1971–72 Manchester United F.C. season

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Manchester United
1971–72 season
Chairman Louis Edwards
Manager Frank O'Farrell
First Division 8th
FA Cup Sixth Round
League Cup Fourth Round
Top goalscorer League:
George Best (18)
All:
George Best (26)
Highest home attendance 56,362 vs Manchester City (12 April 1972)
Lowest home attendance 23,146 vs West Bromwich Albion (23 August 1971)
Average home league attendance 47,177
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

The 1971–72 season was Manchester United's 69th season in the Football League, and their 27th consecutive season in the top division of English football.[1] In a pre-season competition United participated in the Watney Cup whos contested by the teams that had scored the most goals in each of the four divisions of the Football League the previous season who had not been promoted or admitted to one of the European competitions.[2]

Before the beginning of the season, on 8 June 1971, Frank O'Farrell was appointed as United manager replacing Matt Busby who retired from management.

Due to Manchester United being banned from playing their first two home matches in Old Trafford, after hooligans had thrown knives into the away section at a match at the end of the previous season, their opening "home" games were played at Anfield and the Victoria Ground.[3]

O'Farrell's first season as United managed started well, and they were top of the league by Christmas. However, a run of seven successive league defeats after the turn of 1972 dragged them down the table and they could only manage an eighth place finish.[4]

Watney Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
31 July 1971 Round 1 Halifax Town A 1 – 2 Best 19,765

First Division[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
14 August 1971 Derby County A 2 – 2 Gowling, Law 35,386
18 August 1971 Chelsea A 3 – 2 Charlton, Kidd, Morgan 54,663
20 August 1971 Arsenal H 3 – 1 Charlton, Gowling, Kidd 27,649
23 August 1971 West Bromwich Albion H 3 – 1 Best (2), Gowling 23,146
28 August 1971 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 1 – 1 Best 46,479
31 August 1971 Everton A 0 – 1 52,151
4 September 1971 Ipswich Town H 1 – 0 Best 45,656
11 September 1971 Crystal Palace A 3 – 1 Law (2), Kidd 43,720
18 September 1971 West Ham United H 4 – 2 Best (3), Charlton 53,339
25 September 1971 Liverpool A 2 – 2 Charlton, Law 55,642
2 October 1971 Sheffield United H 2 – 0 Best, Gowling 51,758
9 October 1971 Huddersfield Town A 3 – 0 Best, Charlton, Law 33,458
16 October 1971 Derby County H 1 – 0 Best 53,247
23 October 1971 Newcastle United A 1 – 0 Best 55,603
30 October 1971 Leeds United H 0 – 1 53,884
6 November 1971 Manchester City A 3 – 3 Gowling, Kidd, McIlroy 63,326
13 November 1971 Tottenham Hotspur H 3 – 1 Law (2), McIlroy 54,058
20 November 1971 Leicester City H 3 – 2 Law (2), Kidd 48,764
27 November 1971 Southampton A 5 – 2 Best (3), Kidd, McIlroy 30,323
4 December 1971 Nottingham Forest H 3 – 2 Kidd (2), Law 45,411
11 December 1971 Stoke City A 1 – 1 Law 33,875
18 December 1971 Ipswich Town A 0 – 0 29,213
27 December 1971 Coventry City H 2 – 2 James, Law 52,035
1 January 1972 West Ham United A 0 – 3 41,990
8 January 1972 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 1 – 3 McIlroy 47,626
22 January 1972 Chelsea H 0 – 1 55,927
29 January 1972 West Bromwich Albion A 1 – 2 Kidd 46,992
12 February 1972 Newcastle United H 0 – 2 44,983
19 February 1972 Leeds United A 1 – 5 Burns 45,399
4 March 1972 Tottenham Hotspur A 0 – 2 54,814
8 March 1972 Everton H 0 – 0 38,415
11 March 1972 Huddersfield Town H 2 – 0 Best, Storey-Moore 53,581
25 March 1972 Crystal Palace H 4 – 0 Charlton, Gowling, Law, Storey-Moore 41,550
1 April 1972 Coventry City A 3 – 2 Best, Charlton, Storey-Moore 37,870
3 April 1972 Liverpool H 0 – 3 54,000
4 April 1972 Sheffield United A 1 – 1 Sadler 45,045
8 April 1972 Leicester City A 0 – 2 35,649
12 April 1972 Manchester City H 1 – 3 Buchan 56,362
15 April 1972 Southampton H 3 – 2 Best, Kidd, Storey-Moore 38,437
22 April 1972 Nottingham Forest A 0 – 0 35,063
25 April 1972 Arsenal A 0 – 3 49,125
29 April 1972 Stoke City H 3 – 0 Best, Charlton, Storey-Moore 34,959
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GAvg Pts
7 Chelsea 42 18 12 12 58 49 1.184 48
8 Manchester United 42 19 10 13 69 61 1.131 48
9 Wolverhampton Wanderers 42 18 11 13 65 57 1.140 47

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GAvg = Goal average; Pts = Points

FA Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
15 January 1972 Round 3 Southampton A 1 – 1 Charlton 30,190
19 January 1972 Round 3
Replay
Southampton H 4 – 1 Best (2), Sadler, Aston 50,966
5 February 1972 Round 4 Preston North End A 2 – 0 Gowling (2) 27,025
26 February 1972 Round 5 Middlesbrough H 0 – 0 53,850
29 February 1972 Round 5
Replay
Middlesbrough A 3 – 0 Morgan, Best, Charlton 39,683
18 March 1972 Round 6 Stoke City H 1 – 1 Best 54,226
22 March 1972 Round 6
Replay
Stoke City A 1 – 2 Best 49,192

League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F – A
Scorers Attendance
7 September 1971 Round 2 Ipswich Town A 3 – 1 Morgan, Best (2) 28,143
6 October 1971 Round 3 Burnley H 1 – 1 Charlton 44,600
18 October 1971 Round 3
Replay
Burnley A 1 – 0 Charlton 27,511
27 October 1971 Round 4 Stoke City H 1 – 1 Gowling 47,062
8 November 1971 Round 4
Replay
Stoke City A 0 – 0 40,805
15 November 1971 Round 4
Second Replay
Stoke City A 1 – 2 Best 42,249

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Manchester United Season 1971/72". StretfordEnd.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "United in the Watney Cup". StretfordEnd.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Roughley, Gregg (17 March 2010). "The forgotten story of ... When Anfield was Manchester United's home ground". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 21 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Managers – Frank O'Farrell". AboutManUtd.com. About ManUtd. Retrieved 9 March 2012.