Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Second Round, Second Leg.
(Team details kindly provided by Voyislav Radojevic of FK Partizan)
Referee: Ottmar Huber (
Mck Bates dismissal in Belgrade meant that he was not available for the Elland Road return clash, but first choice keeper, Welsh International Gary Sprake, was welcomed back between the posts, but United were still without their other injured stars Giles and Jones with Rod Belfitt also injured it meant Eddie Gray switching to inside left with Terry Hibbitt coming in on the left wing and Albert Johanneson replacing Mick Bates on the bench..
United started the return fixture with the intention of blowing Partizan away. Hoping to catch them cold United attacked from the kick-off, and launched wave after wave of attacks on the Serbian goal. Jimmy Greenhoff was out of form in front of goal and Terry Hibbitt shot on the run to skim the angle of bar and post. However, it was not until the twenty-ninth minute that Peter Lorimer gave them the lead. It was not a pretty goal. Norman Hunter surged forward and carried the ball upfield where he was fouled by Partizan skipper Milan Vukelic, who remonstrated with the referee and was booked for his transgression. Billy Bremner hoisted the free-kick into the penalty area where Jack Charltonís aerial challenge on goalkeeper Ivan Curkovic caused him to miscue his punch and Peter Lorimer scrambled the ball in, but still the incessant attack continued.
Even United could not keep up such a non-stop assault for the full match and eased off a little after the hour mark. Partizan took advantage of that and equalised on the night with a goal from Milan Petrovic, who rifled in a a low cross-shot after sixty-one minutes. There was an uncomfortable finish to the match for United as Partizan took control and only a linesmanís flag saved themten minutes from the end when Idriz Hosic ran through and scored, only to be pulled up for offside.
United were not going to be denied, and they made sure there would be no
repeat of the Partizan fight back against Manchester
United, to run out 3-2 winners on aggregate even though it was 1-1 on the
night. Partizan had proved to be full of confidence
and fine and tenacious opponents. This was sufficient for United to progress to
the Third Round. Athletico Bilbao,
It had not been Unitedís greatest display of the season but they were through to the next round and announced an annual profit of £64,714 which meant that they had made a profit for the third consecutive year, the successful Fairs Cup run to the Final against Dinamo Zagreb had helped swell the coffers but the club still announced that plans to redevelop the Geldard Road End had been put on hold until more cash was in the bank.