guard, leading to Paul Ince finding space outside the box to drill a low shot beyond the reach of goalkeeper Tony Coton. New signing Eric Cantona made his first United appearance after the interval as the Reds looked to kill the game off, but it was his strike partner who scored what was ultimately the decisive goal of the match...
The goal: Denis Irwin sent forward a hopeful free-kick which was flicked on by Roy Keane towards Cantona. City’s backline only managed to clear as far as Hughes, who expertly chested the ball down to take him away from two opposing players. The Welshman then let the ball bounce before unleashing an unstoppable left-footed drive which looped over Coton and into the back of the net.
What happened next: City pulled a goal back a minute later through Niall Quinn as he poked the ball past Peter Schmeichel from close range. United held on to win 2-1 and six months later the Reds were crowned the first Premier League Champions.

Reaction: “The ball dropped nicely to me on the edge of the box, I just chested it forward and let it drop, and Tony was catching flies unfortunately for him,” said a grinning Hughes.