The day Crystal Palace humiliated Manchester United

Ex-Ireland defender Paddy Mulligan scored twice and tells's Raf Diallo about the 5-0 win

BY Raf Diallo 15:45 Wednesday 1 March 2017, 15:45 1 Mar 2017

Paddy Mulligan en route to scoring the first goal for Crystal Palace against Manchester United

The 1972-73 season ended on a sour note for Crystal Palace.

Second from bottom, the London side dropped out of England's Division One and into the second tier.

However, there were the occasional memorable results for the Eagles during that season as ex-Ireland, Palace and Chelsea defender Paddy Mulligan discussed in our weekly chat on 

The most eye-catching was the 5-0 destruction of Manchester United at home in December 1972 and it was even more memorable for Paddy as he scored the first two goals for Palace on the day with runs from right back bearing fruit.

"Man United were going through a rough spell and we made sure they went through an even rougher spell," he said.

"I'm sure people were amazed I scored two goals and the second one with the outside of my right foot, Billy Dixon a former colleague of mine at Shamrock Rovers I recall him saying to me, 'I didn't think you could kick the ball with the outside of your foot' and I said, 'Billy, neither did I until it all just came together."  

For the first goal, a great ball inside the left back had released the overlapping Paddy into space which he could face Man United goalkeeper Alex Stepney one on one from an angle. 

"I looked at Stepney and he thought I was going to pull the ball back. But he left a gaping hole - and it had to be a gaping hole for me to get the ball in anyway - at the near post and 'Bump', I just slotted it in there," says Paddy.  

Thrashing Man United however was bittersweet in one way for Paddy, as Man United sacked manager Frank O'Farrell three days later.

"The sad part about it with me was that Frank O'Farrell was the manager of Man United, Tommy Docherty was sitting in the stands and a day or two later, Frank O'Farrell was sacked," he said.

"And Frank O'Farrell was an absolute gentleman, a lovely, lovely man and I had the pleasure of meeting him on a good few occasions and he was a smashing man. I was sorry for Frank, even after that time I thought, 'God, maybe we're after puting a nail in the man's coffin.'"

And as he added the other sad part for Palace was getting relegated at the end of the season.

"We were total failures" - Paddy Mulligan discusses his time at Crystal Palace

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