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
"What our country's media seem to fail to recognise is that every club, no matter how successful they are, will find themselves in that sort of situation at some stage during a season," said the boss. "For some reason, though, when it happens to United it attracts more coverage."
The Reds rallied and a win at Liverpool helped set up another Premier League title triumph with success being sealed by defeats for the Merseysiders, despite a Michael Owen goal on his debut, and Newcastle while the champions were not in action. There was more European disappointment when Borussia Dortmund won the two-legged Champions League semi-final, even if the 4-0 pummeling of Porto had many predicting glory on the continent for the Reds.