The 1992–93 season was Manchester United’s first season in the newly formed FA Premier League, and their 18th consecutive season in the top division of English football.

The season was marked by the club winning the inaugural Premier League title, ending their 26-year run without an English league title. They ended up winning the title by a 10-point margin over runners-up Aston Villa, but had fought a three-horse race for much of the season with both Villa and Norwich City, not topping the table until January. The arrival of Eric Cantona from Leeds Unitedfor £1.2 million in late November helped boost United’s title challenge, after they had been as low as 10th in the league shortly before. Cantona’s arrival came after new striker Dion Dublin had been ruled out for six months with a broken leg, and Cantona was the catalyst in United’s triumph.

Mark Hughes topped the goalscoring charts with 15 league goals, while the brilliant Ryan Giggs was voted PFA Young Player of the Year for the second year in succession. Steve Bruce was United’s captain for much of the season, as the veteran Bryan Robson missed many games due to injury. The arrival of Eric Cantona saw former striker Brian McClair switched into midfield, further restricting Robson’s first team chances.

In the UEFA Cup, United bowed out on penalties to Torpedo Moscow of Russia, after two goalless draws. Their League Cup campaign ended in the Third Round with defeat at Aston Villa. The FA Cup bid ended in the Fifth Round when they lost 2–1 to Sheffield United in a game where Steve Bruce uncharacteristically missed a penalty.

Making their debuts this season were teenagers David Beckham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville.

Before the season began, United were linked with a move for Southampton striker Alan Shearer, who had first been mentioned in the media as a possible transfer target during the autumn of 1991, but the player signed for Blackburn Rovers instead. Dion Dublin was then signed from Cambridge United, but was injured just one month after his arrival, and United struggled to find the net in the weeks that followed, the club was linked the signature of numerous other strikers. A £3million bid for Sheffield Wednesday’s David Hirst was rejected, while Sheffield United striker Brian Deane was also linked with a move to Old Trafford, but no firm offer was made. The hunt for a new striker ended on 26 November, when Eric Cantona was signed from Leeds United for a fee of just over £1million.

By the end of the season, United were being linked with a move for Nottingham Forest’s 21-year-old Irish midfielder Roy Keane, who was also a target for Arsenal and Blackburn Rovers. After the player nearly signed for Blackburn, United snapped him up on 19 July 1993 for a British record fee of £3.75million.

It was the last season at Old Trafford for midfielder Neil Webb, who returned to Nottingham Forest in November after losing his place in the Old Trafford first team. Russell Beardsmore, who did not play a game all season, joined AFC Bournemouth on a free transfer at the end of the season.

 

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
28 July 1992 Start A 3–0 Blackmore, Hughes, Wallace 4,118
29 July 1992 Celtic A 1–1 Ince 34,368
31 July 1992 Lillestrøm A 1–1 McClair 5,569
2 August 1992 Rosenborg A 3–2 Ince, McClair, Irwin 9,379
4 August 1992 Elfsborg A 0–0 4,491
9 August 1992 Republic of Ireland XI A 2–0 McClair, Hughes 30,069
11 August 1992 Swansea City A 1–1 Hughes 9,744
11 November 1992 Brøndby H 3–2 McClair, Wallace, Phelan 5,102
1 December 1992 Benfica A 0–1 40,000
12 May 1993 Aston Villa N 1–1 Phelan 22,000
14 May 1993 Bristol City A 3–3 Hughes (2), Blackmore 21,716
17 May 1993 Arsenal A 4–4 Dublin (2), Sharpe (2) 22,117

FA Premier League

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance League
position
15 August 1992 Sheffield United A 1–2 Hughes 61′ 28,070 19th
19 August 1992 Everton H 0–3 31,901 22nd
22 August 1992 Ipswich Town H 1–1 Irwin 57′ 31,704 20th
24 August 1992 Southampton A 1–0 Dublin 88′ 15,623 11th
29 August 1992 Nottingham Forest A 2–0 Hughes 16′, Giggs 49′ 19,694 8th
2 September 1992 Crystal Palace H 1–0 Hughes 88′ 29,736 6th
6 September 1992 Leeds United H 2–0 Kanchelskis 28′, Bruce 44′ 31,296 4th
12 September 1992 Everton A 2–0 McClair 29′, Bruce 76′ (pen.) 30,002 3rd
19 September 1992 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–1 Giggs 44′ 33,296 4th
26 September 1992 Queens Park Rangers H 0–0 33,287 4th
3 October 1992 Middlesbrough A 1–1 Bruce 44′ (pen.) 24,172 6th
18 October 1992 Liverpool H 2–2 Hughes (2) 79′, 89′ 33,243 5th
24 October 1992 Blackburn Rovers A 0–0 20,305 7th
31 October 1992 Wimbledon H 0–1 32,622 7th
7 November 1992 Aston Villa A 0–1 39,063 10th
21 November 1992 Oldham Athletic H 3–0 McClair (2) 10′, 28′, Hughes 11′ 33,497 8th
28 November 1992 Arsenal A 1–0 Hughes 27′ 29,739 5th
6 December 1992 Manchester City H 2–1 Ince 20′, Hughes 74′ 35,408 5th
12 December 1992 Norwich City H 1–0 Hughes 59′ 34,500 4th
19 December 1992 Chelsea A 1–1 Cantona 71′ 34,464 3rd
26 December 1992 Sheffield Wednesday A 3–3 McClair (2) 67′, 80′, Cantona 84′ 37,708 2nd
28 December 1992 Coventry City H 5–0 Giggs 6′, Hughes 40′, Cantona 64′ (pen.), Sharpe 78′, Irwin 83′ 36,025 1st
9 January 1993 Tottenham Hotspur H 4–1 Cantona 40′, Irwin 52′, McClair 53′, Parker 57′ 35,648 1st
18 January 1993 Queens Park Rangers A 3–1 Ince 26′, Giggs 30′, Kanchelskis 48′ 21,117 1st
27 January 1993 Nottingham Forest H 2–0 Ince 47′, Hughes 68′ 36,085 2nd
30 January 1993 Ipswich Town A 1–2 McClair 84′ 22,068 2nd
6 February 1993 Sheffield United H 2–1 McClair 65′, Cantona 80′ 36,156 1st
8 February 1993 Leeds United A 0–0 34,166 1st
20 February 1993 Southampton H 2–1 Giggs (2) 82′ 83′ 36,257 2nd
27 February 1993 Middlesbrough H 3–0 Giggs 21′, Irwin 79′, Cantona 86′ 36,251 2nd
6 March 1993 Liverpool A 2–1 Hughes 42′, McClair 56′ 44,374 1st
9 March 1993 Oldham Athletic A 0–1 17,106 1st
14 March 1993 Aston Villa H 1–1 Hughes 57′ 36,163 1st
20 March 1993 Manchester City A 1–1 Cantona 71′ 37,136 2nd
24 March 1993 Arsenal H 0–0 37,301 3rd
5 April 1993 Norwich City A 3–1 Giggs 13′, Kanchelskis 20′, Cantona 21′ 20,582 2nd
10 April 1993 Sheffield Wednesday H 2–1 Bruce (2) 86′, 90′ 40,102 1st
12 April 1993 Coventry City A 1–0 Irwin 40′ 24,249 1st
17 April 1993 Chelsea H 3–0 Hughes 24′, Clarke 44′ (o.g.), Cantona 48′ 40,139 1st
21 April 1993 Crystal Palace A 2–0 Hughes 64′, Ince 89′ 30,115 1st
3 May 1993 Blackburn Rovers H 3–1 Giggs 21′, Ince 60′, Pallister 90′ 40,447 1st
9 May 1993 Wimbledon A 2–1 Ince 63′, Robson 70′ 30,115 1st
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester United 42 24 12 6 67 31 +36 84
2 Aston Villa 42 21 11 10 57 40 +17 74
3 Norwich City 42 21 9 12 61 65 −4 72

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

FA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
5 January 1993 Round 3 Bury H 2–0 Phelan 7′, Gillespie 79′ 30,668
23 January 1993 Round 4 Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 Giggs 75′ 33,600
14 February 1993 Round 5 Sheffield United A 1–2 Giggs 30′ 27,150

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
23 September 1992 Round 2
First leg
Brighton & Hove Albion A 1–1 Wallace 36′ 16,649
7 October 1992 Round 2
Second leg
Brighton & Hove Albion H 1–0 Hughes 14′ 25,405
28 October 1992 Round 3 Aston Villa A 0–1 35,964

UEFA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
16 September 1992 First round
First leg
Torpedo Moscow H 0–0 19,998
29 September 1992 First round
Second leg
Torpedo Moscow A 0–0
(3–4p)
11,357

Squad statistics

Pos. Name League FA Cup Rumbelows Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Denmark Peter Schmeichel 42 0 3 0 2 0 1 0 48 0
GK England Gary Walsh 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
DF Wales Clayton Blackmore 12(2) 0 0(1) 0 1 0 1 0 14(3) 0
DF England Steve Bruce 42 5 3 0 3 0 2 0 50 5
DF Republic of Ireland Denis Irwin 40 5 3 0 3 0 2 0 48 5
DF England Lee Martin 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 0
DF England Gary Neville 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(1) 0
DF England Gary Pallister 42 1 3 0 3 0 2 0 50 1
DF England Paul Parker 31 1 3 0 2 0 0(1) 0 36(1) 1
MF England David Beckham 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0
MF England Nicky Butt 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
MF Scotland Darren Ferguson 15 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 16 0
MF Wales Ryan Giggs 40(1) 9 2 2 2 0 1 0 45(1) 11
MF Northern Ireland Keith Gillespie 0 0 1(1) 1 0 0 0 0 1(1) 1
MF England Paul Ince 41 6 2 0 3 0 1 0 47 6
MF Russia Andrei Kanchelskis 14(13) 3 1 0 2(1) 0 1 0 18(14) 3
MF England Mike Phelan 5(6) 0 2 1 0 0 1 0 8(6) 1
MF England Bryan Robson 5(9) 1 0(1) 0 1 0 0(1) 0 6(11) 1
MF England Lee Sharpe 27 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 30 1
MF England Neil Webb 0(1) 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 3(1) 0
FW France Eric Cantona 21(1) 9 1 0 0 0 0 0 22(1) 9
FW England Dion Dublin 3(4) 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 3(4) 1
FW Wales Mark Hughes 41 15 2 0 3 1 2 0 48 16
FW Scotland Brian McClair 41(1) 9 3 0 3 0 2 0 49(1) 9
FW England Danny Wallace 0(2) 0 1 0 1 1 2 0 4(2) 1