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Match From The Past – Oxford United 2-4 Manchester City

A Look Back At A Previous Meeting Between The Two Sides

Ian Brightwell of Manchester City
Ian Brightwell Scored City’s Fourth Goal At Oxford in 1989

In 1989, promotion chasing City visited The Manor Ground, eager to get their charge to the First Division back on track. The blues had lost the last two; 4-0 at Blackburn and 2-1 at home to Barnsley, and Watford and Crystal Palace were closing in. the blues had already beaten Oxford at Maine Road earlier in the season, with two goals in the last minutes winning the match, and Oxford were gunning for revenge.

Oxford took the lead in the first half, when a free kick just outside the penalty area beat Andy Dibble in the City goal. Soon after, it was 2-0. The ball came in from the right and for blue Paul Simpson, who had moved south earlier in the season, bundled home from close range. 2-0 down at half time, the blues needed a miracle to pull a result out of the bag. And they would soon get one.

In the second half, Andy Hinchcliffe swung in a corner that was headed down by Ian Brightwell. Oxford failed to clear and Nigel Gleghorn hammered home from close range with the Oxford players screaming handball. Oxford were rattled and 2-1 soon became 2-2. David White cut in from the right, and unchallenged, unleashed a wicked left foot shot from 30 yards. The keeper barely moved as the ball flew past him and into the goal.

The banana-waving City fans behind the goal sensed more goals and urged their team forward, and the blues took the lead when Paul Moulden’s cross was turned into his own goal by the Oxford defence, and there was still time for more. Brightwell collected a ball from Moulden and fed Trevor Morley who raced to the left side of the penalty area. Brightwell had continued his run to meet Morley’s cross to head home City’s fourth of the match.

The result kept City in second place and ultimately turned into a vital win with just three games remaining.