1987/88 - Manchester United | Manchester United News
1987/88 – Manchester United

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The 1987–88 season was Manchester United‘s 85th season in the Football League, and their 13th consecutive season in the top division of English football.

The season was a relative success, with the club finishing second in the league, but they did not play in the UEFA Cup the following season due to the ban on English clubs in Europe after the Heysel Stadium disaster. They finished nine points behind champions Liverpool, who lost just twice all season and for much of the campaign looked uncatchable. Perhaps the most memorable game of the season was in the league atAnfield just before Liverpool’s title was confirmed, when United were 3–1 down at half time but fought back to hold the hosts to a 3–3 draw.

United lost just five times in the league in 40 games, and lost only once at Old Trafford, but a few disappointing draws against relatively unfancied sides including Charlton and Luton led to crucial points being dropped and prevented them from mounting a serious threat to Liverpool.

It was Alex Ferguson’s first full season as United manager, and it was the first season at the club for new signings Brian McClair (who finished the season as one of the First Division’s top scorers with 24 goals) and Viv Anderson. December also saw the arrival of defender Steve Bruce from Norwich City.

 

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H / A Result

F – A

Scorers Attendance
22 July 1987 Næstved A 2 – 0 Moran, Robson 6,500
24 July 1987 IS Halmia A 9 – 1 Whiteside (4), Davenport (2), Strachan, Olsen, Marshall (o.g.) 2,607
26 July 1987 B 1903 A 3 – 2 Robson, Davenport, McClair (pen.) 2,500
28 July 1987 Vejle A 4 – 1 Anderson, Davenport, Olsen, McClair 7,000
4 August 1987 Manchester City A 3 – 1 McClair (2), Robson 20,250
5 August 1987 Atlético Mineiro N 3 – 1 McClair (3) 7,150
10 August 1987 Irish League N 0 – 0 10,000
21 October 1987 Weymouth A 0 – 1 4,904
28 November 1987 Bermuda A 4 – 1 Robson, McClair (pen.), Whiteside, Davenport 4,200
1 December 1987 Somerset CC A 4 – 1 Wilson, McClair, Knox, Olsen 2,000
28 March 1988 Tottenham Hotspur A 3 – 2 Strachan (2), Davenport 20,190
22 April 1988 Walsall A 3 – 1 Whiteside, Strachan, McClair 6,141
8 May 1988 Manchester City H 0 – 2 14,898
17 May 1988 Milan H 2 – 3 McClair, Olsen 37,392

First Division

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Date Opponents H / A Result

F – A

Scorers Attendance League

position

15 August 1987 Southampton A 2 – 2 Whiteside (2) 25′, 31′ 21,214 10th
19 August 1987 Arsenal H 0 – 0 43,893 12th
22 August 1987 Watford H 2 – 0 McGrath 10′, McClair 20′ 38,769 7th
29 August 1987 Charlton Athletic A 3 – 1 McClair 10′, Robson 22′, McGrath 45′ 14,046 5th
31 August 1987 Chelsea H 3 – 1 McClair 25′, Strachan 48′, Whiteside 83′ 46,616 1st
5 September 1987 Coventry City A 0 – 0 27,125 2nd
12 September 1987 Newcastle United H 2 – 2 Olsen 8′, McClair 45′ (pen.) 45,619 3rd
19 September 1987 Everton A 1 – 2 Whiteside 59′ 38,439 6th
26 September 1987 Tottenham Hotspur H 1 – 0 McClair 44′ (pen.) 48,087 6th
3 October 1987 Luton Town A 1 – 1 McClair 54′ 9,137 6th
10 October 1987 Sheffield Wednesday A 4 – 2 Robson 40′, McClair (2) 53′, 78′, Blackmore 60′ 32,779 4th
17 October 1987 Norwich City H 2 – 1 Davenport 46′, Robson 80′ 39,821 4th
24 October 1987 West Ham United A 1 – 1 Gibson 45′ 19,863 5th
31 October 1987 Nottingham Forest H 2 – 2 Robson 54′, Whiteside 59′ 44,669 5th
15 November 1987 Liverpool H 1 – 1 Whiteside 50′ 47,106 5th
21 November 1987 Wimbledon A 1 – 2 Blackmore 65′ 11,532 6th
5 December 1987 Queens Park Rangers A 2 – 0 Davenport 35′, Robson 74′ 20,632 6th
12 December 1987 Oxford United H 3 – 1 Strachan (2) 23′, 31′, Olsen 50′ 34,709 4th
19 December 1987 Portsmouth A 2 – 1 Robson 35′, McClair 48′ 22,207 4th
26 December 1987 Newcastle United A 0 – 1 26,461 5th
28 December 1987 Everton H 2 – 1 McClair (2) 50′, 73′ (pen.) 47,024 4th
1 January 1988 Charlton Athletic H 0 – 0 37,257 4th
2 January 1988 Watford A 1 – 0 McClair 39′ 18,038 4th
16 January 1988 Southampton H 0 – 2 35,716 5th
24 January 1988 Arsenal A 2 – 1 Strachan 11′, McClair 67′ 29,392 3rd
6 February 1988 Coventry City H 1 – 0 O’Brien 5′ 37,144 3rd
10 February 1988 Derby County A 2 – 1 Strachan 71′, Whiteside 88′ 20,016 2nd
13 February 1988 Chelsea A 2 – 1 Bruce 50′, O’Brien 52′ 25,014 2nd
23 February 1988 Tottenham Hotspur A 1 – 1 McClair 82′ 25,731 2nd
5 March 1988 Norwich City A 0 – 1 19,129 2nd
12 March 1988 Sheffield Wednesday H 4 – 1 Blackmore 1′, McClair (2) 7′, 53′, Davenport 79′ 33,318 2nd
19 March 1988 Nottingham Forest A 0 – 0 27,598 2nd
26 March 1988 West Ham United H 3 – 1 Strachan 58′, Anderson 83′, Robson 90′ 37,269 2nd
2 April 1988 Derby County H 4 – 1 McClair (3) 16′, 23′, 64′, Gibson 51′ 40,146 2nd
4 April 1988 Liverpool A 3 – 3 Robson (2) 3′, 66′, Strachan 77′ 43,497 2nd
12 April 1988 Luton Town H 3 – 0 McClair 44′, Robson 66′, Davenport 68′ 28,830 2nd
30 April 1988 Queens Park Rangers H 2 – 1 Bruce 10′, Parker 83′ (o.g.) 35,733 2nd
2 May 1988 Oxford United A 2 – 0 Anderson 7′, Strachan 37′ 8,966 2nd
7 May 1988 Portsmouth H 4 – 1 McClair (2) 5′, 58′, Davenport 25′, Robson 35′ 35,105 2nd
9 May 1988 Wimbledon H 2 – 1 McClair (2) 50′, 75′ (pen.) 28,040 2nd
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Liverpool 40 26 12 2 87 24 +63 90
2 Manchester United 40 23 12 5 71 38 +33 81
3 Nottingham Forest 40 20 13 7 67 39 +28 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

Date Round Opponents H / A Result

F – A

Scorers Attendance
10 January 1988 Round 3 Ipswich Town A 2 – 1 D’Avray 28′ (o.g.), Anderson 64′ 23,012
30 January 1988 Round 4 Chelsea H 2 – 0 Whiteside 42′, McClair 70′ 50,716
20 February 1988 Round 5 Arsenal A 1 – 2 McClair 52′ 54,161

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result

F – A

Scorers Attendance
23 September 1987 Round 2

First leg

Hull City H 5 – 0 McGrath 38′, Davenport 71′, Whiteside 74′, Strachan 81′, McClair85′ 25,041
7 October 1987 Round 2

Second leg

Hull City A 1 – 0 McClair 62′ 13,586
28 October 1987 Round 3 Crystal Palace H 2 – 1 McClair (2) 7′ (pen.), 28′ 27,283
18 November 1987 Round 4 Bury H 2 – 1 Whiteside 63′, McClair 68′ 33,519
20 January 1988 Round 5 Oxford United A 0 – 2 12,658

Football League Centenary Tournament

Date Round Opponents H / A Result

F – A

Scorers Attendance
16 April 1988 Round 1 Luton Town N 2 – 0 McClair, Davenport
16 April 1988 Quarter-final Everton N 1 – 0 Bruce
16 April 1988 Semi-final Sheffield Wednesday N 1 – 2 Davenport (pen.)

Squad statistics

Manchester United squad picture 1987

Pos. Name League FA Cup Littlewoods Cup Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
GK Chris Turner 24 0 3 0 3 0 30 0
GK Gary Walsh 16 0 0 0 2 0 18 0
DF Arthur Albiston 5(6) 0 0 0 0 0 5(6) 0
DF Viv Anderson 30(1) 2 3 1 4 0 37(1) 3
DF Clayton Blackmore 15(7) 3 1(1) 0 3(1) 0 19(9) 3
DF Steve Bruce 21 2 3 0 0 0 24 2
DF Mike Duxbury 39 0 3 0 5 0 47 0
DF Billy Garton 5(1) 0 0 0 2(1) 0 7(2) 0
DF Colin Gibson 26(3) 2 2 0 5 0 33(3) 2
DF Graeme Hogg 9(1) 0 2 0 0(1) 0 11(2) 0
DF Lee Martin 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
DF Paul McGrath 21(1) 2 0 0 2 1 23(1) 3
DF Kevin Moran 20(1) 0 1 0 2 0 23(1) 0
MF Remi Moses 16(1) 0 1 0 1(1) 0 18(2) 0
MF Liam O’Brien 6(11) 2 0(2) 0 0(2) 0 6(15) 2
MF Jesper Olsen 30(7) 2 2(1) 0 3(1) 0 35(9) 2
MF Bryan Robson 36 11 2 0 5 0 43 11
MF Gordon Strachan 33(3) 8 3 0 5 1 41(3) 9
FW Peter Davenport 21(13) 5 1(1) 0 3(1) 1 25(15) 6
FW Deiniol Graham 1 0 0 0 0(1) 0 1(1) 0
FW Brian McClair 40 24 3 2 5 5 48 31
FW Norman Whiteside 26(1) 7 3 1 5 2 34(1) 10
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