From The Archive Special: A Super European Night

From the Archives

Ahead of United’s Super Cup match-up against Real Madrid later today, we take a look back at one of the fondest memory of United fans – United’s one and only Super Cup victory.

United won their only UEFA Super Cup in 1991 beating Yugoslavia’s Red Star Belgrade. Usually a two-legged encounter back then, only a single could be played at Old Trafford because of the political unrest in Yugoslavia back then.

The day, 19th November 1991, is one of Ferguson’s best moments in his United career. He won his third trophy as Red Devil’s boss with Brian McClair’s only goal handing United the coveted trophy.

Playing against a Red Star team that is considered one of the best club team’s in football history, United hoped to get off to a quick start and they did! In just the second minute of the first half, the referee pointed to the spot and United had a penalty. It was saved comfortably by the Belgrade goalie Milojevic, who dealt with the follow up well to keep the scorers undisturbed.

United lost the momentum they had and Belgrade overran Ferguson’s side. It was a demolition job but somehow United kept the scoreline level at 0-0 entering the breather. Ferguson pushed Brian McClair in the center of the field to break up the buildup play in midfield. It was a move that worked wonders.

United gained a toe-hold in the match in the second half and worked their way towards more control of the ball. McClair was influencing things superbly well in midfield and he single handedly willed the team to perform well against the men from Belgrade. McClair scored the only goal of the game in the 67th minute to hand United an outrageous victory.

A free kick from 30 yards out was floated in the penalty area by Denis Irwin. Dejan Savicevic was caught in possession trying to clear the danger by Neil Webb and the latter charged into the penalty box. His shot struck the upright but fell perfectly for the unmarked McClair who tucked the ball home past the stranded Milojevic.

On the bench that night was a teenager by the name of Ryan Giggs. Still a green rookie, Giggs was thrown into the fray for the last 20 minutes by Sir Alex. It was a dream come true for the Welshman and the one of his trophies at the club he would play for over 900 times.

United held on for a famous victory and they win showed that United were really back from the oblivion that they were in since the Busby-era. A similar result on tonight against Madrid would have eerily similar echoes to that November night at Old Trafford with the club only just starting to find its feet after Sir Alex’s retirement.

Here’s to Brian McClair and another European fairytale.