Goal of the Day: Forlan silences Anfield
Date: 1 December 2002, Anfield, Premier League
Background: Since his January 2002 arrival at Old Trafford, Diego Forlan’s United career had been a slow-burning affair. The likeable Uruguayan had taken 27 appearances to notch his first Reds goal – a penalty against Maccabi Haifa – and had still only amassed three in total by the time of his 42nd outing: a must-win trip to Anfield to face a Liverpool side unbeaten at home in almost a year. After 65 tense minutes, Forlan broke the deadlock in sensational fashion when goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek inexplicably dropped the ball to give the Uruguayan a simple tap-in. Two minutes later, things got even better...
What happened next: Sami Hyypia pulled a goal back for the hosts, before a stunning Fabien Barthez save from Dietmar Hamann preserved the win for United. The result took Sir Alex Ferguson’s side to within six points of defending champions Arsenal, who were steadily reeled in over the remainder of an unforgettable season, which culminated in title number 15.
Reaction: A legend was born, an indelible place in club folklore assured.
“He came from Uruguay, he
made the Scousers cry,” became a terrace anthem in salute of Forlan, who remains a cult hero.