In this week’s From the Archives, we take a look at United’s biggest ever Premier League win – the 9-0 demolition job of Ipswich Town back in 1995.
This match was one for the record books as a number of records were broken on the day. United’s Andy Cole became the first ever Premier League player to score five goals in a game. It was United’s biggest Premier League victory in over a century, matching the 10-1 win over Wolves back in 1992. The nine goals scored is the largest by a team in the Premier League era, while the margin of victory is also the largest.
The match itself saw United behind Blackburn Rovers, who won 1-0 in their match that week. Going into the match, Rovers held a large goal difference advantage over United.
Going into the match, the players were perhaps given a pep-talk by Sir Alex that flared up old wounds from the last time United faced Ipswich. The two-time champs were beaten 3-2, sparking wild celebrations by the Ipswich players and fans.
The first half saw Roy Keane playing as a makeshift right-back opening the scoring from a low strike from distance. Then record signing Andy Cole got into the act and scored a couple of clinical goals to secure a 3-0 lead at halftime. Brian McClair who started in both the games revealed that Sir Alex expected a ruthless second half display from his boys. It was exactly what he got as United TRIPLED the scoreline to make it 9-0 at the end of the ninety.
Andy Cole got a second half hat trick and took his tally to five in the match. Before kick-off, the new signing had two. Cole got his third one just after the 53rd minute. Then the floodgates opened. Mark Hughes got a brace in 5 minutes, scoring his first just a minute after Cole’s third.
A play that showed United’s ruthlessness was the quick free-kick Paul Ince scored. Seeing the keeper off his line, Ince lobbed the ball over the wall and the keeper and into the unguarded net with the score at 7-0.
Andy Cole’s last goal is one of the most technical goals you’d ever see. Receiving the ball with his back to goal and pressed by the defender, Cole showed great control and finesse in bringing the ball under control before somehow twisting his body to put the ball into the back of the net despite a defender staying on the line along with the keeper.
It was a clinical display from United as the side converted 9 out of 14 shots on target. That’s an out worldly conversion rate of 64%.
It was one of those days when every player on the field played at a 9/10 level. It was an unstoppable display from United.
Years later on holiday, Andy Cole met the Ipswich keeper Craig Forrest on holiday. Cole was introduced to Forrest’s wife as the “man who made his life a misery.” For Forrest Old Trafford was the Theatre of Nightmares as in 2000, he conceded 7 playing for West Ham United. It was not as bad as 9 though.
Cole’s tally of five goals in a match is yet to be overhauled. However, Alan Shearer, Dimitar Berbatov, Jermain Defore and Sergio Aguero have matched it since.
The nine-goal victory margin erased the goal-difference advantage that Rovers had. United however, failed to overhaul Rover and finished second in the League, a point behind Champions Rovers.
Here’s to more days like this one!