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blasts from the past

The Manchester United team that faced Northampton in 2004 is well worth a look

The sides meet tonight for the first time in 12 years.

ON THEIR WAY to an FA Cup triumph in 2004, Manchester United stopped off in Northampton for a Fourth Round clash.

Rather inevitably, Sir Alex Ferguson gave some of his fringe players a chance to impress though still retained a number of experienced figures in his starting XI.

The team had just slipped to second in the Premier League after a defeat to Wolves and would never reclaim the top spot they had occupied for much of December.

United could only watch as Arsenal’s Invincibles were crowned league champions and Chelsea pipped them to the runners-up spot.

Still, there was some silverware as they easily brushed aside Millwall at Wembley.

Northampton v Man Utd EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

The game with Northampton was a relatively tame affair as United won 3-0 with goals from Mikael Silvestre, Diego Forlan and an OG from Chris Hargreaves.

But, the lineup is interesting.

Cristiano Ronaldo was included in what was his first season in Manchester, as was another summer signing David Bellion.

Northampton v Man Utd EMPICS Sports Photo Agency EMPICS Sports Photo Agency

Youngsters were given a chance from the bench too with Kieran Richardson, Phil Bardsley and Danny Pugh making cameos.

Roy Keane was an unused substitute, along with goalkeeper Tim Howard.

Manchester United side that faced Northampton in January 2004:

Roy Carroll, Wes Brown, John O’Shea, Mikael Silvestre (Phil Bardsley, 72′), Nicky Butt, Darren Fletcher, Quinton Fortune (Danny Pugh, 89′), Paul Scholes (Kieran Richardson, 72′), Cristiano Ronaldo, David Bellion, Diego Forlan.

Unused subs: Tim Howard, Roy Keane.     

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