Manchester United will go into their game against Crystal Palace at the weekend with high hopes of emulating last season’s league double over the Eagles, having not lost a league fixture to the West London side since 1991.
On that occasion, Ian Wright opened the scoring with John Solako notching twice late on to condemn United to their heaviest defeat at Selhurst Park since a 5-0 drubbing on December 16, 1972.
However, Palace’s to-ing and fro-ing between the divisions in recent decades has meant that fixtures between these two sides have been relatively few and far between.
United’s 2-0 win over Palace at Selhurst Park on April 21, 1993 formed part of a title-winning season in which a 19-year-old Ryan Giggs won the PFA Young Player of the Year for the second time in succession.
The Old Trafford outfit wrapped up the league title with room to spare, winning the league by ten points with Aston Villa in second and surprise challengers Norwich City in third. United’s dominance is clear in this fixture throughout history, having won 29 out of their 46 fixtures against Palace.
That means a 63% winning ratio in United’s favour and the Reds are now unbeaten against the Eagles in 13 league fixtures. That excludes, of course, Palace’s narrow 2-1 extra-time victory over United in the League Cup Fifth Round at Old Trafford in 2011.
That particular game was lit up by a spectacular goal from Darren Ambrose which put Palace in front. Picking the ball up close to the half-way line, the Palace midfielder strode forward before unleashing a thunderbolt into the top corner of Ben Amos’s goal.
Federico Macheda levelled from the penalty spot for United, which eventually forced extra time. Despite a late surge of United pressure, Glenn Murray’s header from an Ambrose free-kick put Palace into the semi-finals for the first time in 10 years.
United will hope for no repeat of that scoreline this time around, with the Reds looking to avoid a fourth consecutive defeat.