Manchester United 84-85

The 1984–85 season was Manchester United’s 83rd season in the Football League, and their 10th consecutive season in the top division of English football. They defeated Everton 1–0 in the FA Cup Final to win the trophy for the sixth time, and finished fourth in the league. It was the first season at the club for new signings Gordon Strachan, Jesper Olsen and Alan Brazil, while Mark Hughesbecame established in the forward line alongside Frank Stapleton, with Norman Whiteside moving into central midfield to replace the departed Ray Wilkins. Hughes ended the season as United’s top scorer with 24 goals (16 in the league) and was also voted PFA Young Player of the Year. Brazil, however, failed to establish himself as a regular player, with Atkinson alternating between him and Frank Stapleton as the club’s second striker to play alongside the prolific Hughes.
United began the season with four successive draws, having led in three of them, and remained unbeaten in their opening 11 matches (eight in the league) before going down 3–0 at Aston Villa. Their next away trip resulted in a 5–0 thrashing at Everton, and league form was somewhat erratic throughout the season. Before Christmas, United squandered 2–0 leads in further defeats at Sunderland and Nottingham Forest, and on Boxing Day they were beaten 2–1 at bottom club Stoke City, again after taking the lead.
United entered 1985 unbeaten at Old Trafford to stay in contention at the top of the table, but lost successive home matches to Sheffield Wednesday and Coventry City, before embarking on a 10-match unbeaten run which took in big wins over Villa (Hughes scoring a hat-trick) and Stoke. Defeats at Hillsborough and Luton – not to mention the exceptional form of a resurgent Everton – effectively ended United’s title hopes, and a 5–1 defeat at Watford in their final fixture saw them overhauled by both Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur to finish fourth.
By that stage, the players’ thoughts were probably elsewhere as they prepared for an FA Cup Final showdown with champions Everton. United’s path to Wembley had seen them ease past Bournemouth, Coventry, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United to set up a semi-final clash with Liverpool. United led twice but had to settle for a 2–2 draw, and a Paul McGrath own goal left them trailing at half-time in the replay before fine goals by Bryan Robson and Hughes saw them through.
An uneventful final came to life 12 minutes from time when, with the score goalless, Kevin Moran was dismissed by referee Peter Willis for a ‘professional foul’ on Peter Reid – the first ever sending-off in an FA Cup final. United’s ten men held on to force extra time, where they found extra reserves of energy and won the trophy thanks to Whiteside’s brilliant curling effort in the 110th minute.
United exited the Milk Cup at the third round stage as Everton came from behind to beat them 2–1 at Old Trafford. The UEFA Cup campaign took United to the quarter-final but defeat on penalties against Videoton of Hungary would end their interest in European competition for the next five years.

First Division

DateOpponentsH / AResult
25 August 1984WatfordH1–1Strachan (pen)53,668
28 August 1984SouthamptonA0–022,183
1 September 1984Ipswich TownA1–1Hughes20,876
5 September 1984ChelseaH1–1Olsen48,398
8 September 1984Newcastle UnitedH5–0Olsen, Strachan 2 (1 pen), Hughes, Moses54,915
15 September 1984Coventry CityA3–0Whiteside 2, Robson18,312
22 September 1984LiverpoolH1–1Strachan (pen)56,638
29 September 1984West Bromwich AlbionA2–1Robson, Strachan (pen)26,292
6 October 1984Aston VillaA0–337,131
13 October 1984West Ham UnitedH5–1McQueen, Brazil, Strachan, Moses, Hughes47,559
20 October 1984Tottenham HotspurH1–0Hughes54,516
27 October 1984EvertonA0–540,742
2 November 1984ArsenalH4–2Robson, Strachan 2, Hughes32,279
10 November 1984Leicester CityA3–2Brazil, Hughes, Strachan (pen)23,840
17 November 1984Luton TownH2–0Whiteside 241,630
24 November 1984SunderlandA2–3Robson, Hughes25,405
1 December 1984Norwich CityH2–0Robson, Hughes36,635
8 December 1984Nottingham ForestA2–3Strachan 2 (1 pen)25,902
15 December 1984Queens Park RangersH3–0Brazil, Duxbury, Gidman36,134
22 December 1984Ipswich TownH3–0Gidman, Robson, Strachan (pen)35,168
26 December 1984Stoke CityA1–2Stapleton20,985
29 December 1984ChelseaA3–1Hughes, Moses, Stapleton42,197
1 January 1985Sheffield WednesdayH1–2Hughes47,625
12 January 1985Coventry CityH0–135,992
2 February 1985West Bromwich AlbionH2–0Strachan 236,681
9 February 1985Newcastle UnitedA1–1Moran32,555
23 February 1985ArsenalA1–0Whiteside48,612
2 March 1985EvertonH1–1Olsen51,150
12 March 1985Tottenham HotspurA2–1Hughes, Whiteside42,908
15 March 1985West Ham UnitedA2–2Stapleton, Robson16,674
23 March 1985Aston VillaH4–0Hughes 3, Whiteside40,941
31 March 1985LiverpoolA1–0Stapleton34,886
3 April 1985Leicester CityH2–1Robson, Stapleton35,950
6 April 1985Stoke CityH5–0Hughes 2, Olsen 2, Whiteside42,940
9 April 1985Sheffield WednesdayA0–139,380
21 April 1985Luton TownA1–2Whiteside10,320
24 April 1985SouthamptonH0–031,291
27 April 1985SunderlandH2–2Robson, Moran38,979
4 May 1985Norwich CityA1–0Moran15,502
6 May 1985Nottingham ForestH2–0Gidman, Stapleton41,775
11 May 1985Queens Park RangersA3–1Brazil 2, Strachan20,483
13 May 1985WatfordA1–5Moran20,500
3Tottenham Hotspur42238117851+2777
4Manchester United422210107747+3076

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

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
5 January 1985Round 3BournemouthH3–0McQueen, Stapleton, Strachan32,080
26 January 1985Round 4Coventry CityH2–1Hughes, McGrath38,039
15 February 1985Round 5Blackburn RoversA2–0Strachan, McGrath22,692
9 March 1985Round 6West Ham UnitedH4–2Hughes, Whiteside 3 (1 pen)46,769
13 April 1985Semi-finalLiverpoolN2–2Robson, Stapleton51,690
17 April 1985Semi-final
LiverpoolN2–1Robson, Hughes45,775
18 May 1985FinalEvertonN1–0Whiteside100,000

League Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
26 September 1984Round 2
First leg
BurnleyH4–0Robson, Hughes 328,383
9 October 1984Round 2
Second leg
BurnleyA3–0Brazil 2, Olsen12,690
30 October 1984Round 3EvertonH1–2Brazil50,918


DateRoundOpponentsH / AResult
19 September 1984Round 1
First leg
Rába ETO GyőrH3–0Robson, Mühren, Hughes33,119
3 October 1984Round 1
Second leg
Rába ETO GyőrA2–2Brazil, Mühren (pen)26,000
24 October 1984Round 2
First leg
PSV EindhovenA0–027,500
7 November 1984Round 2
Second leg
PSV EindhovenH1–0Strachan (pen)39,281
28 November 1984Round 3
First leg
Dundee UnitedH2–2Strachan (pen), Robson48,278
12 December 1984Round 3
Second leg
Dundee UnitedA3–2Hughes, McGinnis (og), Mühren21,821
6 March 1985Quarter-final
First leg
20 March 1985Quarter-final
Second leg
(4–5 p)

Squad statistics

Pos.NameLeagueFA CupLeague CupUEFA CupTotal
GK Gary Bailey380603080550
GK Stephen Pears4010000050
DF Arthur Albiston390703080570
DF Mike Duxbury27(3)12(1)0206037(4)1
DF Billy Garton2000100(1)03(1)0
DF John Gidman27360106(1)040(1)3
DF Graeme Hogg290503060430
DF Paul McGrath230720020322
DF Gordon McQueen121110020152
DF Kevin Moran194302040284
MF Clayton Blackmore1000100020
MF Arthur Graham0000100010
MF Remi Moses263303060383
MF Arnold Mühren7(5)010103312(5)3
MF Jesper Olsen36560216(1)050(1)6
MF Bryan Robson32(1)942217245(1)14
MF Gordon Strachan41157220625619
MF Norman Whiteside23(4)964104(1)034(5)13
FW Alan Brazil17(3)50(1)02(1)32121(5)9
FW Mark Hughes38167323825524
FW Frank Stapleton21(3)6521(1)04(1)131(5)9
Own goals00011