Goal of the Day: Cole-fired Reds scorch Feyenoord

Tuesday 05 November 2019 02:00

Goal of the Day today is Andy Cole's 1997 strike against Feyenoord, which saw him end a certain United goalscoring drought in Europe...

Date: 5 November 1997, De Kuip, Champions League

Background: United and Feyenoord had played out a prickly matchday three fixture at Old Trafford, with Alex Ferguson’s side coming out 2-1 winners to top Group B. A harder task was expected in the intimidating bowl of Rotterdam’s De Kuip, scene of our 1991 European Cup Winners Cup triumph, but any fears proved unfounded.

The goal: With two goals already to his name – a lob over Jerzy Dudek followed by a low side-footed finish – Andrew Cole completed a hat-trick with the simplest of finishes. Ryan Giggs went on a trademark run down the left, skipped around Dudek before handing Cole the matchball with a squared pass that merely needed rolling into the unattended net. Far from the most eye- catching of his three strikes, it was the most notable in that it completed United’s first hat-trick in Europe in 39 years, the last being Denis Law’s four against Waterford.

What happened next: United made it five wins from five in the group stage by beating Kosice 3-0 at Old Trafford, but missed out on a perfect group stage by slipping to a 0-1 defeat at Juventus. Sadly, the fine early season work came to naught as injuries struck and the Reds exited at the quarter-final stage on away goals to Monaco. Of course, a year later it would be a different story!

Reaction: “Andy’s pace was a problem for them. He was a real threat – like a dog out of the traps,” said a delighted Ferguson. “His confidence is sky high.”