Manchester United vs Manchester City: A look at Red Devils' past FA Cup finals

Manchester United vs Manchester City: A look at Red Devils' past FA Cup finals

Isaac Darko
updated at May 24, 2024 at 7:25 PM
In this article:
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Manchester United
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Manchester City
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FA Cup
  • Manchester City will lock horns with Manchester United in the final of the 2024 FA Cup
  • Pep Guardiola and Erik ten Hag have faced each other five times in Manchester derbies
  • Sports Brief takes a look at the Red Devils' previous appearances in the FA Cup finals

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Manchester United will be striving to secure their 13th FA Cup victory when they face off against arch-rivals and reigning champions Manchester City in the 2023-24 final at Wembley Stadium this Saturday.

The Red Devils must triumph over the Citizens to earn a spot in next season's Europa Conference League, following their lowest Premier League finish in history, confirmed at eighth place last weekend, despite a 2-0 victory against Brighton & Hove Albion on the final day.

Sports Brief takes a look at the Red Devils' previous appearances in the FA Cup finals
Sports Brief takes a look at the Red Devils' previous appearances in the FA Cup finals
Source: Twitter

The Old Trafford outfit have navigated a challenging path to the FA Cup final, overcoming Wigan Athletic, Newport County, Nottingham Forest, Liverpool, and Coventry City. They now aim to claim this prestigious trophy for the first time in eight years.

As anticipation builds for the second consecutive Manchester derby FA Cup final, Sports Brief revisits Manchester United's past performances in this historic competition.

1909 - Bristol City 0-1 Manchester United

In 1909, Bristol City and Man United faced off in their first FA Cup final; nevertheless, the Red Devils prevailed by a slim 1-0 margin because of a goal from Sandy Turnbull in the first half.

1948 - Manchester United 4-2 Blackpool

39 years elapsed before Man United made it to their second FA Cup final and, after defeating Blackpool 4–2, took home the coveted trophy for the first time in team history.

The Red Devils took the lead twice in the first half with to goals from John Rowley and Stan Pearson, but two late goals from John Anderson and John Pearson gave the Tangerines the victory.

1957 - Aston Villa 2-1 Manchester United

Aston Villa, who won their seventh FA Cup with a 2-1 victory in 1957, denied Man United the opportunity to capture the double shortly after they were proclaimed champions of the top flight.

In a match overshadowed by an early collision between Villa's Peter McParland and United goalkeeper Ray Wood, which left the latter unconscious with a broken cheekbone, Tommy Taylor scored what turned out to be only a late consolation goal for the Red Devils.

1958 - Manchester United 0-2 Bolton Wanderers

Man United lost 2-0 to Bolton Wanderers, who were coached by former Red Devil Bill Riding, and therefore became the first team in more than 50 years to lose consecutive FA Cup finals.

With two goals, including an off-target collision with United goalkeeper Harry Gregg as he headed the ball home, Nat Lofthouse was the Trotters' standout player.

1963 - Leicester City 1-3 Manchester United

Earlier in the 1962–63 season, Leicester City defeated Man United in the league, but goals from David Herd (2) and Denis Law gave the Red Devils their comeuppance in the FA Cup final.

1976 - Manchester United 0-1 Southampton

In 1976, one of the biggest upsets in FA Cup final history occurred when second-tier Southampton upset Man United 1-0 thanks to Bobby Stokes' 83rd-minute victory.

1977 - Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

Less than a year later, Man United won by a narrow margin against Liverpool.

At the beginning of the second half, Stuart Pearson and Jimmy Greenhoff of the Red Devils scored twice while Jimmy Case of the Merseysiders scored once, all three goals coming within a five-minute span.

1979 - Manchester United 2-3 Arsenal

Twenty-two years later, in the 1979 FA Cup final, Man United lost by an exciting 3-2 score.

The Gunners appeared to have won thanks to goals in the first half from Frank Stapleton and Brian Talbot, but the Red Devils rallied with goals from Gordon McQueen and Sammy McIlroy in the 87th and 88th minutes.

But the late drama didn't end there, as Arsenal immediately scored a historic winner through Alan Sunderland in the 89th minute.

1983 - Brighton & Hove Albion 0-4 Manchester United (replay)

Man United easily defeated Brighton & Hove Albion 4-0 in the 1983 final rematch, with braces from captain Bryan Robson and goals from Norman Whiteside and Arnold Muhren.

This marked Man United's sixth FA Cup victory after having to settle for a 2-2 draw in the opening game.

1985 - Everton 0-1 Manchester United

Manchester United defender Kevin Moran made history as the first player to be sent off in an FA Cup final after committing a professional foul on Everton's Peter Reid, just 12 minutes before the end of regulation time.

Despite being reduced to 10 men, the Red Devils persevered and secured a dramatic victory in extra time.

In the 110th minute, Norman Whiteside scored a stunning goal, curling a brilliant shot past Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall into the far corner, sealing the win for United.

1990 - Crystal Palace 0-1 Manchester United (replay)

Man United finished the 1989–90 season with their lowest league position (13th) since they were demoted from the First Division fifteen years prior, but they did close the season with an FA Cup victory.

Following an exciting 3-3 tie in the first game, the Red Devils fought their way to a close 1-0 victory in the replay.

Sir Alex Ferguson was able to enjoy winning his first major title as the club's manager when Lee Martin scored the game's lone goal shortly before the hour mark.

1994 - Chelsea 0-4 Manchester United

Man United defeated Chelsea 4-0 in the 1994 FA Cup final to record their largest victory (not counting replays).

After two penalties in six minutes by Eric Cantona, followed by goals from Mark Hughes and Brian McClair, the floodgates opened and the game was goalless for the first hour of play.

United rejoiced at achieving their first-ever FA Cup and league double.

1995 - Manchester United 0-1 Everton

A year later, Man United lost the FA Cup against Everton 1-0, thanks to a headed goal by Paul Rideout in the first half and a masterful performance by Neville Southall in goal.

1996 - Liverpool 0-1 Manchester United

In the 1996 FA Cup final, Manchester United defeated Liverpool 1-0 thanks to a volley goal by Eric Cantona in the 86th minute. This was the team's eighth FA Cup victory overall.

1999 - Manchester United 2-0 Newcastle United

Man United celebrated their 10th FA Cup victory after defeating Newcastle United 2-0 in the 1999 final, thanks to goals either side of half time from Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes.

This victory came just four days before Man United won the Champions League in dramatic fashion to become the first English club to win a historic treble.

2004 - Manchester United 3-0 Millwall

The 2004 FA Cup final was held at Cardiff's Millennium Stadium for the fourth time in a row due to Wembley Stadium's ongoing restoration.

Ruud van Nistelrooy's brace and Cristiano Ronaldo's headed opening helped Man United defeat second-tier Millwall 3-0 and win an FA Cup, setting a record at the time. Ronaldo celebrated winning his first major championship while playing for the Red Devils.

2005 - Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal (Arsenal win 5-4 on penalties)

Man United suffered through a rare trophyless season under Ferguson in 2004–05.

The Red Devils lost 5–4 on penalties to Arsenal after a goalless 120-minute standoff. They also failed to win the FA Cup, finishing third in the Premier League title race, the League Cup, and the Community Shield.

The unfortunate Paul Scholes saw his spot kick stopped by Jens Lehmann in goal, but Patrick Vieira scored the winning penalty for the Gunners.

2007 - Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea

In the FA Cup final held at the new Wembley in 2007, Man United and Chelsea, led by Jose Mourinho, faced off, with the latter winning by a narrow 1-0 margin following extra time.

With four minutes left, Blues striker Didier Drogba scored the game-winning goal with a deft one-two with Frank Lampard on the edge of the area, saving the close match from going to penalties.

2016 - Manchester United 2-1 Crystal Palace

In 2016, Man United overcame a late deficit to defeat Crystal Palace 2-1 in extra time, marking their 12th and most recent FA Cup victory to date. Before Jason Puncheon's explosive strike from a tight angle gave the Eagles the lead in the 78th minute, the Red Devils struck the woodwork twice.

Five minutes after Chris Smalling was sent off, in extra time, super sub Jesse Lingard scored an incredible first-time goal to give Man United the victory. However, Juan Mata equalized the score just three minutes later with a volley at the near post.

2018 - Manchester United 0-1 Chelsea

In 2018, Chelsea defeated Man United 1-0, and eleven years after leading Chelsea to FA Cup victory, Jose Mourinho was in the Red Devils' dugout.

Eden Hazard's calm penalty in the first half, awarded after Phil Jones had clumsily hauled down the Belgian inside the box, ended up winning the match even though United had eighteen attempts on goal against Chelsea.

2023 - Manchester City 2-1 Manchester United

The first ever Manchester derby kicked off the 142nd FA Cup final, with Man City captain Ilkay Gundogan scoring the fastest goal in the competition's history with a stunning volley past David de Gea from the edge of the penalty box.

Midway through the first half, Bruno Fernandes converted from the penalty spot to give Man United a point again, but six minutes later, Gundogan scored his second goal of the game to give City the victory and one of three trophies as part of a historic treble.

United and City's FA Cup meetings

Sports Brief recently reported on the past meetings of City and United in the FA Cup.

Their previous showdown happened in the FA Cup final last year.

City won 2-1 thanks to an Ilkay Gundogan brace.

Isaac Darko photo
Isaac Darko
Isaac Darko is a La Liga, Ligue 1 and Bundesliga editor at Sports Brief with a Degree in Journalism and Communications from Ghana Institute of Journalism (2010)