And Solskjaer has won it!!!
Those immortal words of Clive Tyldesley will be etched in the mind of every Manchester United fan for a lifetime.
Although Liverpool fans may think otherwise, the Red Devils’ Champions League triumph is the most dramatic in the competition’s history, and the team that won it will go down as the English club’s greatest ever team. There is an example.
Alex Ferguson with the European Cup / Ben Redford / Getty Images
Forget the Invincibles, forget Pep’s Centurions, and forget Klopp’s current Liverpool side, the United team of ’99 was different gravy.
Having clinched the Premier League title with a dramatic victory over Spurs on 16 May 1999, and an FA Cup victory over Newcastle United a week later, Sir Alex Ferguson and his men faced off against German giants Bayern Munich. won an unprecedented victory by winning in a magnificent manner. triple
That night on May 26 is one of the most famous in the club’s history.
Images from the book “In the Moment” – by Tom Jenkins/Tom Jenkins/Getty Images
Cup final nerves seemed to get the better of United as they struggled to get a foothold in the match, with the German side taking the lead early on through Mario Basler’s free-kick which saw a helpless Peter on goal. Schmeichel cheated.
With time running out, Ferguson threw on Teddy Sheringham and current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in search of a goal – and they duly delivered.
As the game entered extra-time, David Beckham whipped in a delicious corner which Sheringham parried away, before Solskjaer once again set up a set-piece to send the United faithful inside the Nou Camp into raptures. A leg out to send, as the side delivered to the club’s second team. European Cup, and first since 1968.
Key talking point
The style of victory was no surprise for a side that famously didn’t know when to quit this season.
10-man United beat Arsene Wenger’s men in their FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal and ended a furious run by Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs.
Likewise, United suffered defeat in Turin in the Champions League before a Roy Keane-inspired side overcame the Italian giants, despite the Irish captain facing the prospect of missing the showpiece through suspension. was
Such were the forces at play this season – and for all of Ferguson’s season – United looked as if the matches had reached their peak.
While the other sides succumbed – as both United and the opposition knew the Red Devils would score – Ferguson’s men continued to push forward.
With full confidence in the players he had signed, as well as the gifted ‘Class of 92’, Ferguson knew his squad was special, despite several key players missing due to injury and suspension. Absent, like Kane and fellow midfielder Paul Scholes.
While the domestic trophies continued, the United side may have reached their peak in the mid-2000s, before the emergence of the great Rooney, Ronaldo side that would also achieve European success, with the club in form. Faced a relative downturn.
Manchester United Team / Alex Livesy / Getty Images
Starting XI: Schmeichel (5), G. Neville (6), Johnson (6), Stam (7), Irvine (7), Giggs (6), Beckham (8), Butt (8), Blomqvist (7), Yorke (6) ) ), Cole (5).
Alternative: Sheringham (10), Solskjaer (10).
A year on from his World Cup antics in ’98, Beckham showed no signs of being impressed, as he capped off a fantastic season for himself and the club with a superb performance in the final.
With Keane and Scholes absent, Beckham expanded the midfield alongside Nicky Butt, putting in a particularly hard-working shift, as well as providing the goods in the final few minutes with his famous set-piece delivery. It came to light. He wasn’t half as bad as Beckham you know.
Soccer-Manchester-Bayern/Patrick Hertzig/Getty Images
Key talking point
For all the fuss over United’s winning style, it can be easily forgotten that the Red Devils themselves weren’t the better team in the game.
Despite being helped by Bassler’s early goal, the Bavarian hotshots continued to set the tone, and were unfortunate not to add to their lead after a number of efforts went off the woodwork or into the grateful hands of Schmeichel.
Although the German side boasted the likes of veteran Oliver Kahn and Luther Matthaus – standing in for that old-school sweeper position – Bayern were seemingly powerless to stop United’s late surge. Conceding one late corner is probably fair enough, but conceding two in such a short space of time is inexcusable.
Starting XI: Kahn (7), Matthaus (6), Babel (7), Linke (6), Kafur (6), Tarant (7), Effenberg (7), Jermes (7), Bassler (9), Genker (8), Zucker (6).
Alternative: Funk (6), Schol (6) Silmedzic (N/A)
Although he wanted a Champions League winner’s medal rather than a good performance, it cannot be denied that Basler did everything he could to lead his team to victory.
His low free-kick beat the keeper as Bayern took an early lead inside six minutes, before the creative German winger pulled the strings as his side dominated play in Catalonia, yet the defense His friends were eventually dropped by United.
Peter Schmeichel may have ended his Old Trafford career on a high after securing the treble, but three years later he certainly ended his loyalties after winning at Manchester rivals City. Gary Neville didn’t even want to see him in the tunnel, and rightly so.
Equally, that Bayern Munich-era kit certainly doesn’t look any better now than it did then, the gray gray not fitting for the potential Champions League winner. Had United been wearing it, they would have wanted to change at half time!
David Beckham. We can just leave it at that.
Oh, and of course, Sir Alex Ferguson, as the Scotsman would lead United to three more Champions League finals, with an equally dramatic victory in 2008 when his side beat rivals Chelsea on penalties.
And just one more: the United Kit, a beautiful design that is still popular today.
FC Bayern Munich v Eintracht Frankfurt – Bundesliga / TF-Images/Getty Images
Well, for United, the successes kept coming, before they stumbled during the rise of Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea during the ‘Djemba-Djemba years’. Not to worry, Ferguson recovered, as United won five more Premier League titles under the great man, including three in a row from 2006-2009.
As for Bayern and manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, the wait for Champions League glory was at least not too long, as the German giants won the trophy two years later, defeating Valencia in the final.
However, at the present time, the two sides could not be more different. While United have endured seven long spells since their last league title success, Bayern are on course to claim an eighth Bundesliga title in a row. Ouch