SniperTube episode 5: Man Utd Special

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? On the wrong end of an absolute tonking. By the time the 5th or 6th one goes in, you’re so far beyond caring that you’re busy chatting to the bloke next to you about politics or kabbadi. What’s that, we’re down to 10 men as well? Ah well.

Yep, we’ve all been there. Some more than others, it has to be said. And when the most domestically successful team in English football gets a jolly shellacking, we have to savour the moment, since it happens so very, very rarely. And then dredge up and bask in a load of other whuppings for good measure.

After three years of treading water in Division 1, Crystal Palace would finally be relegated in 1973. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom at Selhurst Park, where one of their 7 home victories was against one of the less well-remembered Man Utd sides (they finished a lowly 18th that season). And what a victory it was, too:

Apart from the pure joy of listening to Brian Moore saying “Manchester United simply don’t know which day it is”, it’s also great to see moustachioed genius Don Rogers (“…in a way, doing a Pele”), Palace’s rather dark red and light blue striped kit, and rubber “goalie gloves” taken straight from the washing up bowl and onto the pitch.

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Man Utd walked the league in the 99-00 season, 18 points ahead of nearest challengers Arsenal come May. Here though, it’s early October and the season is still very much finding its feet. And as soon as you hear Martin Tyler say something about “Phil Neville’s been put there to do a job on Gianfranco Zola”, you know the United defence is going to be in for a long afternoon:

There’s so many things wrong in this video. Jody Morris scoring, then doing that trombone celebration; Chris Sutton scoring, who cost £10million (30YS Videprinter: Ten); and finally the conclusive proof that all ‘keepers who wear jogging bottoms are ultimately doomed to fail.

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Post Love it Newcastle under Kevin Keegan were something of a busted flush, but no compilation of teams beating Man Utd 5-0 is complete without Little Kev’s moment of small revenge. Fergie’s men famously overhauled the Geordies 12-point lead to take the title in 1996, but then Shearer was bought for £15million that summer in what was really Keegan’s last throw of the dice. He would leave the job just a few months later, but not before this:

Keegan’s last hurrah showed just how wonderful that Newcastle team could be on occasion. Everyone remembers Philippe Albert’s chip, but David Ginola’s strike for 2-0 was almost as incredible. Keegan resigned in January 1997, saying that he’d taken the club as far as he could; Kenny Dalglish took over and Newcastle finished 2nd behind Man Utd, just as they had the previous year.

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