From wonderkid to world-beater: George Best's first five seasons in photographs

7. Bandy-legged and beaten

16 Oct 1965: An ungainly pose on an unfortunate afternoon for United, as the champions are crushed 5-1 at White Hart Lane.

Alan Mullery - the Tottenham right-half here seen closing Best down - noted that "Our play reached the highest peak in team-work". Indeed, there was a goal for each member of Spurs' five-man front-line (this was still an era dominated by 2-3-5, with Alf Ramsey's alternative ideas yet to conquer the world), the pick of the bunch being Jimmy Greaves' casual waltz through United's defence.

It was a shocking result for the champions, but it was not in isolation: after scraping an opening-day win over Sheffield Wednesday, United had won just one in seven, suffering 4-2 defeats at Nottingham Forest and Arsenal and a 3-0 loss at Burnley. The White Hart Lane walloping left them in 13th place.


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