‘The most astonishing result of the season’ cooed commentator Brian Moore on live TV.
It was and still is. And just one of the reasons why football can still be so wonderful.
Even though Rangers were unbeaten in six, the magnitude of their only win at United is that hat-trick hero Dennis Bailey still the last man to score a treble at Old Trafford and be on the winning side - and that was 22 years ago.
Real Madrid lost 4-3 when Ronaldo scored his, and he is the last one to date.
Actually, 22 years doesn’t seem that long until you look at the TV pics - and then it looks a different age.
Ian Holloway still had a shock of red hair; Ray Wilkins was merely thinning, and Sir Alex’s face was line free even if Hoops started the wrinkles while trampling over his 50th birthday cake.
Rangers baggy shirts looked almost pantomime; there’s terracing at both ends of Old Trafford; and mullets bob all over the pitch. The league was still then Division One, but at least the rank Old Trafford surface looked as knobbly as ever.
The side in the rut at the end were the home lot who were destined to finish second behind Leeds.
But after an early flurry of Rs wins from day one in 1968, there has been 43 meetings between the two. Rs have won just six and one at Old Trafford – this one.
In later years, if Ryan Giggs reveals his team-mates were lagered up from the night before, you would hardly be surprised.
Inside five minutes Rangers were 2-0 ahead.
The hero of the hour and a half turned out to be Bailey, and indeed it was his finest moment.
He scored only 10 times for Hoops between 1991-1995 and three of them came that night. However, the unsung hero was Andy Sinton who got stuck in early and whose remarkable run from one end of the pitch to another book-ended a tap-in for Bailey and a chance to keep the ball.
Getting it signed was a different matter.
“I went into the United dressing room, pushed the door open with a big grin on my face and said, ‘Can you sign my ball please?’” Bailey recalls.
“I can remember they were all sitting down and Steve Bruce was almost directly in front of me. He had his head down and I’m standing there saying again, “Can you sign my ball please?
“I didn’t get a whisper. Absolute silence. In the end I thought, “This ain’t going to happen”.
“It was only afterwards that I was told Sir Alex had just given the lads the hairdryer treatment. He was obviously behind the door when I opened it but I didn’t see him.”
Bailey wished his mum Lillian back in south London ‘happy new year’ on the post match interview, and it was for Rs fans who beat the travel odds on the first day of the year.
The TV champagne Bailey got apparently lasted 10 years till he opened it. The memories of a remarkable night will last way beyond Sunday's, regardless of the result.
QPR: Stejskal; Bardsley, McDonald, Peacock, Wilson; Sinton, Holloway, Wilkins, Barker; Bailey, Wegerle
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