Welcome to Then and Now, where each week we compare images of Manchester streets, landmarks, buildings and events from bygone days with today.

Our striking main image this week shows Manchester United and Northern Ireland winger George Best, left, taking on his former team-mate Nobby Stiles – now turning out for Middlesbrough.

It’s February 29th 1972 and United are away at Ayresome Park playing the Teessiders in a Fifth Round FA Cup replay.

Best is relying on his legendary dribbling skills to get the better of defensive midfielder Stiles, now in his 30th year. It’s a case of the Little Matador, as Best was nicknamed, taunting the wily old bull.

But the 1966 England World Cup winner and conqueror of Eusebio is not giving ground. After 311 league appearances for Manchester United and 28 England caps, Stiles knows a thing or two about handling tricky attackers.

Middlesbrough 0 v Manchester United 3, FA Cup 5th round replay. 1972
Newcastle United v Manchester United at St. James' Park, Newcastle Upon Tyne. Tyne and Wear. 27th December 2021
The teams had drawn 0-0 at Old Trafford three days earlier after ‘Boro had managed to shut out the Red Devils. Stiles was determined to do the same back at his new home ground.

It was not to be as United, under manager Frank O’Farrell, won 3-0 with goals from Best, Willie Morgan and Bobby Charlton. They were beaten in the next round, however, by Stoke City – again after a replay.

Our modern image from December 2021 shows the Red Devils back in the North East, this time facing Premier League rivals Newcastle United at St James’ Park.

United defender Raphael Varane is tussling for the ball with Newcastle’s Callum Wilson in a 1-1 draw.