Manchester United Have Never Lost After Leading At Half Time (True or False)?

Old Trafford football stadium and pitch

If you dig deep enough, there are some remarkable records in football.

But is it true Manchester United have never lost after leading at half-time?

Considering they were formed in 1878, that would be some record!

So how true is it?

We take a closer look…

Manchester United Have Never Lost After Leading At Half Time

It isn’t quite true that Manchester United have never lost after leading at half-time. However, as of July 2022, the Red Devils have not lost a home league game after leading at half-time since May 1984. This is a run that covers almost 40 years and 750 home league games, over 300 of which they have been leading at half-time.

Manchester United’s Home Record When Leading at Half-Time

Some things are too good to be true and the idea that Manchester United have never lost after leading at home is one of those things.

But there is a statistic related to their home record when leading at half-time that is pretty incredible

As of July 2022, Manchester United have not lost a home league game after leading at half-time since May 1984.

That is almost 40 years ago!

It also covers the entirety of the Premier League and 738 home league games as of the end of the 2021/22 season.

The last time United lost at home after leading at half-time was on 7 May 1984, when Ipswich Town came back to beat United 2-1 after trailing to a first-half Mark Hughes goal.

In the Premier League alone United have been leading at half-time in 303 games. They have gone on to win 280 of those games and drawn the other 23.

Quite a remarkable record.

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The Last Time Manchester United Lost A Home Game When Leading at Half-Time

As we briefly touched on, the last time Manchester United lost at Old Trafford when leading at home was in the 1983-84 season. The game on 7 May 1984 against Ipswich was quite an infamous game.

At the time United had gone 17 years without winning the league

The 1983/84 season looked like being the year the side, coached by Ron Atkinson, would break that hoodoo.

By the end of March they had lost just four of their first 32 league games. A run of five wins and one draw in February and March put them top of the table.

They had even come back from 2-0 down against Barcelona in the European Cup Winners’ Cup Quarter-Final to win 3-2 on aggregate. Everything was looking rosy.

But then, with ten games left, the wheels came off.

They had three games against teams fighting against relegation. Two of whom would go on to be relegated.

Nine points seemed a certainty but United picked up just three.

They lost to West Bromwich Albion, narrowly beat Birmingham 1-0 and then lost again against Notts County.

They followed this up with just one win in their next four games.

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From looking a good bet to win the league United were all of a sudden in second place, as Liverpool went above them.

The game against Ipswich was pivotal. United were two points behind Liverpool and could not afford to slip up with just three games remaining.

Mark Hughes gave United the lead on the brink of half-time, and everything seemed to be going to plan.

In fact, everything seemed to be going to plan in the second half until Alan Sunderland, who had been the scourge of United in the past, equalised in the 90th minute.

But then things got even worse when Mich D’avray scored a second in injury time and Ipswich took home all three points.

That same day Liverpool thrashed Coventry 5-0 and opened up a five-point gap at the top.

As it was United followed up that defeat by drawing against Tottenham and then losing against Nottingham Forest.

From being top of the league with just over a month of the season to go they finished 4th, six points behind champions Liverpool, three points behind 2nd place Southampton and behind Nottingham Forest on goal difference.

That elusive league title didn’t come until nine years later, by which time Alex Ferguson was in charge.

One More Remarkable Manchester United Statistic

Perhaps as impressive, or even more so, is the fact United have never lost in a league game at Old Trafford after going two goals up.

This statistic goes all the way back to 1910 when United moved from Newton Heath to Old Trafford.

I mean theoretically, no team should really lose a two-goal lead at home, but it has happened to my team Everton on more than one occasion.

So to keep that record like that going for over a century is amazing!

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Final Thoughts

It isn’t true that Manchester United have never lost after leading at half-time, to maintain a record like that for almost 150 years would be virtually impossible!

But the Red Devils haven’t lost a home league game in which they have been leading at half-time since 1984.

That in itself is remarkable.

They also have never lost a home league game at Old Trafford in which they have been leading at half-time by two goals. 

That is a feat that dates right back to 1910.

If any of you have any similar unbelievable records for clubs you support, please drop them in the comments section below.


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