|Reigning Champions Outfought By Town|
Written by clivebleedingthomas on Monday, 30th Mar 2020 09:00
The 1994/95 season ended with the Town bottom of the Premier League with only seven wins to their name. Nevertheless the season had its bright spots - Adam Tanner scoring to earn a 1-0 win at Anfield, our first victory there; the Budgies being relegated on the last day of the season, having accumulated 16 more points (43) than we managed; and in September 1994 this match against reigning Premier League Champions, Manchester United.
Saturday 24th September 1994 Ipswich Town 3 Manchester United 2
The all-seater Portman Road was filled to capacity with 22,559 present. Three successive defeats, including a 1-2 loss at home to Norwich, led John Lyall to make changes to the team, bringing Steve Palmer in for his first match of the season along with debutants Adrian Paz, fresh from Uruguay, and the Dane Claus Thomsen.
The game began with United exerting pressure. Paul Ince had hit the Town crossbar before Paul Mason drove the ball into the net with the outside of his right boot, having been set up by Thomsen.
Steve Palmer and Geraint Williams were having a rare old tussle in midfield with Paul Ince and Roy Keane. The latter being rattled enough to be booked after half an hour.
Craig Forrest was busy in Town’s goal, tipping a Steve Bruce header over the bar and holding onto Ryan Giggs’ curling freekick. However, despite United’s persistence, it was Town who scored two minutes before the interval, Paul Mason, the goalscorer once more, bending a left foot shot into the top corner.
Alex Ferguson made a switch in the 62nd minute, taking Lee Sharpe off, putting Roy Keane back at right-back and bringing 19-year-old Paul Scholes into his attack for his league debut.
The changes galvanised United, who got back into the game with goals in the 71st and 74th minutes, scored by Eric Cantona and Paul Scholes.
Town showed great strength of character after this setback, many teams would have capitulated under the intense pressure. With United pressing forward, Town caught them on the break 10 minutes from time.
Frank Yallop set off on a memorable run down the right flank, sent a deep cross to Steve Sedgley whose shot deflected off Keane into the net to send Town fans home in jubilant mood.
Claus Thomsen, new to the pace of the Premier League, commented after the match: “The last 20 minutes were not very funny for me, but my fitness will come, I am excited about the future."
A corner count of Town four, United 20 shows what a 'backs-to-the-wall' gutsy victory it was.
Steve Palmer was outstanding throughout, the local press naming him Man of the Match.
Town team: Forrest,Yallop, Wark (Milton 88), Linighan, G. Johnson, Mason, Williams, Palmer, Sedgley, Thomsen, Paz (Guentchev 77).
Man Utd: Walsh, Keane, Bruce, Pallister, Irwin, Sharpe (Scholes 62), Ince, Kanchelskis, Cantona, McClair, Giggs.
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