United’s Amazing 1999 Comeback – And Not the One That You Imagine

reble Treble by seanog_72, on Flickr

Treble Treble” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by seanog_72

When you’re thinking about the occasions when United have snatched victory from the very jaws of defeat in Europe, chances are that your thoughts are first drawn to Camp Nou on May 26th 1999. As if anyone needed to be reminded, the two injury-time goals from Sheringham and Solskjaer saw a famous Champions League victory – the first English team to conquer Europe since Liverpool had achieved it 14 years earlier.

But, a little over a month before they carried off the title in such a dramatic fashion, there had been an equally astonishing comeback against Juventus in Turin. Wednesday, April 21st saw the second leg of the semi-final being staged at the Delle Alpi stadium and United had gone in having drawn 1-1 in the first leg. Many agree that they were lucky to even have been in this position having been outplayed by the Italians at home with Giggs only just managing to scramble an equaliser in the 92nd minute.

With the news that he was going to be sidelined through injury and able to play no part in the return leg, even the most dedicated fans held little hope of United advancing to the final. But, as anyone familiar with Space Casino betting on football or betting in general will know, even the longest of odds still means there’s a possibility that the incredible can happen. Never has this been better demonstrated than when visitors to the site got such an unbelievable price on Leicester becoming Premier League champions back in the 2015-16 season.

Having said this, the early signs that United could pull off a great escape weren’t great. Within six minutes, Filippo Inzhagi had put the Italian team ahead and five minutes later he had made it 2-0.

But what no-one had quite taken into account was the sheer determination of Roy Keane to regain the momentum. He might recently have admitted on Sky Sports that he was never really happy playing for United, but that dissatisfaction certainly drove him to some remarkable performances. He was also a big influence on team-mates so when Dwight Yorke followed up Keane’s headed goal in the 24th minute with his own 10 minutes later it really was game-on, with scores level at 3-3 on aggregate.

There was a major scare in store halfway through the second half when Inzhagi would have clinched his hat-trick if assistant referee Laurent Rausis had not raised his flag to signal that the Italian was offside.

Then followed a very tense period of play with possession equally shared. But in the 84th minute, Andy Cole broke past the Juventus defence only to be brought down by keeper Angelo Peruzzi. Wisely, referee Urs Meier played the advantage and Cole had the wherewithal to get to his feet and tap the ball home, sealing a famous victory with six minutes to spare.

So, for once, the often disputed Fergie-time wasn’t needed. But the team were to make very good use of it a little over a month later.

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