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Monday 03 February 2014

On this day in 1996: Cantona stars to beat Wimbledon

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall when Man Utd won 4-2 at Selhurst Park

  • Eric Cantona's two goals helped Man Utd earn a 4-2 win over Wimbledon at Selhurst Park

  • Andy Cole also scored as the Red Devils kept pressure on league leaders Newcastle

  • Goals from Marcus Gayle (pictured) and Jason Euell set up an exciting finale at Selhurst Park

Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

3 February 1996 – Wimbledon 2-4 Manchester United

Eric Cantona scored twice as Manchester United continued their pursuit of Barclays Premier League leaders Newcastle United with victory over Wimbledon.

Cantona sealed the points for the Red Devils at Selhurst Park with his two second-half goals. The result left second-placed United nine points behind the leaders Newcastle, who had a match in hand over the Red Devils. It dropped Wimbledon down two places to 16th – just three points above the relegation zone.

The visitors opened up a 2-0 lead in the closing minutes of the first half. Andy Cole headed in a neat cross from Denis Irwin in the 41st minute to put them ahead and, on the stroke of half-time, Dons defender Chris Perry headed the ball into his own net.

Marcus Gayle pulled one back for Wimbledon midway through the second half but Cantona quickly restored the visitors’ two-goal lead when he headed home following a neat one-two with early substitute David Beckham.

Wimbledon refused to buckle and Jason Euell set up a grandstand finish when he halved the deficit again in the 75th minute. But Cantona had the final word when he converted an 81st-minute penalty for his seventh goal of the season after a handball by Kenny Cunningham.

“Cantona drifts in and out of the match but he is still very effective,” Wimbledon manager Joe Kinnear said.

Following this victory, Man Utd won 11 and drew one of their remaining 13 Barclays Premier League matches to win the title for the third time in four seasons. on this occasion by four points from Newcastle.

The Dons finished in 14th place, three points clear of the bottom three.

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Key Points

  • Premierleague.com looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember when two goals from Eric Cantona helped Man Utd beat Wimbledon 4-2