Reds reach both finals for the third time

Monday 24 April 2023 11:56

Manchester United have reached both domestic finals in the same season for the third time in our history.

The last campaign we did it in was in 1993/94, as Sir Alex Ferguson's side completed our first Double by beating Chelsea 4-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Eric Cantona converted two penalties, with Mark Hughes and Brian McClair also on the scoresheet in the rain as the Reds lifted the trophy with a team reckoned to be one of our best ever, on the back of winning the Premier League.

It certainly made up for losing the League Cup final to Aston Villa, with Hughes netting again but in a 3-1 defeat to former manager Ron Atkinson's Midlanders. The late Dalian Atkinson and Dean Saunders (2) did the damage for the Villans.

See how the Reds crushed Chelsea 4-0 to complete the Double in 1993/94.

In 1982/83, Atkinson was the United boss as we went all the way to Wembley to meet Liverpool in the then-Milk Cup final. It was the first time we'd got this stage of the competition and a 12th-minute strike by young Norman Whiteside, after brilliantly turning Alan Hansen, handed us an early lead.

However, the Merseysiders levelled through full-back Alan Kennedy and a curler by Ronnie Whelan in extra-time put a dampener on proceedings from a United perspective with almost 100,000 fans in attendance.

It was a sweeter occasion in the FA Cup final, but only after a replay. The first game with Brighton & Hove Albion finished 2-2, with Gordon Smith opening the scoring, only for Frank Stapleton and Ray Wilkins to fire United in front. Gary Stevens equalised for the Seagulls a few minutes from time, and Gary Bailey's late save denied Smith a dramatic winner.

Instead, the teams reconvened five days later and this was a one-sided affair. Skipper Bryan Robson struck twice, and won a penalty converted by Arnold Muhren, while Whiteside was among the goals again in a 4-0 victory.

Watch the Reds hit four past Brighton in the 1983 FA Cup final replay.

So, of course, United have never lifted both main domestic cups in the same season. Arsenal were the first side to do this, in 1992/1993, beating Sheffield Wednesday in both competitions, but Liverpool (twice), Chelsea and Manchester City have all managed it since.

Here's hoping Erik ten Hag's men can make history for the club when taking on Manchester City on 3 June as we've now matched Arsenal's record for the most appearances in the FA Cup final (21).