12 May 1979
Arsenal 3-2 Manchester United: Highlights

The Gunners raced in to a two-goal lead only for McQueen and McIlroy to level the scores. In the last minute, Sunderland decided it.



Manchester United










The FA Cup Final
Wembley Stadium
12 May 1979

For over eighty minutes, the 1979 FA Cup Final was anything but a classic but then, in the last five minutes, Wembley saw one of the most exhilarating finishes to any Cup Final ever.

The Gunners took the lead on 12 minutes when Liam Brady raced past his opponent, dribbled round Micky Thomas and swung out a long pass to Frank Stapleton, who had cleverly moved out to the right touch-line.

A through-pass to David Price, a quick centre and there were three Arsenal players out-numbering United's defenders right in the goal-mouth. All three of them dashed for the ball but the most determined of them - Brian Talbot - was credited with the shot that gave Arsenal an early lead.

United were unshaken, and for the next half-hour they had most of the play. However their finishing left a lot to be desired and Pat Jennings comfortably dealt with anything the United players could throw at him.

Just when both sides seemed to have settled for a single-goal first-half, the ubiquitous Brady produced a master-piece of dribbling, slipping past the United defenders as if they were non-existent.

The midfielder finished with the ball on the right-hand edge of the penalty-area. Almost cheekily, he looked up and across, saw Stapleton unmarked opposite the far post, coolly kicked the ball with his right foot and placed it on the striker's forehead. Stapleton nodded home and the Gunners had a two-goal lead.

United came out for the second half looking to get back into the game but try as they might they could not find a way through the determined Arsenal rear-guard.

Then, just as it looked as though the game was petering out, Arsenal manager Terry Neill sent on Steve Walford in place of Price and the London side suddenly lost their rhythm.

Steve Coppell placed a free-kick accurately, Joe Jordan centred, and Gordon McQueen was on the spot to score with only four minutes to go.

Two minutes later, amid scenes of tremendous enthusiasm, United equalised. Sammy McIlroy, one of the few consistent successes, received yet another accurate pass from Coppell, dribbled round David O'Leary, by-passed Walford and planted the ball inside Arsenal's upright to level the scores.

But this extraordinary game was not finished yet, and it was fitting that man of the match Liam Brady should provide the coup de grace.

He produced a perfectly controlled diagonal run before giving Graham Rix the opportunity to pass to Alan Sunderland who shot home the winner with only seconds remaining. What a finish!

Arsenal 3-2 Manchester Utd, The FA Cup Final, 12 May 1979

Arsenal: Jennings, Rice (capt.), Nelson, Talbot, O'Leary, Young, Brady, Sunderland, Stapleton, Price, Rix

Manchester Utd: Bailey, Nicholl, Albiston, McIlroy, McQueen, Buchan (capt.), Coppell, Greenhoff, Jordan, Macari, Thomas

Referee: RC Challis (Tonbridge)

Attendance: 100,000