To find our first ever meeting with Sunday’s opponents Manchester United, you have to look back ninety-two years.
The season was 1921-22 and the Bluebirds were in their first year at the top level, then called Division One of course. City met Manchester United in the first round of the FA Cup that year, a Club like City, who were also in Division One.
The game took place at Old Trafford on 7th January 1922 in front of a 25,000 crowd, with City running out eventual 4-1 winners thanks to goals from Len Davies (2), Harry Nash and Joe Clennell.
In those days clubs played League matches against their opponents on successive Saturday’s. As a result City faced United twice in the same week, first at Old Trafford in Division One on April 29th 1922 and then at Ninian Park on May 6th 1922 in what was our final game of the season. In the away match Len Davies scored in a 1-1 draw seen by just 15,000 before the home tie saw the debut of Irish goalkeeper Tom Farquharson when a 19,900 attendance saw a 3-1 victory with goals from Jimmy Gill and Joe Clennell (2). The Bluebirds’ finished fourth that season, with United relegated in bottom place.
The two sides met once again between 1925-26 to 1928-29 before City were relegated, and it was not for another twenty-four years that we faced the Manchester club again.
The 1952/53 season saw the Bluebirds back in Division One and a 40,095 crowd saw us beaten 2-1 at Ninian Park on 15th November 1952 with Ken Chisholm getting the City goal. In the return fixture at Old Trafford on 4th April 1953, City enjoyed a much more positive result, 4-1 winners with goals from Wilf Grant (2), Mike Tiddy and Ken Chisholm claiming the win. A 38,987 crowd saw the game which marked the debut of 16 year-old Duncan Edwards for United, who would become an England International before he died from injuries sustained in the Munich Air Disaster of February 1958.
Saturday, 26th November 1960 – Cardiff City 3-0 Manchester United – Ninian Park, Att. 21,122
You have to look back to the 1960-61 season for the Bluebirds’ last victory over United. Playing in Division One City beat United 3-0 at Ninian Park on 26th November 1960 on a mud-bound pitch in front of 21,102. Derek Hogg (2) and Brian Edgeley scored for City.
Saturday, 31st August 1974 – Cardiff City 0-1 Manchester United – Ninian Park, Att. 22,500
Our most recent meetings with United came in the 1974-75 season in the old Division Two. United had just been relegated from Division One at the end of 1973-74 campaign and came to Ninian Park for a Second Division match on 31st August 1974, winning 1-0 through an early Gerry Daly penalty in front of 22,500.
Team - Cardiff City:
Healey, Dwyer, Pethard, Smith, Murray, Phillips, McInch, Charles (sub.Sayer), Whitham, Reece, Anderson.
Stepney, Forsyth, Houston, Greenhoff, Holton, Buchan, Morgan, McIlroy, Pearson (sub.Young), Martin, Daly.
Saturday, 1st March 1975 – Manchester United 4-0 Cardiff City – Old Trafford, Att. 43,601
The return match took place at Old Trafford on 4th March 1975 when City lost 4-0 in front of a 43,601 crowd. United’s goals came from Houston, Pearson, Macari and McIlroy. They went up as Champions that season, with City going down to the lower divisions.
Team - Manchester United:
Stepney, Forsyth, Houston, Greenhoff, James, Buchan, Morgan (sub.Coppell), McIlroy, Pearson, Macari, Daly.
Irwin, Dwyer, Pethard, Buchanan, Morga, Larmour, Giles, Vincent, Showers, Reece, Anderson. Sub not used:
City and United have not met again since, though Manchester United did come to Ninian Park in 1976-77 to play a South Wales Eleven in aid of financially-struggling Newport County, and they came again in the late-1990s for Jimmy Goodfellow’s Testimonial Match.
Saturday, 24th November 2013, Barclays Premier League – Cardiff City 2-2 Manchester United
Our last meeting of course came at Cardiff City Stadium in November as a last minute header from midfielder Kim Bo Kyung claimed a point for the Bluebirds in dramatic fashion at Cardiff City Stadium as City twice came from behind.
Wayne Rooney had given David Moyes’ side the advantage early on before Fraizer Campbell equalised, with Patrice Evra netting before half-time to make it 2-1. South Korean star Kim Bo Kyung headed home in stoppage time to claim a point.
Team - Cardiff City:
Marshall (GK), Théophile-Catherine, Taylor, Caulker (capt), Turner, Medel, Whittingham, Mutch (Kim 77), Cowie, Odemwingie (Noone 65), Campbell (Cornelius 84). Subs not used: Lewis (GK), Hudson, Gunnarsson, Bellamy.
*Pictures courtesy of Media Wales.