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Old Trafford's European classics

Published: Thursday 11 March 2010, 8.41CET
Manchester United FC marked 100 years at Old Trafford by beating AC Milan 4-0. UEFA.com looks back at five other classic nights at the home of the Red Devils.
by Paul Saffer
Old Trafford's European classics
Bryan Robson is carried off after United beat Barça in the 1984 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 11 March 2010, 8.41CET

Old Trafford's European classics

Manchester United FC marked 100 years at Old Trafford by beating AC Milan 4-0. UEFA.com looks back at five other classic nights at the home of the Red Devils.

Old Trafford was 100 years old last month and Manchester United FC marked the occasion by beating AC Milan 4-0 on Wednesday to ease into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals. UEFA.com looks back at five other United nights that sealed the stadium's place in the pantheon of European football.

v Real Madrid CF, 25 April 1957
European Champions' Club Cup semi-final second leg

United were the first English club to enter the European Cup and their initial home games were at Maine Road – a 10-0 win against RSC Anderlecht and 3-0 defeat of Athletic Club to overturn a 5-3 deficit – but for the visit of Madrid floodlights had been installed at Old Trafford. Madrid had won the first leg 3-1 and scored twice without reply in the first half, but goals from Tommy Taylor and Bobby Charlton earned a 2-2 draw in front of a vociferous crowd of whom the Guardian wrote: "If noise could have served their purpose United would have won hands down."

v AC Milan, 8 May 1958
European Cup semi-final first leg

The following campaign was marked by the air crash in Munich on the way back from playing FK Crvena Zvezda that killed 23 people including eight United players. Three months later United resumed their European campaign at home to Milan – five days after losing the FA Cup final – and fell behind to a Juan Schiaffino goal midway through the first half. Dennis Viollet equalised and with ten minutes left diminutive forward Ernie Taylor, signed following the disaster, converted a penalty. Milan won the second leg 4-0, United having travelled overland.

v FC Barcelona, 21 March 1984
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-final second leg

A Barcelona team containing Diego Maradona and Bernd Schuster came to Old Trafford with the advantage of a 2-0 lead. Bryan Robson's 22nd-minute diving header gave United hope and the inspirational captain pounced to level early in the second half. Five minutes later Norman Whiteside headed down for Frank Stapleton to put the home side in front and although Barcelona rallied, United held on and Robson was carried off shoulder high by the fans.

v Real Madrid CF, 23 April 2003
UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg

With the final to be played at Old Trafford, United had an extra incentive but were beaten 3-1 in Madrid, where Paul Scholes and Gary Neville picked up suspensions. By the hour mark Madrid led the second leg 3-2 thanks to a spectacular Ronaldo hat-trick that earned him a standing ovation from the United fans when he was substituted. The entertainment was not over as substitute Beckham – soon to join Madrid – converted a free-kick and poked in another to give the Red Devils a victory on the night.

v AS Roma, 10 April 2007
UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg

United also went into this tie behind, trailing 2-1 from the first leg. Nineteen minutes into the return Michael Carrick, Alan Smith and Wayne Rooney had turned the table on Roma in devastating style. By the time Cristiano Ronaldo had struck either side of the break and John O'Shea, Carrick and Patrice Evra had added to the tally, United had won 7-1, their biggest European victory for nearly 40 years.

Last updated: 15/03/10 10.13CET

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