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Lee Sharpe celebrates his goal against Arsenal in 1990.

Goal of the day: Sharpey’s heroic Highbury hat-trick

Date: 28 November 1990, Highbury, League Cup

Background: The rivalry between Arsenal and ourselves was beginning to intensify, with the second major bust-up between the teams in the space of just three years taking place the month before, when we met in the league. Six weeks later, the clubs were paired in the fourth round of the League Cup, on a night that would undoubtedly belong to United.
The goal: Two goals ahead on the cusp of half-time, through Welsh duo Clayton Blackmore and Mark Hughes, Lee Sharpe put the Reds out of sight in first-half injury time with the goal of his dreams. Nicking the ball off the toes of Lee Dixon, the 19-year-old winger advanced and fired the ball high into the top corner of the net from all of 25 yards.
What happened next: The shocked Gunners pulled two back early in the second half but Sharpe wasn’t finished, heading home to make it 4-2 on 75 minutes and sealing his hat-trick three minutes later. The Reds marched on to their first League Cup final that season, before falling at the final hurdle to Ron Atkinson’s Sheffield Wednesday.

Reaction: Alex Ferguson described the 6-2 win over the Gunners as ‘the most amazing performance in my time at Manchester United’, before referring to Sharpe’s showing as ‘irresistible’.

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