Ranking Old Trafford's 10 greatest European nights
On this day in 1957, Manchester United played at Old Trafford in European competition for the first time.
The opposition that evening, 63 years ago, were European champions and eventual winners Real Madrid and, although the Spaniards raced into a two-goal lead, second-half strikes from Tommy Taylor and Bobby Charlton ensured the shares were spoiled on a thrilling night.
United have served up plenty more unforgettable evenings on home soil down the years. Here’s the rundown of our top 10...
10. UNITED 3 MILAN 2 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL, 2006/07)
A magical display from future Ballon d’Or winner Kaka had Sir Alex Ferguson’s side staring at a home defeat in this Champions League semi-final, before a Wayne Rooney double – the second in injury-time – sent Old Trafford rocking.
9. UNITED 3 BARCELONA 3 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE, 1998/99)
An epic group-stage encounter in which the Reds raced into a two-goal lead before being pegged back by the Catalans. David Beckham’s free-kick made it 3-2, but the visitors had the last word from the spot after Nicky Butt was sent off for handball.
Manchester United 3-3 BarcelonaVideo
8. UNITED 3 OLYMPIACOS 0 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE ROUND OF 16, 2013/14)
Trailing by two goals after a listless first-leg display in Piraeus, United overturned a two-goal deficit in a European tie for the first time in 30 years, thanks to David De Gea’s brilliance and Robin van Persie’s hat-trick.
7. UNITED 2 INTERNAZIONALE (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL, 1998/99)
A raucous night in M16 as the tournament favourites were twice undone by the unstoppable combination of David Beckham’s pinpoint crosses and Dwight Yorke’s clinical headers.
6. UNITED 3 JUVENTUS 2 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP STAGE, 1996/97)
Having twice been humbled by Marcello Lippi’s Bianconeri the previous season, the Reds’ European maturation was dramatically underlined on a night best remembered for Ryan Giggs’s slaloming clincher.
5. UNITED 4 PORTO 0 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL, 1996/97)
Old Trafford shook as Alex Ferguson’s Reds ran riot against the tournament dark horses, all but ending the tie inside 90 minutes through David May, Eric Cantona, Ryan Giggs and Andrew Cole.
Classic match: United 3 Juventus 2Video
4. UNITED 1 REAL MADRID 0 (EUROPEAN CUP SEMI-FINAL, 1967/68)
Our heroic second-leg fightback is renowned, but United’s 1968 success was built on a magnificent first-leg performance against Real at Old Trafford, decided by George Best’s belting winner.
3. UNITED 7 ROMA 1 (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUARTER-FINAL 2006/07)
Another fightback, this time completed in comfort. From 1-2 on aggregate to 5-2 on aggregate by half-time at Old Trafford, this was a night when Sir Alex Ferguson’s Reds warned Europe of what was to come.
Watch in full: United 7 Roma 1Video
2. UNITED 1 BARCELONA (CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMI-FINAL, 2007/08)
Tension in its purest, most agonising form. Paul Scholes’s early thunderbolt proved to be the only goal of the game, while a relentless backing from the home support carried the Reds through to Moscow, where we'd eventually lift our third European Cup.
1. UNITED 3 BARCELONA 0 (EUROPEAN CUP WINNERS' CUP QUARTER-FINAL, 1983/84)
Soundtracked by what is widely cited as the greatest atmosphere Old Trafford has ever heard, Ron Atkinson’s Reds roared back from a two goal first-leg deficit to steamroller a star-studded Barcelona team.
Classic match: United 3 Barcelona 0Video
OUR RECORD AT OLD TRAFFORD IN EUROPE
P180 W124 D40 L16