Video of the Day: Manchester United vs Dundee United, 1984

by | Mar 9, 2016

When Manchester United saw the draw for the last sixteen of the 1984/85 UEFA Cup, there can be little doubt that the scale of the challenge ahead of them. Dundee United had been the champions of Scotland two seasons earlier, and during the previous season they’d reached the semi-final of the European Cup, beating Hamrun Spartans, Standard Liege and Rapid Vienna before losing to AS Roma in a tie clouded in controversy, with rumours of match-fixing in the air. Make no mistake about it, the Dundee United team of the mid-1980s were nobody’s fools.

Manchester United’s league season hadn’t been going dreadfully badly, all things considered. They’d started the season, somewhat unusually, with four consecutive draws and hadn’t lost in the league until the first week in October, though a five-nil reverse at Everton at the end of the month gave what turned out to be more than just a hint towards where the league title would be heading come the end of the season. Indeed, their last league match before this particular European adventure, a narrow three-two defeat at Sunderland, was featured on this very site just a few weeks ago. Despite this, however, Manchester United went into this match in third place in the table, behind Everton and Tottenham Hotspur.

It proved to be an extraordinary tight tie, settled just twelve minutes from the end of the second leg at Tannadice Park. Manchester United would go on to reach the semi-finals of the competition before losing to the Hungarian side Videoton after a penalty shoot-out. Dundee United would be back in this competition two seasons later, losing narrowly to IFK Gothenburg in a two-legged final. Commentary for these two matches comes from Jock Brown for the first leg, and John Motson for the second.


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