Ryan Giggs scores the winner at Coventry in 1999.

#Treble99: The amazing fact from our Coventry win

Wednesday 20 February 2019 15:56

Manchester United won 1-0 at Coventry City in 1999, en route to the Treble, thanks to a goal from Ryan Giggs.

It might have seemed a routine three points at Highfield Road, despite the slender margin of success, but there is now an incredible fact about the line-up that day in the west Midlands, as you can see in the tweet below...

Opta's Duncan Alexander has researched the incredible stat that the XI fielded by Alex Ferguson was the only time he selected that particular starting line-up, even though it is one many fans would identify strongly with that 1998/99 campaign.

Each had a great contribution to the Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League victories. But, as a collective, this was the only time they ever began a league game together.

Furthermore, they stuck together for only 45 minutes, as Stam was withdrawn at half-time due to a tight hamstring, with Henning Berg taking his place at the heart of the defence.

Ferguson remarked after the win: "Sometimes you have to grind out a result!"

The Reds were unlucky to have an Andy Cole goal disallowed for offside before the breakaway winner in the 79th minute, started by Man-of-the-Match Peter Schmeichel. Dwight Yorke, Giggs and David Beckham moved the ball forwards, with Giggs finishing off a cross from the England star by shooting past Magnus Hedman.

Appearances (substitute in brackets) in all competitions in 1998/99:

Peter Schmeichel - 56

Gary Neville - 54 

Ronny Johnsen - 30 (7)

Jaap Stam - 50 (1)

Denis Irwin - 45 (3)

David Beckham - 53 (2)

Roy Keane - 53 (2)

Paul Scholes - 38 (13)

Ryan Giggs - 36 (5)

Dwight Yorke - 48 (3)

Andy Cole - 43 (7)

Dwight Yorke runs at the Sky Blues' defence during the 1-0 triumph.

Alexander has also discovered that the starting XI most associated with the Double-winning season of 1993/94 - Peter Schmeichel; Paul Parker, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin; Andrei Kanchelskis, Paul Ince, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs; Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes - was only actually named six times by Ferguson.

However, the most commonly selected line-up in Premier League history was made by Sir Alex. On 19 occasions, the Scot selected Peter Schmeichel; Paul Parker, Gary Pallister, Steve Bruce, Denis Irwin; Lee Sharpe, Paul Ince, Brian McClair, Ryan Giggs; Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes.

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