1985–86 Manchester United F.C. season

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Manchester United
1985–86 season
Chairman Martin Edwards
Manager Ron Atkinson
First Division 4th
FA Cup Fifth Round
League Cup Fourth Round
Super Cup Group Stage
Charity Shield Runners-up
Top goalscorer League:
Mark Hughes (17)
All:
Mark Hughes (18)
Highest home attendance 54,575 vs Tottenham Hotspur (16 November 1985)
Lowest home attendance 26,118 vs Crystal Palace (9 October 1985)
Average home league attendance 44,038
Home colours
Away colours
Third colours

The 1985–86 season was Manchester United's 83rd season in the Football League, and their 11th consecutive season in the top division of English football.[1]

Despite having won the FA Cup the previous season, the team was unable to compete in the 1985–86 European Cup Winners' Cup due to the five-year ban on English clubs competing in European competitions that was imposed following the Heysel Stadium disaster at the 1985 European Cup Final.

With no European action to distract them, they got off to a 10-match winning start in the league, were unbeaten from their first 15 games, and remained top of the league until the beginning of February, but their dismal post Christmas form dragged them down to a final position of fourth in the league, and there was no success in the cup competitions to fall back on, leading to doubts about the future of Ron Atkinson as manager. He had completed five seasons as manager without them finishing outside the top four and had won two FA Cups, but the wait for a league title was now entering its 20th season.

The ban on English clubs in European competitions was extended to a second season, meaning that United would not be able to compete in the 1986–87 UEFA Cup.

Mark Hughes was once again United's top scorer, scoring 17 goals in the league and 18 in all competitions. However, he was less prolific during the second half of the season after scoring 11 times before Christmas, and on 21 March 1986 it was announced that he would be leaving United at the end of the season to sign for FC Barcelona of Spain in a £2million deal. By this stage, United had already signed Nottingham Forest striker Peter Davenport as his successor.

United's title challenge was also not helped by the fact that captain Bryan Robson was only available for half of the club's league games this season due to injuries.

FA Charity Shield[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
10 August 1985 Everton N 0–2 82,000

First Division[edit]

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance League
position
17 August 1985 Aston Villa H 4–0 Whiteside, Hughes (2), Olsen 49,743 1st
20 August 1985 Ipswich Town A 1–0 Robson 18,777 1st
24 August 1985 Arsenal A 2–1 Hughes, McGrath 37,145 1st
26 August 1985 West Ham United H 2–0 Hughes, Strachan 50,773 1st
31 August 1985 Nottingham Forest A 3–1 Hughes, Barnes, Stapleton 26,274 1st
4 September 1985 Newcastle United H 3–0 Stapleton (2), Hughes 51,102 1st
7 September 1985 Oxford United H 3–0 Whiteside, Robson, Barnes 51,820 1st
14 September 1985 Manchester City A 3–0 Robson (pen.), Albiston, Duxbury 48,773 1st
21 September 1985 West Bromwich Albion A 5–1 Brazil (2), Strachan, Blackmore, Stapleton 25,068 1st
28 September 1985 Southampton H 1–0 Hughes 52,449 1st
5 October 1985 Luton Town A 1–1 Hughes 17,454 1st
12 October 1985 Queens Park Rangers H 2–0 Hughes, Olsen 48,845 1st
19 October 1985 Liverpool H 1–1 McGrath 54,492 1st
26 October 1985 Chelsea A 2–1 Olsen, Hughes 42,485 1st
2 November 1985 Coventry City H 2–0 Olsen (2) 46,748 1st
9 November 1985 Sheffield Wednesday A 0–1 48,105 1st
16 November 1985 Tottenham Hotspur H 0–0 54,575 1st
23 November 1985 Leicester City A 0–3 22,008 1st
30 November 1985 Watford H 1–1 Brazil 42,181 1st
7 December 1985 Ipswich Town H 1–0 Stapleton 37,981 1st
14 December 1985 Aston Villa A 3–1 Blackmore, Strachan, Hughes 27,626 1st
21 December 1985 Arsenal H 0–1 44,386 1st
26 December 1985 Everton A 1–3 Stapleton 42,551 1st
1 January 1986 Birmingham City H 1–0 C. Gibson 43,095 1st
11 January 1986 Oxford United A 3–1 Whiteside, Hughes, C. Gibson 13,280 1st
18 January 1986 Nottingham Forest H 2–3 Olsen (2; 1 pen.) 46,717 1st
2 February 1986 West Ham United A 1–2 Robson 22,642 2nd
9 February 1986 Liverpool A 1–1 C. Gibson 35,064 2nd
22 February 1986 West Bromwich Albion H 3–0 Olsen (3; 2 pen.) 45,193 2nd
1 March 1986 Southampton A 0–1 19,012 2nd
15 March 1986 Queens Park Rangers A 0–1 23,407 3rd
19 March 1986 Luton Town H 2–0 Hughes, McGrath 33,668 3rd
22 March 1986 Manchester City H 2–2 C. Gibson, Strachan (pen.) 51,274 3rd
29 March 1986 Birmingham City A 1–1 Robson 22,551 3rd
31 March 1986 Everton H 0–0 51,189 3rd
5 April 1986 Coventry City A 3–1 C. Gibson, Robson, Strachan 17,160 3rd
9 April 1986 Chelsea H 1–2 Olsen (pen.) 45,355 3rd
13 April 1986 Sheffield Wednesday H 0–2 32,331 3rd
16 April 1986 Newcastle United A 4–2 Robson (pen.), Hughes (2), Whiteside 31,840 3rd
19 April 1986 Tottenham Hotspur A 0–0 32,357 3rd
26 April 1986 Leicester City H 4–0 Stapleton, Hughes, Blackmore, Davenport (pen.) 38,840 3rd
3 May 1986 Watford A 1–1 Hughes 18,414 4th
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
3 West Ham United 42 26 6 10 74 40 +34 84
4 Manchester United 42 22 10 10 70 36 +34 76
5 Sheffield Wednesday 42 21 10 11 63 54 +9 73

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

FA Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
9 January 1986 Round 3 Rochdale H 2–0 Stapleton, Hughes 40,223
25 January 1986 Round 4 Sunderland A 0–0 35,484
29 January 1986 Round 4
Replay
Sunderland H 3–0 Whiteside, Olsen (2; 1 pen.) 43,402
5 March 1986 Round 5 West Ham United A 1–1 Stapleton 26,441
9 March 1986 Round 5
Replay
West Ham United H 0–2 30,441

Football League Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
24 September 1985 Round 2
First leg
Crystal Palace A 1–0 Barnes 21,507
9 October 1985 Round 2
Second leg
Crystal Palace H 1–0 Whiteside 26,118
29 October 1985 Round 3 West Ham United H 1–0 Whiteside 32,056
26 November 1985 Round 4 Liverpool A 1–2 McGrath 41,291

Football League Super Cup[edit]

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
18 September 1985 Group stage Everton H 2–4 Robson (pen.), Stapleton 33,859
6 November 1985 Group stage Norwich City H 1–1 Whiteside (pen.) 20,130
4 December 1985 Group stage Everton A 0–1 20,542
11 December 1985 Group stage Norwich City A 1–1 C. Gibson 15,449
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Everton 4 3 0 1 6 3 +3 9
2 Norwich City 4 1 2 1 3 3 0 5
3 Manchester United 4 0 2 2 4 7 –3 2

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

Squad statistics[edit]

Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK England Gary Bailey 25 0 2 0 4 0 1 0 32 0
GK England Chris Turner 17 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 20 0
DF Scotland Arthur Albiston 37 1 5 0 3 0 1 0 46 1
DF Wales Clayton Blackmore 12 3 2(2) 0 2 0 0 0 16(2) 3
DF England Mike Duxbury 21(2) 1 3 0 3 0 1 0 28(2) 1
DF England Billy Garton 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
DF England John Gidman 24 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 28 0
DF England Mark Higgins 6 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 8 0
DF Scotland Graeme Hogg 17 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 20 0
DF Republic of Ireland Paul McGrath 40 3 4 0 4 1 1 0 49 4
DF Denmark John Sivebæk 2(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2(1) 0
MF England Mark Dempsey 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
MF England Colin Gibson 18 5 4 0 0 0 0 0 22 5
MF Republic of Ireland Kevin Moran 18(1) 0 3 0 4 0 0 0 25(1) 0
MF England Remi Moses 4 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 4(1) 0
MF Denmark Jesper Olsen 25(3) 11 3(2) 2 3 0 1 0 32(5) 13
MF England Bryan Robson 21 7 3 0 2 0 1 0 27 7
MF Scotland Gordon Strachan 27(1) 5 5 0 1 0 0 0 33(1) 5
MF Northern Ireland Norman Whiteside 37 4 5 1 4 2 1 0 47 7
FW England Peter Barnes 12(1) 2 0 0 3 1 0 0 15(1) 3
FW Scotland Alan Brazil 1(10) 3 0 0 2(2) 0 0 0 3(12) 3
FW England Peter Davenport 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 1
FW England Terry Gibson 2(5) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2(5) 0
FW Wales Mark Hughes 40 17 3 1 2 0 1 0 46 18
FW Republic of Ireland Frank Stapleton 34(7) 7 5 2 4 0 1 0 44(7) 9
FW England Nicky Wood 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Manchester United Season 1985/86". StretfordEnd.co.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2011.