Vote now: Which was United’s best cup game of 2022/23?

Tuesday 06 June 2023 10:00

Manchester United’s slender defeat in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup final was our 24th competitive match to come outside of the Premier League in 2022/23.

Across Erik ten Hag’s first season at the club, the Reds’ exploits in the Carabao Cup, Europa League and FA Cup ensured that we played 62 times in total – four short of our all-time record number of games in a single term (66) set in 2008/09.

While the weekend’s Wembley contest ultimately saw us fall at the FA Cup’s final hurdle, there was plenty to celebrate in our run to that point in the competition, as there was in our progress to the quarter-finals in Europe and en route to lifting the League Cup.

From 24 matches, we’ve whittled down our cup outings from this term to a five-strong shortlist and are tasking you with picking which should take top spot as our best this season, via the poll near the bottom of this article.

But before casting your vote, you can recap each encounter of the selectable quintet, should you need to...

Top five cup matches


Which would be no.1 on your list for 2022/23? Here are the highlights from the five standout ties we've picked out...

10 November 2022 - Carabao Cup third round

A game that is very much the definition of a cup classic, that you can get just as much enjoyment watching back now as you will have done seeing it at the time. Four days on from defeat to Unai Emery’s Villans in the Premier League, United hit back in round two of our back-to-back contests with the Midlanders, in what was round three of the Carabao Cup. All six goals were scored in a frantic second half under the Old Trafford lights, in which the Reds successfully came from behind twice, to triumph 4-2. There were key contributions across the board, including that of Alejandro Garnacho, who came on to tee up our final two strikes from the bench. The result was a fitting sign off from M16 in our final game before the World Cup, and a pivotal result on the road to the first trophy of the Ten Hag era.

16 February 2023 - Europa League knockout play-off first leg

From the moment Barcelona and United were paired together unfamiliarly in the Europa League, the tie was billed as a blockbuster. Both legs would go on to live up to that, and the first leg at the Nou Camp certainly set the tone. There was a classic feel to a modern meeting from the get-go, with Barcelona decked out in their famous red-and-blue jerseys, against United, in all white, just as it often had been when the sides met in years gone by – think 1991, 1998 and 2008, among others. Just like the aforementioned clash with Villa, all the goals were scored after half-time, three of which came in a rollercoaster nine-minute spell before the hour, which saw United turn a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The spoils would ultimately be shared at the full-time whistle, but it laid down quite a marker for the return leg seven days later, in which it was all to play for.
Marcus Rashford had an inspired influence on the night - scoring one and playing a key role in our other.
23 February 2023 - Europa League knockout play-off second leg

One of the great (our greatest this season?) matches at Old Trafford over the last 11 months, and one of those that naturally comes to mind when reflecting on the whole campaign. It had everything: a cracking atmosphere, a comeback, drama, goals. But it also showed so much about Ten Hag’s United: belief, character, energy, fight. A first-half penalty converted by the Catalans threatened to make it one of those nights, but a superb second-half turnaround with goals from Fred and Antony – inspired by a raucous noise at the Theatre of Dreams – ensured it’s an evening that is right in the mix when we’re talking about our best cup matches of 2022/23. 
United lifted the Carabao Cup three days after beating Barcelona in February.
26 February 2023 - Carabao Cup final

The Reds enjoyed quite a week in late February, following up that epic second-leg showdown with Barcelona by registering our first piece of silverware under Erik, against Newcastle at Wembley. Just three days on from that enthralling Europa League encounter, United once again displayed the relentless mentality that has been evident over the course of the campaign, going from one height to another in quick succession. The goals in the first 45 minutes from Casemiro and Marcus Rashford were moments to savour, and the post-match celebrations will be remembered for some time to come too. Thinking back to the roar when the boss lifted the trophy on the Wembley balcony, or the players singing with the fans, can still garner goose bumps, and will hopefully serve as motivation for all involved to push on for further success as we move forward.
Which was United's best cup match in 2022/23?poll

Which was United's best cup match in 2022/23?

19 March 2023 - Emirates FA Cup quarter-final

The fifth match on our list comes from our road to the FA Cup final. News that a last-four meeting with Brighton was up for grabs had been filtering around Old Trafford prior to kick-off, with the draw made in the immediacy before our game, and supporters were already singing about a return to Wembley early on. On the pitch, however, it wasn’t quite so straightforward. United weren’t on top form in the first half, and after going behind early in the second – either side of two magnificent David De Gea saves – the Reds had it all to do. But a dramatic sequence of events following a VAR review of a Willian handball on the goal line saw the Brazilian sent off, along with Cottagers scorer Aleksandar Mitrovic and head coach Marco Silva. The subsequent penalty was converted by the ever-reliable Bruno Fernandes and with a two-man advantage, United would ruthlessly turn the game on its head in our favour, scoring twice more to book a return to the national stadium for the semi-final.


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  • 90 in 20: Barcelona v United Video

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  • 90 in 20: United v Newcastle Video

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    90 in 20 | Watch the extended highlights from the 2023 Carabao Cup final between United and Newcastle...

  • 90 in 20: United v Fulham Video

    90 in 20: United v Fulham

    90 in 20 | The extended highlights of our dramatic Emirates FA Cup quarter-final are now available to watch...