1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final
The Cup Winners' Cup, on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester
|Event||1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup|
|Date||15 May 1991|
|Venue||Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam|
|Referee||Bo Karlsson (Sweden)|
The 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final was a football match played between Manchester United and Barcelona on 15 May 1991 at Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam. It was the final match of the European Cup Winners' Cup 1990–91 and the 31st European Cup Winners' Cup Final. It came at the end of the first season of the reintroduction of English clubs into European competition after the ban following the Heysel disaster.
The match ended 2–1 to Manchester United on the night, with both United goals coming from Mark Hughes. Ronald Koeman scored a consolation goal for Barça towards the end of the game, but it was not enough to prevent the Red Devils from becoming the first English side to win a European competition since they were banned in 1985.
Route to the final
|Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg||Stages||Opponent||Agg.||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Pécs||3–0||2–0 (H)||1–0 (A)||First round||Trabzonspor||7–3||0–1 (A)||7–2 (H)|
|Wrexham||5–0||3–0 (H)||2–0 (A)||Second round||Fram||5–1||2–1 (A)||3–0 (H)|
|Montpellier||3–1||1–1 (H)||2–0 (A)||Quarter-finals||Dynamo Kyiv||4–3||3–2 (A)||1–1 (H)|
|Legia Warsaw||4–2||3–1 (A)||1–1 (H)||Semi-finals||Juventus||3–2||3–1 (H)||0–1 (A)|
Mark Hughes, who had previously played for runners-up Barcelona, scored both of the goals for Manchester United. His career had faltered after Terry Venables took him to the Camp Nou in 1986. A loan spell at Bayern Munich revived him prior to his return to United in 1988.
After a goalless first half, United went 1–0 up following a free-kick from captain, Bryan Robson, which was headed goalwards by defender Steve Bruce. United striker Mark Hughes tapped the ball over the line, although whether the ball had already crossed before Hughes touched it was in dispute for some time, with both Bruce and Hughes claiming the goal (Mark Hughes later credited the goal to Steve Bruce, but the official scoreline shows both goals as being scored by Hughes).
Hughes put United 2–0 up prior to Ronald Koeman's late free kick, which reduced the deficit. For his second goal, Hughes cut the ball into the net from such an acute angle that he had to spin it off the outside of his boot to ensure that it found its mark.
After Ronald Koeman scored from a free kick, which came off the upright and hit the legs of United keeper Les Sealey before crossing the line, Barcelona had a late equaliser ruled out for offside and also had a shot cleared off the line, but United finished the game 2–1 winners.
Manchester United were undefeated in all rounds (unlike Barcelona who lost two games in qualifying). Brian McClair scored at least once in every round that Manchester United were involved in, except the final.
The Spanish newspapers stated "The Red Devils came dressed in white, like angels" but went on to remark at how devilish United were in their beating of Barcelona.
15 May 1991
|Hughes 67', 74'||Report||Koeman 79'|
- "UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: All-time finals". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 30 June 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final at UEFA.com
- Daily Telegraph Article on the game
- The Times Article on the game