1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final

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 1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup 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 in 1985.

1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final
1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final programme.jpg
Match programme cover
Event1990–91 European Cup Winners' Cup
Date15 May 1991
VenueFeijenoord Stadion, Rotterdam
RefereeBo Karlsson (Sweden)

The match ended 2–1 to Manchester United on the night, with both United goals coming from former Barcelona forward Mark Hughes. Ronald Koeman scored a consolation goal for Barcelona 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. It was also United's first European title in 23 years, since the European Cup in 1968.

Route to the finalEdit

  Manchester United Round   Barcelona
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)



Former Barcelona forward Mark Hughes scored both of United's goals.

Mark Hughes, who had previously played for 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 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. 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.


Manchester United  2–1  Barcelona
Hughes   67'74' Report Koeman   79'
Attendance: 45,000[1]
Referee: Bo Karlsson (Sweden)
Manchester United
GK 1   Les Sealey
RB 2   Denis Irwin
LB 3   Clayton Blackmore
CB 4   Steve Bruce
RM 5   Mike Phelan
CB 6   Gary Pallister
CM 7   Bryan Robson (c)   78'
CM 8   Paul Ince
SS 9   Brian McClair
CF 10   Mark Hughes
LM 11   Lee Sharpe
DF 12   Mal Donaghy
GK 13   Gary Walsh
MF 14   Neil Webb
FW 15   Mark Robins
FW 16   Danny Wallace
  Alex Ferguson
GK 1   Carles Busquets
RB 2   Nando   84'
CB 3   José Ramón Alexanko (c)   72'
DM 4   Ronald Koeman
LB 5   Albert Ferrer
CM 6   José Mari Bakero   76'
RM 7   Jon Andoni Goikoetxea
CM 8   Eusebio
CF 9   Julio Salinas
CF 10   Michael Laudrup
LM 11   Txiki Begiristain
GK 12   Jesús Angoy
MF 13   Miquel Soler
DF 14   Ricardo Serna
DF 15   Sebastián Herrera
FW 16   Antonio Pinilla   72'
  Johan Cruyff

Assistant referees:
Rune Larsson (Sweden)
Leif Sundell (Sweden)
Fourth official:
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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ "UEFA Cup Winners' Cup: All-time finals". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 30 June 2005. Archived from the original on 16 July 2012. Retrieved 13 August 2014.

External linksEdit