Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

29 Years and Counting! ; Wayne Rooney's First-Half Winner against Reading Kept Alive an Astonishing United Record Which Dates Back to May 1984

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

29 Years and Counting! ; Wayne Rooney's First-Half Winner against Reading Kept Alive an Astonishing United Record Which Dates Back to May 1984

Article excerpt

NORMAN Whiteside was celebrating his 19th birthday as a substitute, while in Scotland Alex Ferguson was on the verge of a League and Cup double with Aberdeen and Ryan Giggs was still two years away from being offered a trial by United.

The date was May 7, 1984 and 44,257 were inside Old Trafford for a May Bank Holiday Monday fixture against Ipswich Town.

Ron Atkinson's Reds had dropped off the pace in Canon League Division One and Liverpool were heading for yet another championship.

United went ahead in the match with a first-half goal from Mark Hughes.

Ipswich, however, hit back with goals from Mich D'Avray and Alan Sunderland to stun United in their final home game of the 1983-84 season.

Seems a pretty unremarkable memory from a campaign which saw United finish fourth in the league and trophyless.

But as the years have rolled by it has become a historic date. Because since that match, United haven't lost a league game at home having lead at half-time.

That's an amazing 29 years! When Reading went behind to Wayne Rooney's 21st-minute strike on Saturday at Old Trafford, little did the Royals know they were not only facing a United side which looks to be "AUnited side which looks to be "marching to a 20th league title, but the weight of history too.

City are next up at Old Trafford on April 8 and if the Blues are behind when they reach the sanctuary of the dressing room at half- time, history suggests they might as well not bother coming out for the second 45 minutes.

It is an astonishing stat, and ironic that it should have been a Ferguson who was the last person to turnaround an Old Trafford league match.

In 1984 it was Ipswich boss Bobby Ferguson who engineered the victory. On the end of that reverse was Reds leftback Arthur Albiston. "My abiding memory of that match was, though it was played in drizzling rain, the Old Trafford pitch was in fantastic condition," he told M.E.N. Sport.

"After a full season being "After a full season being played on it, it was still an incredible surface. Yet they told us they were digging it up in the summer to put in undersoil heating. We couldn't believe it! But when you lose a match at home after leading at half- time it isn't one that sticks in the memory other than that. …

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