MCFC v LFC 1988

Today (13 March) in 1988 Second Division Manchester City faced Liverpool in the FAC quarter final.  At the time this was seen as a major game, shown live on television and it was full of the usual controversy that these games tend to have. You can read the full story and watch highlights of it here:

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Managerial Change at MCFC

On this day (November 25) in 1989 Brian Gayle played his last League match for City.  The game ended in a 1-1 draw (Clive Allen scored) and Chairman Peter Swales decided the time was right to dismiss manager Mel Machin.  Machin, who had guided the side to promotion the previous May, was dismissed that weekend and not replaced until 8th December.

You can read more about this era of Manchester City’s history here:

Away Run Ends: Wolves v City

On this day (6 October) in 1987 Manchester City defeated Wolves 2-0 away from home in the second leg of the second round League Cup tie. It was a weird period for City as the Blues had gone 37 games without an away win and the mood amongst fans was such that you simply had to be there when the win came. I travelled down with my future brother-in-law and father-in-law though at this time I still hadn’t met my future wife. I used to go to games with her brother and it was December 1987 before I actually met her. As for the football… the Blues had lost the first leg 2-1 but the scorelines for both games do not do this tie justice. Here’s a match report and key points from the day…

Wolves thought they had the tie sewn up after their 2-1 win at Maine Road but Andy Hinchcliffe netted after 11 minutes to make it 2-2. Wolves threw everything they had at City with a Midlands based reporter claiming that Wolves had: ‘City’s defence fumbling like geriatric slip fielders;. They hit the woodwork frequently and as fans stood on the away end we were convinced this would not be our day but, of course, City being City it was when you least expected something that it happened. Typical City used to work in positive ways as well as negative ones!

In the end John Gidman scored from a free kick in the 86th minute to guarantee a City victory on aggregate and end our winless away run. However, it was soon pointed out that we’d still not won away from home in the League for a ridiculously long time and so that became the next mission and, as fans, we kept travelling to those games waiting and hoping things would change.

Have a read of this report. There are some great lines in here comparing City to bunny rabbits and other stuff. I particularly like Mel Machin’s comment about the woodwork.

Fergie’s Flops

On this day (23rd September) in 1989

Attendance: 43,246; City 5 United 1

Ferguson’s £9m side are destroyed in the most one-sided Manchester derby in years by Machin’s bargain basement Blues.  By the 36thminute City race to a remarkable three goal lead and, despite a magnificent goal from Hughes, they are rampant. “Fergie Out” cry the United fans as the fifth enters the net.


The Matches

After achieving promotion the previous season City embarked on the 1989-90 First Division campaign with a view to consolidate rather than set the world alight.  The relatively low-key City manager, Mel Machin, seemed determined to play down expectations, especially as other clubs – in particular Manchester United – were spending millions on strengthening their squad.  City could not afford to spend wildly, although they did increase their overdraft by signing Clive Allen and Ian Bishop during the close season for a combined fee of around £1.75m.

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