Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United

FA Cup final, May 21, 1977

Liverpool were bidding for part two of a unique Treble having already won the League title and with the European Cup final to come. Could Manchester United stop them?

1977 FA Cup final: Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United
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1977 FA Cup final: Liverpool 1-2 Manchester United 1977 FA Cup final: The fans gather outside Wembley 1977 FA Cup final: Hats the way to do it 1977 FA Cup final: Who do you think they're supporting? 1977 FA Cup final: The fans in good voice before the game 1977 FA Cup final: Looks like they've put their shirts on the game! 1977 FA Cup final: 'You sure that's real, son?' Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool 1977 FA Cup final: Steve Coppell and Ray Kennedy battle for the ball 1977 FA Cup final: Jimmy Nicholl tries to block Steve Heighway's cross 1977 FA Cup final: Steve Heighway escapes from the challenge of Brian Greenhoff 1977 FA Cup final: United threaten the Liverpool goal 1977 FA Cup final: Liverpool keeper Ray Clemence takes control of his penalty area 1977 FA Cup final: Stuart Pearson is denied by Ray Clemence 1977 FA Cup final: Joey Jones clears a cross from inside his own six-yard box 1977 FA Cup final: Steve Heighway and Jimmy Nicholl get set to chase a loose ball 1977 FA Cup final: Ray Clemence looks on helplessly as Stuart Pearson fires Manchester United into the lead 1977 FA Cup final: Jimmy Case (arms aloft) is mobbed by his team-mates after scoring Liverpool's equaliser 1977 FA Cup final: Jimmy Case lashes home the equaliser from the edge of the penalty area 1977 FA Cup final: Phil Neal tries in vain to prevent Jimmy Greenhoff's shot, which deflected off Lou Macari's chest, from crossing the line 1977 FA Cup final: Lou Macari wheels away in triumph after putting United 2-1 ahead 1977 FA Cup final: Terry McDermott looks on as Lou Macari moves away with the ball 1977 FA Cup final: Emlyn Hughes tangles with Stuart Pearson 1977 FA Cup final: Ray Kennedy does his best to stop Steve Coppell in full flight 1977 FA Cup final: Alex Stepney saves from Ray Kennedy's header 1977 FA Cup final: Ray Kennedy challenges United keeper Alex Stepney 1977 FA Cup final: Liverpool's players are devastated at the final whistle 1977 FA Cup final: Liverpool's big day out at Wembley ends on a bum note 1977 FA Cup final: Kevin Keegan is consoled by a young fan during Liverpool's consolation lap of honour 1977 FA Cup final: Sammy McIlroy and the Greenhoff brothers show off the trophy 1977 FA Cup final: The Greenhoff brothers (Jimmy, right, and Brian left) show off the trophy 1977 FA Cup final: Jimmy Nicholl and Alex Stepney crown Brian Greenhoff as a cup winner 1977 FA Cup final: Sammy McIlroy and Jimmy Greenhoff hold the cup aloft 1977 FA Cup final: Alex Stepney and Lou Macari carry the cup around Wembley on their lap of honour
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Jimmy Case (52)
Manchester United
Stuart Pearson (50)
Jimmy Greenhoff (55)

FA Cup final, May 21, 1977
Wembley, Referee: Robert Matthewson, Att: 99, 252

Manchester United fans enjoy nothing more than a win over Liverpool, and this one would have given them added pleasure as it ended Liverpool's hopes of that much-coveted Treble - a triple haul of trophies that United themselves would claim 22 years later.

The men from Old Trafford had finished a full 10 points behind their Anfield rivals in the First Division table, but they made light of that gap to claim the famous trophy for the first time since 1963.

Stuart Pearson gave United the lead in the 50th minute when he latched on to a long through ball and drove his shot past Ray Clemence. That advantage lasted just two minutes, however, as Jimmy Case fired Liverpool level with a fierce half-volley from the edge of the area that gave United keeper Alex Stepney no chance.

As the pendulum swung one way and then the other, though, United restored their lead within three minutes with what turned out to be the winning goal when Lou Macari's shot deflected off Jimmy Greenhoff's chest and looped into the net, evading the desperate attempts of goalkeeper Ray Clemence and defender Phil Neal to clear.

Key Figures

Jimmy Greenhoff

Could be described as the missing piece of United's jigsaw that made the difference between cup success in 1977, and failure the year before. Signed from Stoke in November 1976 for £120,000, he scored three goals in the run to the Final, and then netted the winner in the Wembley showpiece.

Martin Buchan

The United skipper was a rock at the heart of United's defence throughout their cup run. The only opponents to score more than once against them en route to Wembley was Southampton, and they were then dispatched in the replay following their initial 2-2 draw. And in the final itself he played a large part in shackling Liverpool's danger man, Kevin Keegan.

Kevin Keegan

The day was supposed to belong to Keegan, but United refused to adhere to the fairytale script. Playing his final game for Liverpool on home soil before his £500,000 move to German giants Hamburg, Keegan was shackled by the United rearguard and bowed out with more of a whimper than a bang. He made it for up just a few days later, however, by starring in the Reds' European Cup win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Tommy Docherty

In his fifth year at Old Trafford, Docherty delivered the club's first trophy for a decade. It was a fitting reward for the work he had done guiding them to promotion back to the First Division and then re-establishing them as a top-flight club.

Did You Know...?

Martin Buchan is the only player to have captained a team which won the Scottish Cup (Aberdeen 1970) as well as one which won the English FA Cup - United in 1977.

The 1977 FA Cup win was the first time a pair of brothers - Jimmy and Brian Greenhoff - helped United claim the trophy. That feat was repeated in 1996, again against Liverpool, by Gary and Phil Neville.

Remarkably, given the huge haul of trophies he won as Liverpool manager - 14 in 11 years - Bob Paisley never won the FA Cup. This defeat was the closest he came, he never even reached another final.

What Happened Next

Just four days later, Liverpool won the European Cup with a 3-1 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach, and they continued their dominance of the English game for the remainder of the 70s and throughout the 80s.

As for United, Docherty was sacked just two months after the Wembley triumph when it became public that he was having an affair with the wife of club physio, Laurie Brown. He was replaced by Dave Sexton, but it would be six years - under the guidance of Ron Atkinson - before United next won the FA Cup.

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From the back pages

Up For The Cups! Published: May 21, 1977

1977 FA Cup final preview

The Brothers United Published: May 21, 1977

FA Cup final preview

Put Your Trust In Liverpool Published: May 21, 1977

1977 FA Cup final preview - team line-ups

Mad United! Published: May 23, 1977

1977 FA Cup report back page

Not Another Roman Ruin! Published: May 23, 1977

1977 FA Cup final match report

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