Cristiano Ronaldo lifts the Champions League trophy.

Match Rewind: Four classic finals

Wednesday 20 May 2020 10:57

Ready to relive some more iconic Manchester United moments? Well it is time for the next instalment in our Match Rewind series.

For those who do not yet know, Match Rewind is when Reds from all around the world can vote for their favourite classic United match, with the winner shown in full, for free, on our Official App and the home page of

Our latest theme has extra significance as 21 May marks the anniversary of four big finals, three of which were in the FA Cup and one in the Champions League.

You have got the choice of memorable goals, extra-time winners and a heart-stopping penalty shoot-out, so choose wisely...

Stuart Pearson shoots to give United the lead against Liverpool in 1977.

LIVERPOOL 1 UNITED 2 (FA Cup final, 1977)

After losing the cup final to Southampton a year earlier, United returned to Wembley hoping to upset bookmakers' favourites Liverpool. Our arch rivals from Merseyside were en route to a potential Treble. Having won the league, they were due to participate in the European Cup final a few days later, but Tommy Docherty's side halted those plans in their tracks.

The match itself saw three goals in five frantic second-half minutes. Stuart Pearson raced into the penalty area, headed the ball into the ground and produced a tidy effort to give the Reds the lead, however, within seconds of the restart, Liverpool were back on level terms, thanks to a turn and finish from Jimmy Case.

Two minutes later, though, United restored our lead, as Lou Macari's effort took a touch off Jimmy Greenhoff and flew into the back of the Liverpool net to ensure United lifted our fourth FA Cup.

BRIGHTON 2 UNITED 2 (FA Cup final, 1983)

Six years on from that memorable final, United were back at Wembley again. The Reds, who were now under the stewardship of Ron Atkinson, went into the final well fancied to win, following Brighton & Hove Albion's relegation from the First Division, but it was the Seagulls who stunned everyone to take the lead as Gary Howlett's diagonal ball from the right was headed home by Gordon Smith.

United regrouped after the interval and were back on level terms in the 55th minute. as Frank Stapleton was alive at the far post to poke us level. With just under 20 minutes to go, we hit the front courtesy of a wonderful curling effort from Ray Wilkins. However, there would be a late sting in the tail, as Brighton made it 2-2 with three minutes of the 90 to go, courtesy of Gary Stevens. And only Gary Bailey's famous save denied Smith the winner.

Five days later, the Reds would go on to win the subsequent replay 4-0.

Goal of the Day: Wilkins v Brighton Video

Goal of the Day: Wilkins v Brighton

A magnificent strike from Ray Wilkins illuminated the 1983 FA Cup final against Brighton & Hove Albion...

UNITED 1 CHELSEA 1 (6-5 on pens, Champions League, 2008)

Sir Alex Ferguson's all-conquering side travelled to Moscow to take on Chelsea in the first-ever all-English Champions League final. On a rainy night at the Luzhniki Stadium, the Reds took the lead, when Cristiano Ronaldo headed home Wes Brown's beauty of a cross.

The Blues, who had chased Sir Alex's side in vain throughout the Premier League campaign, restored parity on the stroke of half-time, as Frank Lampard latched onto a loose ball to beat Edwin van der Sar.

After 90 minutes and extra time, where neither side could find a winner, it went down to a nervous duel from the penalty spot. Ronaldo's saved effort looked to have given the Chelsea their first European Cup, but John Terry's slip and subsequent shot against a post gave United hope. Eventually, Edwin van der Sar's crucial stop from Nicolas Anelka etched our name onto the famous trophy for the third time in our history. 

Classic Match: 2008 Champions League final Video

Classic Match: 2008 Champions League final

On 21 May 2008, United became champions of Europe for the third time, following a dramatic final in Moscow...

CRYSTAL PALACE 1 UNITED 2 (FA Cup final, 2016)

Since lifting the trophy in 2004, the FA Cup had eluded United for some time. A penalty shoot-out defeat to Arsenal in 2005 and an extra-time loss to Chelsea at the new Wembley Stadium had been the closest the Reds had got to winning the silverware, before our classic encounter with Crystal Palace in 2016.

Alan Pardew danced on the touchline with glee as his side grasped the advantage with 12 minutes to go, as Jason Puncheon rocketed the south London side into the lead. Fortunately, Juan Mata got us back on level terms, three minutes later. And then, in extra-time, Jesse Lingard completed the turnaround with an iconic volleyed goal to send the United fans behind the goal into ecstasy.

Classic Match: The 2016 FA Cup final Video

Classic Match: The 2016 FA Cup final

On 21 May 2016, United secured an unforgettable extra-time win over Crystal Palace in the FA Cup final...


You can select which of the four matches you want to see by voting in our Match Rewind live blog.
The vote closes at 11:00 BST on Thursday (21 May) and we’ll show the winning game in full, and for free, on the Official App and at 19:00 BST later that evening.
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