Five Of Manchester United’s Most Memorable European Nights
Manchester United are no strangers to European glory.
Despite competing in the second rate Europa League lately, United have often carried the flag for English clubs in the Champions League.
No one can forget that night in Barcelona in 1999, completing arguably the greatest achievement in English football history.
That’s not the only case of United’s European success though, so we thought we’d do a run down of their top five nights:
5. FC Porto 0-1 Man United (15 April, 2009)
A year after their Champions League win in Moscow against Chelsea, United were vying to become the first team to sucessfully defend their European crown, but Porto were stiff opposition.
The Portuguese champions had taken the lead in the first leg of the quarter final clash, before three more goals meant the tie was finely poised at 2-2.
Luckily, United had Cristiano Ronaldo at the time, and the former Sporting star scored one of the best goals in Champions League history to down Jesualdo Ferreira’s side at the Dragao.
Receiving a pass from Anderson (probably the best thing he ever did in a red shirt), Ronaldo turned before unleashing a 40-yard thunderbolt that flew past Helton, giving United a 1-0 win to send them into the semi finals.
4. Man United 7-1 Roma (10 April, 2007)
After losing 2-1 in Rome in the first leg, United had a serious task on their hands to eliminate Italian giants, Roma.
The Serie A outfit boasted the likes of Francesco Totti and Daniele De Rossi in their prime, and had little trouble seeing off Ferguson’s side in the first leg.
But they couldn’t have seen a 7-1 battering coming when they arrived in England.
Cristiano Ronaldo scored twice and Wayne Rooney once, and even Michael Carrick (twice), Patrice Evra and Alan Smith got on the score sheet.
De Rossi had momentarily stopped the rot in the middle of all those goals but Roma were quickly sent packing by a rampant United, who had superstars Dong Fangzhuo and Chris Eagles on the bench.
3. Juventus 2-3 Man United (April 21, 1999)
In 1999, Manchester United made comebacks their speciality.
We all know about the famous one in the final, but many forget about the turnaround that Ferguson’s side pulled off in the previous round.
The first leg at Old Trafford had ended 1-1, and after Filippo Inzaghi scored two early goals in Turin, United were heading out of the competition.
But Roy Keane pulled one back with a header – later being booked and suspended for the final – before Dwight Yorke equalised.
United were heading through on the away goals rule, and Andy Cole scored late on to complete a stunning comeback against one of the world’s best sides.
2. Man United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 on penalties, 21 May, 2008)
England was guaranteed a European Champion in 2008, as Ferguson’s United took on Avram Grant’s Chelsea in Moscow.
Man U’s front three of Carlos Tevez, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wayne Rooney got the better of the Blues after a 120 minute long stalemate.
Ronaldo had given the ‘home’ side the lead, before Frank Lampard levelled things on the stroke of half time.
Penalties were needed to decide the tie, and John Terry slipped and hit the post after Ronaldo saw his kick saved by Petr Cech, then Nicolas Anelka was denied to give United the trophy.
1. Man United 2-1 Bayern Munich (26 May, 1999)
Nothing else comes close.
The drama of those final few minutes will live forever in the memory of every football fan, whether they’re of the United persuasion or not.
1-0 down after six minutes to Mario Basler’s strike, Ferguson had it all to do.
Without influential midfielders Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, United – who had just won the Premier League by one point two weeks earlier – struggled to create chances to break down a Munich team that included midfield powerhouse Stefan Effenberg.
But eventually, substitute Teddy Sheringham poked home a lifeline for United, before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hit the most famous last minute winner of all time.