16 years ago…Oh What A Night!

Oh What A Night!

The newest addition to our team Andrew Embling takes at look back at that momentous night in Barcelona

On a balmy Barcelona evening late in May 16 years ago Manchester United once again reached the Promised Land.

With the Premier League and FA Cup double already under their belts they took to the field against German giants Bayern Munich in the Champions League final.

Bayern were themselves looking to complete an unprecedented treble, and the Germans looked on their way once Mario Basler had given them the lead early on.

United were without two of their biggest names, captain Roy Keane and midfield partner Paul Scholes both picking up yellow cards in the semi final second leg which robbed them of a place in the show piece at the Nou Camp.

The Red Devils had shown incredible determination to make the final, with wins over the likes of Inter Milan in the quarter final and then a thrilling comeback against Juventus in the semi final.

A goal down in the first leg at Old Trafford, Ryan Giggs scored late on to give United a chance, but they found themselves 2-0 down inside the opening ten minutes in Turin and the final looked to be out of their grasp.

But captain Keane produced one of the greatest individual displays to help turn the tide, scoring the first in a magnificent comeback which United went on to win 3-2 and head full steam to Barcelona.

With United a goal adrift in the final they rode their luck when first Scholl chipped over Peter Schmeichel on to the woodwork and then Janker acrobatically hit the bar with the United keeper beaten.

But United that season had a never say die attitude and had fought back from the brink on a number of occasions.

With the final whistle just seconds away and Bayern’s legendary talisman Lothar Matthaus watching from the sidelines, United won a corner.

Schmeichel came up from the back as Beckham whipped in the set piece and, when it eventually came out to Ryan Giggs his scuffed shot was turned in by substitute Teddy Sheringham and United had a lifeline.

Sheringham’s first look was to the linesman to make sure he was onside, but once the goal went in there seemed to be an unerring sense that this was their moment, this was their year.

Extra time was beckoning, but United sensed victory and they went for it.

Solskjaer won a corner down the left and Beckham readied himself to take it.

The corner was swung in, Sheringham rose to flick on and there was Ole Solskjaer, the baby-faced assassin, to instinctively poke the ball beyond Khan and take United to glory.

It was the most dramatic final the Champions League has ever witnessed, the two goals in injury time from the two substitutes handing victory to United on Sir Matt Busby’s birthday.

The Bayern players were out on their feet, devastated by their defeat, whilst in contrast United’s players leaped for joy.

The unthinkable, the unachievable had just been achieved by Alex Ferguson and his side; they had won the Treble.

16 years on every United fan who saw that game can tell you where they watched the match.

The emotion that ran inside every one of us that day still remains when we remember the night, late in May in 1999, when Ole scored a goal in injury time, what a feeling, what a night.

Thank You For Reading and Let Us Know Where You Watched The Final

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