Wembley was a happy hunting ground for Man Utd in their first Champions League victory in 1968 when they beat Benfica, 4-1. Bobby Charlton with a brace, George Best, and Brian Kidd scored for Utd while Graca pegged one back for the Portugese giants.
Best was a thorn dazzling with his footwork and Charlton was a sublime finisher. But the finals also saw an unsung hero in John Ashton switching flanks as a winger and troubling the defense with his pace and service. Surely, sharing number 10 with the legendary Eusebio is a bit much but Utd’s David Sadler, a centre back who could play in midfield and as forward was not at all intimidated. His run down the left and measured cross to Charlton set up Utd’s first goal.
The match hung in balance 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes. In now what is established Utd tradition, the Red Devils changed everything around in the following eight minutes.
In the final there are glimpses of Eusebio’s genius and sportsmanship. At one point congratulating Alex Stepney, the Utd goalie for making a brilliant save.
43 years later the Premiership champions hope their historical victory at Wembley will give them a lift against Barca, the prohibitive favourite.