Man Utd’s biggest European wins

Manchester United were the first English club to enter European competition in 1956 when Matt Busby defied the wishes of the Football League to lead his Busby Babes into the European Cup.

65 years later, United remain a pillar of European competition, having won all three major trophies at one point or another and enjoying some big wins along the way.

This list includes any game in European competition in which United have scored at least five goals while also maintaining a minimum margin of victory of four clear goals.

Marcus Rashford scored twice on his debut against MidtjyllandMarcus Rashford scored twice on his debut against Midtjylland
Marcus Rashford scored twice on his debut against Midtjylland | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Date: 25 February 2016

Competition: Europa League, last 32

Scorers: own goal, Marcus Rashford (2), Ander Herrera, Memphis Depay

An 18-year-old Marcus Rashford grabbed the headlines in this win over Midtjylland, with two goals on his senior United debut. He only started because of an injury to Anthony Martial in the warm-up and went on to score another two against Arsenal a few days later.

Man Utd thrashed Nantes in the Champions League in 2002Man Utd thrashed Nantes in the Champions League in 2002
Man Utd thrashed Nantes in the Champions League in 2002 | Odd Andersen/Getty Images

Date: 26 February 2002

Competition: Champions League, second group stage

Scorers: David Beckham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (2), Mikael Silvestre, Ruud van Nistelrooy

Andrew Cole scored a Champions League hat-trick against AnderlechtAndrew Cole scored a Champions League hat-trick against Anderlecht
Andrew Cole scored a Champions League hat-trick against Anderlecht | Clive Mason/Getty Images

Date: 13 September 2000

Competition: Champions League, first group stage

Scorers: Andrew Cole (3), Denis Irwin, Teddy Sheringham

George Best returned to England as an international superstar after destroying Benfica in 1966George Best returned to England as an international superstar after destroying Benfica in 1966
George Best returned to England as an international superstar after destroying Benfica in 1966 | Keystone/Getty Images

Date: 9 March 1966

Competition: European Cup, quarter-finals

Scorers: George Best (2), John Connelly, Paddy Crerand, Bobby Charlton

This was the game that launched a 19-year-old George Best to international stardom as he put two-time European champions Benfica to the sword in their own stadium.

Marcus Rashford's first career hat-trick came against RB Leipzig in 2020Marcus Rashford's first career hat-trick came against RB Leipzig in 2020
Marcus Rashford’s first career hat-trick came against RB Leipzig in 2020 | ANTHONY DEVLIN/Getty Images

Date: 28 October 2020

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford (3), Anthony Martial

United’s demolition of new kids on the Bundesliga block, RB Leipzig, was all the more impressive because Marcus Rashford bagged his hat-trick after coming on as a second half substitute.

The Germans had also reached the semi-finals of the previous year’s competition, and were coached by future Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann.

Fred scored two rare goal against Club BruggeFred scored two rare goal against Club Brugge
Fred scored two rare goal against Club Brugge | Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Date: 27 February 2020

Competition: Europa League, last 32

Scorers: Bruno Fernandes, Odion Ighalo, Scott McTominay, Fred (2)

Man Utd eased past Panathinaikos at Old Trafford in 2003Man Utd eased past Panathinaikos at Old Trafford in 2003
Man Utd eased past Panathinaikos at Old Trafford in 2003 | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Date: 16 September 2003

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: Mikael Silvestre, Quinton Fortune, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Nicky Butt, Eric Djemba-Djemba

Date: 27 August 2002

Competition: Champions League, third qualifying round

Scorers: Ruud van Nistelrooy (2), David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Date: 4 November 1998

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: David Beckham, Andrew Cole, Phil Neville, Dwight Yorke, Paul Scholes

Odion Ighalo helped Man Utd thrash LASK in March 2020Odion Ighalo helped Man Utd thrash LASK in March 2020
Odion Ighalo helped Man Utd thrash LASK in March 2020 | UEFA – Handout/Getty Images

Date: 12 March 2020

Competition: Europa League, last 16

Scorers: Odion Ighalo, Daniel James, Juan Mata, Mason Greenwood, Andreas Pereira

Nani put Bayer Leverkusen to the sword in 2013Nani put Bayer Leverkusen to the sword in 2013
Nani put Bayer Leverkusen to the sword in 2013 | VI-Images/Getty Images

Date: 27 November 2013

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: Antonio Valencia, own goal, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nani

Date: 12 May 1965

Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, quarter-final

Scorers: John Connelly, David Herd, Denis Law (2), Bobby Charlton

Edinson Cavani got two goals & two assists against Roma in 2021Edinson Cavani got two goals & two assists against Roma in 2021
Edinson Cavani got two goals & two assists against Roma in 2021 | Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Date: 29 April 2021

Competition: Europa League, semi-final

Scorers: Bruno Fernandes (2), Edinson Cavani (2), Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood

This game was the first time any club had scored six goals in a single leg of the semi-final of a European competition since Real Madrid in the European Cup almost 60 years earlier in 1964.

Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick on his Man Utd debut in 2004Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick on his Man Utd debut in 2004
Wayne Rooney scored a hat-trick on his Man Utd debut in 2004 | Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

Date: 28 September 2004

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney (3), Ruud van Nistelrooy, David Bellion

This thrashing of Fenerbahce at Old Trafford marked Wayne Rooney’s United debut, which had been delayed by several weeks because of injury. He scored a sublime hat-trick inside an hour.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the scoresheet against Brondby in 1998Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the scoresheet against Brondby in 1998
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was on the scoresheet against Brondby in 1998 | Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

Date: 21 October 1998

Competition: Champions League, group stage

Scorers: Ryan Giggs (2), Andrew Cole, Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Home and away wins over Brondby were actually the only victories that United managed in the 1998/99 Champions League group stage en-route to completing the treble, having drawn home and away against Barcelona and Bayern Munich.

Date: 17 October 1964

Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, first round

Scorers: Denis Law (3), Bobby Charlton, George Best

Denis Law scored a hat-trick when Man Utd returned to European football in 1963Denis Law scored a hat-trick when Man Utd returned to European football in 1963
Denis Law scored a hat-trick when Man Utd returned to European football in 1963 | Express/Getty Images

Date: 15 October 1963

Competition: Cup Winners’ Cup, first round

Scorers: Maurice Setters, Denis Law (3), Bobby Charlton, David Herd

Bobby Charlton scored a hat-trick in a big win over Borussia Dortmund in 1964Bobby Charlton scored a hat-trick in a big win over Borussia Dortmund in 1964
Bobby Charlton scored a hat-trick in a big win over Borussia Dortmund in 1964 | Lee/Getty Images

Date: 11 November 1964

Competition: Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, second round

Scorers: David Herd, Bobby Charlton (3), George Best, Denis Law

Date: 6 October 1965

Competition: European Cup, preliminary round

Scorers: John Connelly (3), George Best (2), Bobby Charlton

Date: 25 September 1957

Competition: European Cup, preliminary round

Scorers: Tommy Taylor (2), Liam Whelan (2), Johnny Berry, David Pegg

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first ever European goals when Man Utd thrashed Roma in 2007Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first ever European goals when Man Utd thrashed Roma in 2007
Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first ever European goals when Man Utd thrashed Roma in 2007 | Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Date: 10 April 2007

Competition: Champions League, quarter-finals

Scorers: Michael Carrick (2), Alan Smith, Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo (2), Patrice Evra

Cristiano Ronaldo scored his first ever European goals when United thrashed Roma in the Champions League in 2007. Ironically, Daniele de Rossi’s volleyed consolation for the visitors was arguably the best goal of the night.

Date: 2 October 1968

Competition: European Cup, first round

Scorers: Nobby Stiles, Denis Law (4), Francis Burn, Bobby Charlton

The Busby Babes took English football into Europe in the 1950sThe Busby Babes took English football into Europe in the 1950s
The Busby Babes took English football into Europe in the 1950s | Central Press/Getty Images

Date: 26 September 1956

Competition: European Cup, preliminary round

Scorers: Tommy Taylor (3), Dennis Viollet (4), Liam Whelan (2), Johnny Berry

This was the first ever European Cup game played in England and remains, United’s all-time record win. But it wasn’t played at Old Trafford because floodlights had not been installed, which meant United played a number of European ‘home’ games in the 1950s at Manchester City’s Maine Road.

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