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Diego Forlan celebrates scoring against Rangers in 2003

Goal of the Day: Forlan v Rangers

Today’s Goal of the Day came on this day 16 years ago, when Diego Forlan struck against Rangers...

Date: 4 November 2003, Old Trafford, Champions League

Background: It had taken time for Diego Forlan to settle into life at Old Trafford but the Uruguayan striker was enjoying his finest form for the Reds going into this Champions League tie with Rangers. Ryan Giggs had occupied the no.10 role for the previous three group stage games, but for the visit of the Glasgow giants, Forlan was unleashed alongside the prolific Ruud van Nistelrooy to stunning effect.

The goal: A fifth-minute Phil Neville strike had given the Reds a smash-and- grab win at Ibrox a fortnight earlier, but clearly the Scottish champions hadn’t heeded the warning. This time Forlan struck after six minutes, with a stunning volley to delight the majority inside a fervent Old Trafford. What made this strike so impressive was the way he’d had to adjust his position to make the hit, Roy Keane’s cross having been deflected towards him by the head of ex-Red Henning Berg.

What happened next: Forlan hit the crossbar after 43 minutes with the rebound turned in by van Nistelrooy, then the Dutchman poached another after an hour to seal a comfortable 3-0 win. Cue United fans taunting the visitors with chants of ‘Premier League, you’re having a laugh’, a reference to recent talk of the ‘Old Firm’ clubs joining England’s top flight.

Reaction: “It’s definitely the best goal I’ve scored for United, there have been some other good ones in the past but the Rangers one was very nice,” reflected Forlan a month later. “It’s something I practice a lot in training because I love scoring those type of goals.”

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