1968 European Cup Final
|Event||1967–68 European Cup|
|After extra time|
|Date||29 May 1968|
|Venue||Wembley Stadium, London|
|Man of the Match||
|Referee||Concetto Lo Bello (Italy)|
The 1968 European Cup Final was a football match played at Wembley Stadium on 29 May 1968 to determine the winners of the 1967–68 European Cup, the 13th season of the European Cup, a tournament organised by UEFA for the champions of European leagues. The final was contested by Benfica of Portugal and Manchester United of England, with Manchester United winning 4–1 after extra time.
Route to the final
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Glentoran||1–1 (a)||1–1 (A)||0–0 (H)||First round||Hibernians||4–0||4–0 (H)||0–0 (A)|
|Saint-Étienne||2–1||2–0 (H)||0–1 (A)||Second round||Sarajevo||2–1||0–0 (A)||2–1 (H)|
|Vasas||3–0||0–0 (A)||3–0 (H)||Quarter-finals||Górnik Zabrze||2–1||2–0 (H)||0–1 (A)|
|Juventus||3–0||2–0 (H)||1–0 (A)||Semi-finals||Real Madrid||4–3||1–0 (H)||3–3 (A)|
The first half passed without incident, but eight minutes into the second half, Bobby Charlton opened the scoring for Manchester United with a rare headed goal. However, the lead only lasted for 22 minutes before Jaime Graça scored for Benfica. Benfica almost had a chance to win the match near the end of normal time, but goalkeeper Alex Stepney made a crucial save during a one-on-one with Eusébio. Eusébio applauded the save.
The score remained at 1–1 until the end of normal time, forcing the match into extra time. The temperature was clearly playing a part in the players' fitness, and Benfica's players were clearly flagging when George Best put United in the lead again three minutes into extra time. Picking up the ball 25 yards from goal after the Benfica players failed to deal with Stepney's long kick downfield, Best broke into the penalty area and dribbled round the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into an empty net. Brian Kidd, who was celebrating his 19th birthday, added United's third a minute later, before Charlton rounded off the scoring before 100 minutes had been played.
United were without their high-scoring forward Denis Law, who was sidelined with a knee injury and watched the match on television while in hospital.
United's win meant that they became the first English team to win the European Cup, just a year after Celtic had become the first British team to do so. The win also marked the culmination of Manchester United's 10 years of rebuilding after the 1958 Munich air disaster, in which eight players had been killed and manager Matt Busby had been left fighting for his life. Captain Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes who had both survived the crash played in the game.
29 May 1968
|Benfica||1–4 (a.e.t.)||Manchester United|
|Graça 79'||Report|| Charlton 53', 99'|
Man of the Match:
- Murphy, Alex (2006). The Official Illustrated History of Manchester United. London: Orion Books. pp. 118–121. ISBN 0-7528-7603-1.
- White, John D. T. (2008). The Official Manchester United Almanac. London: Orion Books. pp. 160–161. ISBN 978-0-7528-9192-7.
- 1968 European Cup Final - Manchester United 4 Benfica 1 (DVD). Manchester United. 29 May 1968.
- "1968: Manchester Utd win European Cup". On This Day. BBC. 1968-05-29. Retrieved 19 September 2008.
- Colour video footage of the victory
- 1967–68 season at UEFA website
- European Cup results at Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation