1996-97: United win the Premier League
1996-97: Borussia Dortmund end Champions League hopes at the semi-final stage
1996-97: Eric Cantona announces his retirement from professional football
1997-98: Arsenal do The Double to leave United trophyless
1998-99: The Reds overpower the Gunners in an FA Cup classic to emerge as top dogs domestically
1998-99: Bayern Munich are beaten at Camp Nou to clinch an amazing Treble
1998-99: The manager is knighted and has a testimonial
1999-2000: United are pressured into withdrawing from the FA Cup
1999-2000: The Reds become world champions for the first time by beating Palmeiras
1999-2000: United overcome a sticky patch to retain the Premier League title
2000-01: A third successive title is secured when Arsenal lose at home to Middlesbrough
200-01: Sir Alex drops a bombshell by announcing the following season will be his last
end of an era and, as had occured in 1995, United finished trophyless when being forced to compete without the talismanic Frenchman. Arsenal emerged as serious contenders and went on to clinch the Double after Marc Overmars scored the only goal of the game at Old Trafford to start the pendulum swinging the Gunners' way.
Monaco ended the Champions League hopes for another year with a quarter-final triumph and the manager was forced to admit: "It all added up to a pretty depressing end to the season for us all but we mustn't dwell on missed opportuities and past setbacks." Teddy Sheringham endured taunts from Arsenal fans for failing to lift any silverware as Cantona's chief replacement but new signings Jaap Stam and Dwight Yorke would help improve the squad.
And so to 1999. The Millennium may have been coming to an end but the Reds ensured this would be a year that no football fan would ever forget for other reasons. Emerging from a 'group of death' with Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Brondby in a blaze of goals, optimism that this could finally be the