A look back at Manchester United's seven previous European finals

Manchester United compete in the Europa League final this week, and it will be the eighth major European final the club have played in.

United have been fortunate enough to win five of the previous seven and are looking to make it six from eight.

Here is a look back at the incredible highs and disappointing lows of United’s European finals…

1968: Manchester United 4-1 Benfica (AET)

European Cup

Sir Matt Busby’s finest hour. A George Best inspired United won the European Cup for the very first time.

United would probably have won the competition years earlier if not for the Munich air disaster in ’58.


Bobby Charlton scored United’s goal before Benfica equalised and took he game to extra-time.

Charlton scored another in extra-time before Best grabbed another and Brian Kidd netted a fourth to put the result beyond doubt, to seal a famous victory.

1991: Manchester United 2-1 Barcelona

Cup Winners Cup

Sir Alex Ferguson’s Manchester United followed up the 1990 FA Cup triumph by winning the European Cup Winners Cup.

Mark Hughes scored two goals for United against his former club before Ronald Koeman pulled one back to set up a nervous finish.

Current United assistant Mike Phelan featured in a midfield alongside Paul Ince, Bryan Robson, Lee Sharpe, and Brian McClair.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

1999: Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich

Champions League

The most famous comeback of all comebacks. United were 1-0 down heading into injury time against Bayern.

Then two David Beckham corner kicks changed history. Teddy Sheringham scored United’s equaliser by turning in Ryan Giggs’ shot, seemingly setting the game up for extra-time.

United had other ideas, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer netting a winner moments later to break Bayern hearts.

It sparked incredible celebrations, with United’s victory sealing the last leg of an unpredecented and never repeated Treble.

Photo by Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

2008: Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea, United win on penalties

Champions League

United sealed a third European Cup win with a penalty shootout victory over Chelsea.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored from a Paul Scholes assist, before Frank Lampard scored a deflected equaliser.

A nervous night in Moscow then played out, with Didier Drogba’s injury time sending off cueing up John Terry to take Chelsea’s fifth penalty in the shootout.

Terry’s miss combined with Edwin van der Sar saving Nicolas Anelka’s spot kick sealed another historic win for United.

2009: Manchester United 0-2 Barcelona

Champions League

United’s first European final defeat came against a Barcelona side we beat a year earlier at the semi-final stage.

This was a game where United never really turned up, conceding an early goal, and failing to create chances. It turned out to be Cristiano Ronaldo’s last ever game for the club.

Darren Fletcher’s suspension meant United lacked some tenacity in midfield, but United should have done better, with this Barcelona side barely peaking at this point.

Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

2011: Manchester United 1-3 Barcelona

Champions League

Unfortunately this was the night United really did run into peak Barcelona.

United did well to go in 1-1 at half-time thanks to an excellently taken Wayne Rooney goal, but rarely looked like winning the game at Wembley.

In losing this game, it felt like United lost to one of the all-time great footballing sides, and whatever tactical changes could have been made, would end in the same result.

Photo by Nils Petter Nilsson/Getty Images

2017: Manchester United 2-0 Ajax

Europa League

Jose Mourinho won his second trophy at United to clinch the Europa League, and a Champions League place with it.

While Mourinho’s United failed to kick on, this trophy provided hope that it was the start of a successful era.

United won this game 2-0 with goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and were in complete control throughout.

The game in Stockholm was an important emotional win too, with the city of Manchester rocked by the bombing days earlier.

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