Manchester United 1970-71

The 1970–71 season was Manchester United’s 69th season in the Football League, and their 26th consecutive season in the top division of English football. In a pre-season competition United participated in the Watney Cup, which was contested by the teams that had scored the most goals in each of the four divisions of the Football League the previous season who had not been promoted or admitted to one of the European competitions.
On 29 December 1970, United manager Wilf McGuinness who struggled in his new post was replaced with Matt Busby who returned as United manager until the end of the season, guiding the club to an eighth-place finish in the league. Following speculation that the Celtic manager Jock Stein would take over during the close season of 1971, Leicester City manager Frank O’Farrell was given the United job.
United’s best chance of success came in the League Cup, but they were beaten by Third Division side Aston Villa in the semi-finals.

Watney Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
1 August 1970Round 1ReadingA3–2Charlton (2), P. Edwards18,348
5 August 1970Semi-FinalHull CityA1–1 (a.e.t., 4–3 p.)Law34,007
8 August 1970FinalDerby CountyA1–4Best32,049

First Division

DateOpponentsH / AResult
15 August 1970Leeds UnitedH0–159,523
19 August 1970ChelseaH0–051,079
22 August 1970ArsenalA0–454,137
25 August 1970BurnleyA2–0Law (2)29,442
29 August 1970West Ham UnitedH1–1Fitzpatrick50,959
2 September 1970EvertonH2–0Best, Charlton51,220
5 September 1970LiverpoolA1–1Kidd52,542
12 September 1970Coventry CityH2–0Best, Charlton48,912
19 September 1970Ipswich TownA0–427,776
26 September 1970BlackpoolH1–1Best46,647
3 October 1970Wolverhampton WanderersA2–3Gowling, Kidd38,629
10 October 1970Crystal PalaceH0–142,969
17 October 1970Leeds UnitedA2–2Charlton, Fitzpatrick50,169
24 October 1970West Bromwich AlbionH2–1Kidd, Law43,278
31 October 1970Newcastle UnitedA0–145,195
7 November 1970Stoke CityH2–2Law, Sadler47,553
14 November 1970Nottingham ForestA2–1Gowling, Sartori36,384
21 November 1970SouthamptonA0–130,202
28 November 1970Huddersfield TownH1–1Best45,306
5 December 1970Tottenham HotspurA2–2Best, Law55,693
12 December 1970Manchester CityH1–4Kidd52,686
19 December 1970ArsenalH1–3Sartori33,182
26 December 1970Derby CountyA4–4Law (2), Best, Kidd34,068
9 January 1971ChelseaA2–1Gowling, Morgan53,482
16 January 1971BurnleyH1–1Aston40,135
30 January 1971Huddersfield TownA2–1Aston, Law41,464
6 February 1971Tottenham HotspurH2–1Best, Morgan48,965
20 February 1971SouthamptonH5–1Gowling (4), Morgan36,060
23 February 1971EvertonA0–152,544
27 February 1971Newcastle UnitedH1–0Kidd41,902
6 March 1971West Bromwich AlbionA3–4Aston, Best, Kidd41,112
13 March 1971Nottingham ForestH2–0Best, Law40,473
20 March 1971Stoke CityA2–1Best (2)40,005
3 April 1971West Ham UnitedA1–2Best38,507
10 April 1971Derby CountyH1–2Law45,691
12 April 1971Wolverhampton WanderersH1–0Gowling41,766
13 April 1971Coventry CityA1–2Best33,849
17 April 1971Crystal PalaceA5–3Law (3), Best (2)39,146
19 April 1971LiverpoolH0–244,004
24 April 1971Ipswich TownH3–2Charlton, Best, Kidd33,566
1 May 1971BlackpoolA1–1Law29,857
5 May 1971Manchester CityA4–3Best (2), Charlton, Law43,626
8Manchester United4215111565660.98543
9Derby County4216101656541.03742

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

FA Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
2 January 1971Round 3MiddlesbroughH0–047,924
5 January 1971Round 3

League Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
9 September 1970Round 2AldershotA3–1Best, Kidd, Law18,509
7 October 1970Round 3PortsmouthH1–0Charlton32,068
28 October 1970Round 4ChelseaH2–1Charlton, Best47,565
18 November 1970Round 5Crystal PalaceH4–2Fitzpatrick, Kidd (2), Charlton48,961
16 December 1970Semi-Final
First Leg
Aston VillaH1–1Kidd48,889
23 December 1970 )Semi-Final
Second Leg
Aston VillaA1–2Kidd63,000

Squad statistics

Pos.NameLeagueFA CupLeague CupTotal
GK Jimmy Rimmer2002060280
GK Alex Stepney2200000220
DF Francis Burns16(4)0001(1)017(5)0
DF Ian Donald00001010
DF Tony Dunne3502050420
DF Paul Edwards29(1)0102032(1)0
DF Steve James130003(1)016(1)0
DF Tommy O’Neil10000010
DF David Sadler3212050391
DF Ian Ure1301030170
DF Willie Watson800020100
DF Tony Young0(1)000000(1)0
MF John Aston, Jr.19(1)3003(1)022(2)3
MF George Best401821624821
MF Bobby Charlton4252063508
MF Paddy Crerand2402010270
MF John Fitzpatrick3522061433
MF Willie Morgan2532020293
MF Carlo Sartori2(5)200103(5)2
MF Nobby Stiles1700020190
FW Alan Gowling17(3)80(1)01018(4)8
FW Brian Kidd24(1)8206532(1)13
FW Denis Law281520413416
Own goals0000