#Treble99: The amazing fact from our Coventry win
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...
Wednesday Feb 20 marks exactly 20 years since the only time Man Utd started a PL game with an XI of Schmeichel, G Neville, Irwin, Johnsen, Stam; Beckham, Keane, Scholes, Giggs; Yorke & Cole— Duncan Alexander (@oilysailor) February 19, 2019
Won 1-0 at Coventry. Fergie should have given them a chance, they could have been decent pic.twitter.com/44VFCxxWXh
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Furthermore, they stuck together for only 45 minutes, as Stam was withdrawn at half-time due to a tight hamstring, with Henning Berg taking his place at the heart of the defence.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)
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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