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UEFA Europa League

Man Utd's woeful record against Russian opposition

09:00 SAST 2017/03/16
Jose Mourinho Manchester United 2017
United welcome Rostov to Old Trafford for the second leg of their Europa League encounter on Thursday, but stats prove that it won't be plain sailing

Manchester United battled to a respectable 1-1 draw with FC Rostov in the Europa League last week, but their overall record against Russian teams suggests that they will not have it all their own way in the second leg at Old Trafford.

Goal has compiled a list of all of United's fixtures against Russian opposition, and the statistics will make grim reading for Jose Mourinho.

TORPEDO MOSCOW 0-0 MAN UTD (4-3 ON PENS) - 1992-93

In September of 1992, a United team comprising the likes of Bryan Robson, Paul Ince and Denis Irwin failed to find their way through to a stubborn Torpedo side over two legs.

Having battled to a 0-0 draw at home, United knew that a win in Russia would send them through to the Second Round of the UEFA Cup, but they were profligate once again, and Moscow triumphed on penalties.

The signing of Eric Cantona proved decisive that season, however, and United went on to win the Premier League.

MAN UTD 2-2 ROTOR - 1995-96

United were again unable to break their Russian opponents down when they were drawn against Rotor, but the second leg was eventful, to say the least.

Undaunted by the prospect of playing at Old Trafford, Rotor raced into a 2-0 lead, leaving United needing three to progress.

Paul Scholes pulled a goal back before the hour mark, and goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel scored a famous equaliser in the 89th minute, but Sir Alex Ferguson's side were unable to find a third, meaning Rotor, amazingly, progressed.


Having won the Champions League the season prior, United faced off against Zenit in Monaco to decide the fate of the European Super Cup.

Zenit, the UEFA Cup champions, were fresher throughout the game and goals from Pavel Pogrebnyak and Danny earned the Russian side a famous triumph, with Nemanja Vidic's riposte proving little more than a consolation.

United went on to win the Premier League, and the League Cup, but they lost the Champions League final to Barcelona.


Returning to the stadium in which they won the Champions League, United recorded their first win over a Russian team in European competition, as Antonio Valencia's 86th minute goal proved decisive in the group stage encounter.

The return tie proved more dramatic, with United needing a late comeback to steal a point.

Zenit opened the scoring through Alan Dzagoev in the 25th minute, only for Michael Owen to equalise four minutes later. Goals either side of half-time gave CSKA a commanding 3-1 lead, but Paul Scholes with six minutes of time remaining, and Valencia equalised in injury time.


This was another match that ended in frustration for United in Russia, as CSKA earned a point in October of 2015.

Seydou Doumbia opened the scoring, scooping up the rebound from a missed Roman Eremenko penalty, but Anthony Martial's second-half header earned United a point in the group stages.

The return tie went more to plan for United, as Wayne Rooney's late header earned them all three points.

ROSTOV 1-1 MAN UTD - 2017

The precursor to Thursday's decisive second leg, Rostov more than held their own against Jose Mourinho's men, with United undone by a combination of a poor pitch and dogged defending.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan opened the scoring in the 35th minute, and his away goal may prove decisive, despite Aleksandr Bukharov's second half equaliser.

It remains to be seen if United can chalk up only their third win against Russian opposition in European competition on Thursday.