Video of the Day: Manchester United vs Coventry City, January 1987
Coventry City travel to Somerset to play Yeovil Town in League Two this afternoon, whilst Manchester United seek to continue their perfect start to the Premier League season with a home match against Leicester City this evening. Coventry’s decline over the last ten or fifteen years has reasonably thoroughly documented on these pages, but for this morning’s video we’re going back a little further into the past of this troubled Midlands club with an FA Cup match from a little over thirty years ago. Coventry City had landed in the First Division two decades earlier and this had been a period of survival for the club with only three top ten places to show for the previous nineteen seasons, but following a seventeenth place finish at the end of the previous season, at least the Sky Blues travelled to Old Trafford in a comfortable mid-table position in the table.
Their opposition on this particularly cold Saturday were also in the middle of the First Division table, but for Manchester United this hardly represented success. Just as 1967 had brought Coventry City the Second Division championship, so the same year had brought the First Division title for the last time. The previous November, United had shuffled their pack in bringing in Alex Ferguson to replace Ron Atkinson. Atkinson had departed the club – ironically, his last game with the club was a one-all draw at Old Trafford against Coventry City – with United in nineteenth place in the table following a disastrous start to the season, but Ferguson had improved results to such a point that, by the time they took on Coventry in the Fourth Round of the FA Cup, they’d risen to twelfth place in the table and had beaten Manchester City in the Third Round of the competition.
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