1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final

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1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final
Event 1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup
Date 15 May 1991
Venue Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
Referee Bo Karlsson (Sweden)
Attendance 45,000

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

England Manchester United Round Spain Barcelona
Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg Stages Opponent Agg. 1st leg 2nd leg
Hungary Pécs 3–0 2–0 (H) 1–0 (A) First round Turkey Trabzonspor 7–3 0–1 (A) 7–2 (H)
Wales Wrexham 5–0 3–0 (H) 2–0 (A) Second round Iceland Fram 5–1 2–1 (A) 3–0 (H)
France Montpellier 3–1 1–1 (H) 2–0 (A) Quarter-finals Soviet Union Dynamo Kyiv 4–3 3–2 (A) 1–1 (H)
Poland Legia Warsaw 4–2 3–1 (A) 1–1 (H) Semi-finals Italy 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
20:15 CEST
Manchester United England 2–1 Spain Barcelona
Hughes Goal 67'74' Report Koeman Goal 79'
Feijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
Attendance: 45,000[1]
Referee: Bo Karlsson (Sweden)
Manchester United
GK 1 England Les Sealey
RB 2 Republic of Ireland Denis Irwin
CB 4 England Steve Bruce
CB 6 England Gary Pallister
LB 3 Wales Clayton Blackmore
RM 5 England Mike Phelan
CM 8 England Paul Ince
CM 7 England Bryan Robson (c) Booked 78'
LM 11 England Lee Sharpe
SS 9 Scotland Brian McClair
CF 10 Wales Mark Hughes
GK 13 England Gary Walsh
DF 12 Northern Ireland Mal Donaghy
MF 14 England Neil Webb
FW 15 England Mark Robins
FW 16 England Danny Wallace
Scotland Alex Ferguson
Man Utd vs Barcelona 1991-05-15.svg
GK 1 Spain Carles Busquets
RB 2 Spain Nando Red card 84'
CB 3 Spain José Ramón Alexanko (c) Substituted off 72'
LB 5 Spain Albert Ferrer
DM 4 Netherlands Ronald Koeman
RM 7 Spain Andoni Goikoetxea
CM 8 Spain Eusebio
CM 6 Spain José Mari Bakero Booked 76'
LM 11 Spain Txiki Begiristain
CF 9 Spain Julio Salinas
CF 10 Denmark Michael Laudrup
GK 12 Spain Jesús Angoy
DF 13 Spain Miquel Soler
MF 16 Spain Antonio Pinilla Substituted in 72'
FW 14 Spain Ricardo Serna
FW 15 Spain Sebastián Herrera
Netherlands Johan Cruyff

Assistant referees:
Sweden Rune Larsson (Sweden)
Sweden Leif Sundell (Sweden)
Fourth official:
Netherlands John Blankenstein (Netherlands)

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes.
  • Maximum of two substitutions.

See also


  1. "UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: All-time finals". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). 30 June 2005. Retrieved 13 August 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links