Fi­nal, 1998-99

Australian Four Four Two - - FEATURES -

Close your eyes and try to re­mem­ber as much as you can about the first 90 min­utes of the show­piece that in­spired what’ll un­doubt­edly be Alex Fer­gu­son’s epi­taph: “Foot­ball, bloody hell.” Bay­ern’s early strike might vaguely ring a bell: Ronny Johnsen up­end­ing Carsten Jancker for a free-kick, which was swerved into Peter Sch­me­ichel’s net by Mario Basler. But be­yond that? You have prob­a­bly for­got­ten the Red Devils play­ing quite crisply but cre­at­ing very lit­tle; Bay­ern hit­ting the wood­work twice; some weak ef­forts at goal from both Ryan Giggs and Jes­per Blomqvist. In­jury time, how­ever, is now seared into the brain. David Beck­ham’s cor­ner and a mishit Giggs ef­fort turned in by sub­sti­tute Teddy Sher­ing­ham looked to have en­sured ex­tra time... but then an­other cor­ner was headed down by Sher­ing­ham and poked home by the imp­ishly ec­static Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer. A mem­o­rable knee-slide, a mob­bing and a noise re­called by Ital­ian ref­eree Pier­luigi Col­lina as a “lion’s roar” would fol­low. As Sa­muel Kuf­four sank to the turf and thumped it in de­spair, United toasted the great­est three min­utes of their sto­ried his­tory.

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