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SportWhy Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history

17:45  22 may  2019
17:45  22 may  2019 Source:   fourfourtwo.com

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Manchester United ’ s treble – the best treble there is to win if you’re an English football team – happened 20 years ago this Sunday. You might hear about it this week, with the players set to recreate their Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Sunday in aid of United ’ s

1998 – 99 Manchester United F.C. season. Language. Watch. Edit. The 1998 – 99 season was the most successful season in the history of Manchester United Football Club . After finishing the previous season without winning any titles, United won the treble of trophies

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Manchester United 1998-99

Manchester United’s treble – the best treble there is to win if you’re an English football team – happened 20 years ago this Sunday. You might hear about it this week, with the players set to recreate their Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Old Trafford on Sunday in aid of United’s foundation.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be there fresh from having his head fried as United’s manager. His winning goal was probably the greatest single moment in United’s history, and the line “...and Solskjaer has won it!” arguably commentator Clive Tyldesley’s most famous words. I asked him about them.

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Manchester United ' s jubilant players parade the European Cup after their famous Treble win. With his natural authority, Schmeichel would easily have gone into management but he has instead Van der Gouw helped out coaching United ' s young keepers during his time with the club and was a

The story of Manchester United ’ s Treble started with a third-choice referee. Steve Bruce’ s immortal winner against Sheffield Wednesday in 1993 came in the sixth minute of time added on by John Hilditch, who was only refereeing because of injuries to John Martin before the game and Mike Peck

“It was nearly 20 million (UK viewers) and that doesn’t happen now,” says the commentator who only took over as ITV’s senior man for the 1998/99 season.

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Getty Images This picture can only be used within the context of an editorial feature Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson gives the European Champions League Cup a big kiss in Barcelona, after his team's victory over Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp stadium 26/5/99. (Photo by Owen Humphreys - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

“A big World Cup game might get 16 million, but never for a club game. BT Sport would have around two million for a Champions League final.”

Bayern quickly went ahead in a poor game where United, missing Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, disappointed.

“There was no sign of United replying until the last five minutes,” recalls Tyldesley. “[Lothar] Matthaus left the field. Bayern hit the woodwork twice in the 82nd and 84th minutes. I was preparing words for glorious failure, one short of a treble that went beyond United’s dreams.”

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1998 – 99 Manchester United F.C. season[edit]. This peer review discussion has been closed. In May 1999, Manchester United Football Club won an unprecedented treble of trophies and arguably completed the most successful season in their history and perhaps English football.

In 1999 Manchester United became the first English team to win a continental treble - and they remain Manchester United in 1998 /1999 were one of the best sides in English football history . Elite ball- winner and leader Roy Keane usually partnered the more technical Paul Scholes in the

But Manchester United were not finished.

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Bayern Munich 1999

“Then there was a spark; United found form in the four or five minutes leading to the equalising goal,” remembers Tyldesley. “Ron Atkinson, sitting alongside me, sensed it.

“The reaction to the goals was a very important part of my career. If I’d got the second and third goals as wrong, as I’d got the first one (Tyldesley thought Mario Basler’s shot had been deflected past Peter Schmeichel), I wouldn’t be talking to you now.

“I’m aware that it’s part of the story now for a lot of people. As a broadcaster I’m proudest of the pauses I took after the two goals to give myself some thinking time. It’s three or four seconds and I had to put my arm across to restrain Ron, who was going for his microphone after Teddy’s equaliser.

“I’d been taught by my great mentor Reg Gutteridge to use the roar for the goal for some thinking time.

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Manchester United ’ s treble -winning season of 1998 / 99 will always remain afresh in the minds of Considering that the team aren ’t really experiencing their glory days at the moment, it always gives Those were the days of United ’ s supremacy in Europe and how good does it feel even today to see

Best Sellers. Manchester United Training Top - Orange. This season marks 20 years since Manchester United ’ s incredible Treble campaign of 1998 / 99 . This article first appeared in Inside United, the club ’ s official monthly magazine, which is marking the 20th anniversary of the Treble all

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Getty Images Commentators Ally McCoist, left, and Clive Tyldesley, with presenter Gabby Yorath, ITV Sport's new broadcasting team for the Euro 2000 Football Championship that was unveiled in London. * ITV will broadcast upto 16 live games depending on England's progress in the tournament. PA photo: Andrew Stuart (Photo by Andrew Stuart - PA Images/PA Images via Getty Images)

“It’s lovely when people come up to me and say: ‘Can they score, they always score’ or ‘name on the trophy’ or ‘... and Solskjaer has won it’ – though that broke the golden rule of television commentary as the game hadn’t finished. You’ve never won it until the final whistle.”

None of the 50,000 United fans inside the Camp Nou knew any of this as they celebrated for hours. I was in the second tier behind the south goal with my father and my brother. It felt right to spend the greatest moment that a club can have with the man who’d given me a love of football. He passed away in November, and when I think of the treble, I think of standing with him – and him moaning about the performance.

“United didn’t turn up son, they let themselves down.”

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“Yeah, but we’ve just won the Treble.”

“I don’t care, son, this is a great team and they didn’t turn up.”

Whatever.

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Sir Alex Ferguson Way 1999

The greatest teams don’t just dominate domestically, as this excellent Manchester City have done this season – they win the top European trophies too. Manchester United won the Treble in 1999 and were then crowned world champions later that year. It still irritates me that they didn’t win the Super Cup.

In 2008, United won the Premier League and the Champions League. It still annoys Patrice Evra like crazy that they didn’t win the FA Cup after losing 1-0 at home to eventual winners Portsmouth in the sixth round. But United went on to be crowned world champions in 2008, even if they didn’t pick up the Super Cup that year either after losing to Zenit in Monaco. The players regret that now.

When the pressure was on in the league and in Europe, United didn’t buckle in 1999. Look at the teams they beat in the FA Cup en route to the final: Premier League Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Fulham, Chelsea – over two matches, the second away – and Arsenal over two incredible semi-final matches. Look at who Manchester City beat this season: Rotherham United and Burnley at home, Newport and Swansea away, Brighton in the semis and Watford in the final. You can only beat who you have to beat, but still…

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United fans are massively proud of the Treble. Deep down, they respect City’s outgoing captain Vincent Kompany for being a belting leader of men and a fine person, but they also delight in the “Here’s to you Vincent Kompany, you’ll never win the Treble and you know… Woahhhh!” song.

Well, he’ll never win the biggest one.

Why Manchester United’s 1998/99 treble winners are still easily the best team in English club history © Provided by Future Publishing Ltd. Manchester United Newcastle 1999 FA Cup Final

Kompany has been at the club for longer than Sheikh Mansour’s squillions, despite which City haven’t got beyond the semi-finals of the Champions League.

In 1998/99, United came through a qualifying game against LKS Lodz, a group stage with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and whipping boys Brondby, a last eight match against Inter when Serie A was stronger than now, and a semi-final against a Juventus side considered to be the best in the world.

Indeed, Roy Keane maintains that they were the best he ever played against. When the pressure was really on, United went to Turin and beat them 3-2, having first gone 2-0 down. That win came only a week after the glorious 2-1 extra-time semi-final win against a brilliant Arsenal at Villa Park.

Pep Guardiola’s City side are the best English team of this decade, but United’s treble winners are the best English club side in history. And with things so bad at Old Trafford at present after a pitifully poor end to the season, you can’t blame us for temporarily preferring to live in the past.

Gallery: Every Champions League winner, from worst to best (FourFourTwo)


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