Ole revisits ’99 Liverpool cup clash
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is preparing for Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round clash with Liverpool. Exactly 22 years ago to the day, the Norwegian was doing the same, in very different circumstances.
Of course, just over two decades ago it was Solskjaer the striker, not the manager, who was plotting the Merseysiders' downfall, something he secured in dramatic fashion as United battled it out in one of our most famous cup wins.
It looked set for a frustrating afternoon at the Theatre of Dreams in January 1999. Liverpool had taken the lead through Michael Owen, who of course signed for us in 2009.
Sir Alex Ferguson's men bombarded the Liverpool goal but the ball just simply would not go in.
But then, as many times before - and after - United turned the game on its head and produced a famous comeback to secure a win late on. First, Dwight Yorke scored the equaliser in the 88th minute. A free-kick was headed across goal by his strike partner Andy Cole for the Trinidad and Tobago forward to tap home.
Then, Ole, after coming off the bench, scored the iconic winner in stoppage time, for a vital victory en route to United winning our famous 1999 Treble.
In an exclusive club interview, Ole shared his memories of the triumph against our fierce north-west rivals.
“It was a hard-fought game, we struggled,” the United manager summarised.
“I think we deserved to score goals earlier on, Roy [Keane] had a left-foot strike hitting the post, we had so many chances.”
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Our former no. 20 remembers the final minutes in front of a full Old Trafford vividly.
“It was a free-kick we had, headed back square and we got to 1-1, that must have been in injury time as well, or close to.
”Then I managed to steal the ball off [Paul] Scholesy and put the ball through [Jamie] Carragher’s legs and we won it. It was a fantastic atmosphere at Old Trafford.
Ole, who scored 126 times for the club, hopes his side can produce a similar result on Sunday. He emphasises that the importance of the famous rivalry remains the same as in 1999.
”It’s a cup game, it’s against your rivals. We’re playing every three days now anyway so there will be rotation and some changes in the team. Everyone expects and understands that. Now we just need to find a team that we’re confident in for going through.