Ipswich Town’s greatest games: Fabian Wilnis strikes as Blues hold mighty Manchester United

Fabian Wilnis celebrates scoring against Manchester United with David Johnson: Picture: JAMIE NIBLOCK

Fabian Wilnis celebrates scoring against Manchester United with David Johnson: Picture: JAMIE NIBLOCK

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In the last of our weekly lookbacks at Town’s greatest games, we remember the day the Blues proved they could hold their own in the Premier League.

Fabian Wilnis celebrates his goal. Picture: ALBAN DONOHOEFabian Wilnis celebrates his goal. Picture: ALBAN DONOHOE

Ipswich Town 1

Manchester United 1

Premier League, August 2000

Fabian Wilnis celebrates his goal with David JohnsonFabian Wilnis celebrates his goal with David Johnson

On paper, this looks like an unremarkable result. But in reality it was a massive confidence boost for the Town team.

In only their second game back in the top flight, they came face to face with mighty Manchester United, who had won the Premier League by 18 points a few months earlier.

David Beckham celebrates his goal against Ipswich.David Beckham celebrates his goal against Ipswich.

- Town’s greatest games: Bryan Gunn’s airkick

The visitors’ team included Jaap Stam, a certain Roy Keane, both Neville brothers, David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer, Dwight Yorke, and Ryan Giggs. Some line-up!

Ipswich Town fans enjoy the game against Manchester UnitedIpswich Town fans enjoy the game against Manchester United

- Town’s greatest games: Blues’ best-ever performance

But Town more than matched them, going ahead in the sixth minute thanks to a sweet finish from full-back Fabian Wilnis. Although Beckham levelled shortly before half-time from a free-kick, Ipswich had the better chances in the second half and Fabian Barthez had to make several good saves.

- Town’s greatest games: Bolton beaten in play-off thriller

The result, and the performance, against such illustrious opposition gave Ipswich the self-belief they needed and set the tone for an unexpectedly successful season, when they finished fifth in the Premier League and qualified for Europe.

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