The Amex Stadium

When did we last play back-to-back games at the same away ground?

Thursday 24 September 2020 12:51

Manchester United are set to play Brighton and Hove Albion at the Amex Stadium twice in the space of a few days.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men travel to the south coast on Saturday, for our first away Premier League test of the new campaign.

We also now know that the Reds will be back in double-quick time, with Graham Potter’s men confirming a Carabao Cup fourth-round date for next week after seeing off Championship side Preston North End 2-0 on Wednesday.

This got us thinking: when was the last time we played back-to-back away games against the same opposition during the same campaign, with no other fixtures in between?

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We have to travel back almost eight years, to October 2012 and Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge.

Back then, we made two separate trips to Stamford Bridge to take on Chelsea in the Premier League and the League Cup in the space of just four days.

On the Sunday, a late strike from Javier Hernandez – at the end of an eventful game which also featured an own goal from David Luiz, a Robin van Persie strike and red cards for Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres – secured our first league win at the home of the Blues for almost a decade.

Just over 72 hours later, Sir Alex opted to shuffle his pack, with only right-back Rafael retaining his place in a youthful side, which featured rookies Scott Wootton and Michael Keane at centre-back.

In an end-to-end tie, United took the lead on three separate occasions in normal time, through Ryan Giggs, Hernandez again and Nani, only to be pegged back each time by goals from Luiz, Gary Cahill and – at the death – an Eden Hazard penalty.

That spot-kick seemed to knock the stuffing out of the young Reds, with the home side adding further strikes from Daniel Sturridge and Ramires in extra-time, but Giggs slotted home a penalty of his own to give United a glimmer of hope shortly before the final whistle was blown.

The Reds would go on to make a third sojourn to the Bridge later that season in the FA Cup, when a Demba Ba goal settled a sixth-round replay.

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Prior to that double-header with the Blues, you’d have to go way back to the 1967/68 season for another instance of away déjà vu.

Sir Matt Busby’s men lost 1-0 in a midweek FA Cup third-round replay against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane, just prior to a late league win at the same ground (2-1, courtesy of an 88th-minute Bobby Charlton strike) the following Saturday.

In November 2016, we played West Ham United twice at Old Trafford in a period of three days – drawing 1-1 in the league and winning 4-1 in the League Cup, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic finding the net three times across the two encounters with the Hammers.

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