Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich: Remembering When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Fired United to Incredible Treble

And Solskjaer has won it!!!

Those immortal words of Clive Tyledsley will remain etched in every Manchester United fans brain for the rest of their lives.

While Liverpool fans may think otherwise, the Red Devils' Champions League triumph remains the most dramatic victory in the competition's history, and the side that won it are unrivalled as the greatest English club side ever.

Alex Ferguson with the European Cup

Forget the Invincibles, forget Pep's Centurions, and forget Klopp's current Liverpool side, the United team of '99 were different gravy.

With a dramatic victory over Spurs sealing the Premier League title on 16 May 1999, and an FA Cup triumph a week later over Newcastle United, Sir Alex Ferguson and his men secured victory in the most remarkable fashion over German giants Bayern Munich to secure an unprecedented treble.

That night on 26 May remains the most iconic in the club's history.

Images From The Book "In The Moment' - By Tom Jenkins

Cup final nerves seemed to have got the better of United as they struggled to get a foothold in the match, with the German side leading through an early Mario Basler free-kick that deceived the helpless Peter Schmeichel in goal.

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 added time, David Beckham whipped in a delicious corner which Sheringham tucked away, before a repeat set-piece saw Solskjaer flick out a leg to send the United faithful inside the Nou Camp into raptures, as the side delivered the club's second European Cup, and first since 1968.

Manchester United

Key Talking Point

The manner of the victory was no surprise for a side that had famously not known when to quit that season.

The FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal had seen a 10-man United overcome Arsene Wenger's men courtesy of an outrageous run and finish from Welsh wizard Ryan Giggs.

Equally, in the Champions League, United stared defeat in the face in Turin, before the Roy Keane inspired team overcame the Italian giants, despite the Irish skipper facing the prospect of missing the showpiece through suspension.

Such were the forces at play that season - and for all of Ferguson's seasons at the helm - United seemingly got stronger as the matches approached their climax.

While other sides faltered in the dying minutes - as both United and the opposition knew that the Red Devils would score - Ferguson's men continued to push on relentlessly.

With complete trust in the players he had signed, as well as the gifted 'Class of 92', Ferguson knew his side were special, despite missing a number of key players to injury and suspension, such as Keane and fellow midfielder Paul Scholes.

While domestic trophies continued to follow, that United side had perhaps reached their peak, with the club enduring a relative downturn in form in the mid 2000s, before the emergence of the great Rooney, Ronaldo side that would also clinch European success.

Manchester United Player Ratings

The Manchester United team

Starting XI: Schmeichel (5), G Neville (6), Johnsen (6), Stam (7), Irwin (7), Giggs (6), Beckham (8), Butt (8), Blomqvist (7), Yorke (6), Cole (5).

Substitutes: Sheringham (10), Solskjaer (10).

David Beckham

After a year of being booed for his World Cup antics in '98, Beckham showed no signs of being affected, as he brought to a close a terrific season for himself and the club with an impressive performance in the final.

With the absence of Keane and Scholes, Beckham augmented the midfield alongside Nicky Butt, putting in a characteristically hard-working shift, as well as providing the goods in the last few minutes as his famed set-piece delivery came to the fore. He weren't half bad that Beckham you know.

Bayern Munich


Key Talking Point

For all the clamour over the manner of United's victory, it can be easily forgotten that the Red Devils weren't even the better team in the game itself.

Despite being aided by Basler's early goal, the Bavarian hotshots continued to set the tone, and were unfortunate to not to add to their lead after a number of efforts deflected off the woodwork or into the grateful hands of Schmeichel.

Although the German side boasted the likes of the experienced Oliver Kahn and Lothar Matthaus - who lined-up in that old-school sweeper position - Bayern were seemingly helpless in preventing United's late surge. To concede one late corner is perhaps fair enough, but to concede two in such a short space of time is inexcusable.

Bayern Munich Player Ratings

Starting XI: Kahn (7), Matthaus (6), Babbel (7), Linke (6) Kuffour (6), Tarnat (7), Effenberg (7), Jeremies (7), Basler (9), Jancker (8), Zickler (6).

Substitutes: Fink (6), Scholl (6) Salihamidzic (N/A)

Mario Basler

While he'd much rather have had a Champions League winner's medal than a good performance, there is no denying that Basler did everything he could to try and lead his side to victory.

His low free-kick outfoxed the keeper, as Bayern took an early lead inside six minutes, before the creative German winger pulled the strings as his side dominated the game in Catalonia, yet his pals in defence were ultimately undone by the rampant United side.

What Aged the Worst?

Peter Schmeichel may have ended his Old Trafford career on a high after securing a treble but he certainly soured his allegiances after he rocked up at Manchester rivals City three years later. Gary Neville didn't even want to look at him in the tunnel, and rightly so.

Equally, that Bayern Munich away kit certainly does not look any better now than it did back then, with the drab grey not befitting of a potential Champions League winner. If United had been wearing it they'd have wanted to change at half-time!

What aged the Best?

David Beckham. We can just leave it at that.

Oh, and of course, Sir Alex Ferguson, as the Scotsman would go on to lead United to three more Champions League finals, with an equally as dramatic victory in 2008 as his side clinched victory from rivals Chelsea on penalties.

And just one more: the United kit, a beautiful design that remains iconic even now.

What Happened Next?

FC Bayern Muenchen v Eintracht Frankfurt - Bundesliga

Well, for United, the successes kept coming, before they hit a stumbling block during the 'Djemba- Djemba years' as Jose Mourinho's Chelsea emerged. Don't worry, Ferguson recovered, as United won a further five Premier League titles under the great man, including three in a row between 2006-2009.

As for Bayern and manager Omar Hitzfield, the wait for Champions League glory wasn't too long at least, as the German giants won the trophy two years later, after defeating Valencia in the final.

In the present, however, the two sides could not perhaps be more different. While United have endured seven long years since their last league title success, Bayern are on course to claim an eighth Bundesliga title in a row. Ouch.

Source : 90min