Paul Ince at West Ham.

United's league finales in London

Tuesday 17 May 2022 09:09

Manchester United are finishing a league season in London for the eighth time since the Second World War, when meeting Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The Reds have not got a good record in these finales in the capital but did win in our only other last-day game at Selhurst Park.

That came in 1993, when we celebrated the first Premier League title with a 2-1 triumph, although the opponents were Wimbledon, who were ground-sharing with Palace at the time.

Paul Ince and Bryan Robson scored the goals for Alex Ferguson's champions.

Bryan Robson secures the victory at Wimbledon in 1993.

Our first journey to London for a final league game was in 1958, in the wake of the Munich Air Disaster and a week before the FA Cup final at Wembley against Bolton Wanderers.

Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge despite Ernie Taylor getting on the scoresheet for the Reds. Four years later, we lost 2-0 at Fulham before another excursion to Chelsea ended in a 1-0 loss in 1973.

That game was most memorable for marking record-breaking Sir Bobby Charlton's farewell appearance for the club.

In 1977, United were beaten 4-2 by West Ham, with Gordon Hill and Stuart Pearson finding the net. Everton boss Frank Lampard's father, Frank Lampard Senior, was among the scorers for the home side. It came five days before the FA Cup final with Liverpool, when Tommy Docherty's men scuppered the Merseysiders' Treble bid by securing a 2-1 success.

More recently, following the Wimbledon win, there was the agonising 1-1 draw with West Ham in 1995. Blackburn Rovers won the title, despite losing to Liverpool, as Ferguson's side were unable to grab an elusive winner at Upton Park. Ludek Miklosko was beaten by Brian McClair but then produced a string of saves to frustrate the black-shirted visitors.

At least in 2001, when Tottenham recorded a 3-1 victory over the Reds, we had already been crowned Premier League champions. Paul Scholes scored our goal.

Sir Bobby Charlton is given a fond farewell at Stamford Bridge in 1973.

Of course, many seasons have ended in glory for the Reds in the capital with cup victories at Wembley, including the 1967/68 campaign that culminated in a brilliant 4-1 extra-time win over Benfica to become the first English club to lift the European Cup.

In terms of this weekend's finale, United now need three points at Palace to confirm a Europa League berth in 2022/23. West Ham's 2-2 draw with Manchester City last time out, and superior goal difference, means there is real pressure for sixth spot if they can overcome Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday.

Ralf Rangnick's side are two points clear with one game to go with seventh place qualifying for the Europa Conference League instead.

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1958: Chelsea 1-2 (E.Taylor)
1962: Fulham 0-2
1973: Chelsea 0-1
1977: West Ham 2-4 (Hill, Pearson)
1993: Wimbledon 2-1 (Ince, Robson)
1995: West Ham 1-1 (McClair)
2001: Tottenham 1-3 (Scholes)