THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

28 February ~ With Manchester United having a frustrating season under Louis van Gaal, they might do well to remember that being fifth in the top division isn’t particularly bad. On August 25, 1973 they travelled to Highbury for the first game in a season that ultimately saw them relegated for the first time since 1937.

Over 51,000 watched Ray Kennedy put Arsenal ahead after just two minutes and John Radford doubled their lead in the second half, hooking a cross past keeper Alex Stepney. United had their chances, with Lou Macari at one point resorting to throwing the ball into the net, but Alan Ball sealed Arsenal’s win in the final few minutes when he latched on to a Kennedy through ball and finished easily.

United won their next two matches but went on to have a miserable season, eventually ending up second bottom. Arsenal themselves, runners-up the previous season, weren’t great as they came tenth.

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