Alex Ferguson made Manchester United ditch their grey kits at Southampton 25 years ago and Matt Le Tissier didn’t even notice

It is 25 years since Manchester United famously changed their kit at half-time against Southampton at The Dell.

On April 13, 1996, the Red Devils travelled to the south coast having won 11 of their previous 12 Premier League games to overhaul Newcastle at the top of the table.


Matt Le Tissier scored Southampton’s third goal against Man United in 1996 – but that’s only because Giggs and Beckham couldn’t see each other properly apparently[/caption]

Relegation threatened Southampton produced a memorable performance against a seemingly unstoppable United.

The Saints went 3-0 up thanks to goals from Ken Monkou, Neil Shipperley and Matt Le Tissier.

But the game is famous for an angry Sir Alex Ferguson making his team change from their grey kits at the break as he claimed it was making it difficult to see each other in the bright sunshine.

United changed to a blue and white kit, but that still couldn’t inspire them to a comeback as they lost 3-1.

“The players don’t like the grey strip,” Ferguson said. “The players couldn’t pick each other out. They said it was difficult to see their team-mates at distance when they lifted their heads. It was nothing to do with superstition.”

Le Tissier joined talkSPORT Breakfast on Tuesday on the anniversary and admitted he didn’t realise Man United had changed their kit until after the game.


Man United came out in a different kit for the second half[/caption]

“Manchester United were top of the league and we were in not very good form,” he told talkSPORT.

“3-0 up at half-time and not only that, everybody had one of those halves where every single Southampton player played to the best of his ability.

“It was not a freak 3-0 scoreline as we deserved to be that far in front.

“I’m not sure I actually realised at the time that they changed their shirts for the second half,” he recalled.


A furious Ferguson blamed the kits for the poor first half performance at The Dell[/caption]

“I think I only realised after the game when a reporter in the car park – we didn’t really have press conferences in those days – and I’m sure one of them came up to me and said ‘what do you think about Man United changing their shirts at half-time?’

“I’m pretty sure I looked at him and said ‘did they?’”

When asked about Ferguson’s decision to change the shirts at half-time, Le Tissier said he was not surprised.

“I thought it was a little bit disingenuous of Fergie. It deflected away from a very good Southampton performance that day.

“Nobody looks back and says ‘oh, didn’t Southampton play well’. They go ‘what about Fergie changing the shirts at half-time?’

“I understand that managers will do and say things to deflect away from the team’s performance and it wasn’t a complete shock that an excuse was made why the great Manchester United were smashed by a lowly Southampton.”

Source: Sport

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