THE HALF DECENT FOOTBALL MAGAZINE

23 April This evening will be the third time Everton and Manchester United have met in an FA Cup semi-final, with the Toffees having won both previous matches. While the last encounter is relatively fresh in the memory, a 0-0 draw in 2009 which Everton won on penalties, the first was exactly 50 years ago today.

Neither team was having acgreat season going into the game, with reigning League champions United down in seventh and Harry Catterick’s Everton, champions in 1963, in ninth. United were without George Best for the clash in front of 60,000 at Burnden Park but were nevertheless favourites. However, Everton – like so far in this season’s Cup run – had not conceded a goal in the competition, including two replays against Manchester City in the sixth round. Again their defence stood firm, and Colin Harvey struck in the second half with a low shot to seal the win – the first time a team had reached the FA Cup final without conceding a goal since Bury in 1903.

In the final itself Sheffield Wednesday did finally breach Everton’s back line and were 2-0 up before Catterick’s team rallied against his former club to win 3-2. It was the Toffees’ first Cup win since 1933. Manchester United ended the season in fourth but were League champions again the following season.

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