26 May 1999
Manchester United 2:1 Bayern Munich
European Cup Final
Nou Camp, Barcelona


"The dream seemed over. Basler goal in, the sixth minute, hadn't been cancelled out. Bayern Munich hit the bar, twice. 90 minutes was up. The absence of Roy Keane & Paul Scholes showed, as United couldn't find a way through. Utd's last minute corner, with the help of Peter Schmeichel, found its way to Ryan Giggs. After his volley Teddy Sheringham spun home. 1-1! Sheringham wheels off to celebrate. Extra-time, was the thought of Alex Ferguson, but he didn't want that. He left his team at an attacking formation. Beckham swung in another corner. Met by the head of Sheringham and Ole Gunnar toes the ball home. 2-1! Manchester United champions of European after 31 years. The Treble. Magnificent...."


By Mark Bradley, PA Sport

Alex Ferguson always says his amazing Manchester United side like to do things the hard way but even he could not have predicted the simply incredible comeback which they produced in the Nou Camp to win the European Champions' Cup.

Any dreams of the Treble seemed firmly dead and buried when injury-time started in Barcelona with Bayern Munich 1-0 ahead and promising to extend the Germans' position as the nemesis of English football.

But 40 seconds into added time, with even goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel up for a corner in a desperate final move, Ryan Giggs played a half-clearance back into the penalty area and substitute Teddy Sheringham swept the ball home on the turn.

Time was suspended for a millisecond as all eyes turned to the linesman but he pointed to the centre-circle and United had come back from the dead.

However, if that was incredible, the winner was simply unbelievable.

Within a minute, another Beckham corner had been flicked on by Sheringham and there was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on the pitch for just 10 minutes, to prod the ball home.

The Germans were simply devastated, falling to their knees in complete and utter dejection. Within 20 seconds, the final whistle had sounded and the most stunning comeback imaginable had been completed.

More than half of the capacity 90,000 crowd erupted with unrestrained euphoria, even Ferguson could hardly believe his eyes, but when the tears of joy had cleared, there was Schmeichel lifting the European Cup in his final appearance for the club.

The achievement of Sir Matt Busby in leading United to the trophy in 1968 had finally been matched, the historic Treble of League, FA Cup and European Cup had been achieved and the continent's biggest prize was back in England after an agonisingly long 15-year wait.

And it was entirely fitting that Ferguson's place in the pantheon of the greatest managers in the game should have been secured on what would have been Sir Matt's 90th birthday.

Perhaps we should never have doubted United, given the way they had already come back from 2-0 down within 11 minutes at Juventus to win 3-2 and from 1-0 down with two minutes to go to beat Liverpool in the FA Cup.

But oh, how they made us sweat.

Roy Keane may have been one of the proudest United players as he lifted the Cup in ecstasy but his loss through suspension was keenly felt for 65 minutes until finally Ferguson changed his tactics.

Until then, United may have two of the best wingers in the world but one of them, David Beckham, was leading a lonely creative battle in central midfield, while the other, Ryan Giggs, was marooned out on the right flank, cutting inside all too predictably at every turn.

Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld, who had led Borussia Dortmund to victory against United in the semi-finals of the competition two years ago, appeared to have pulled off another tactical masterstroke as his side rode roughshod over Ferguson's team.

They even took the lead after six minutes as they gave United a rude awakening from which they almost never recovered.

Ronny Johnsen fouled Carsten Jancker on the edge of the penalty area as the striker burst forward and Mario Basler curled his free-kick low into the far corner.

Schmeichel was left helplessly rooted on his heels as the ball passed exactly through the gap left when Markus Babbel had cleverly turned Nicky Butt on the edge of the wall.

United were being hustled out of their stride by a team who had clearly done their homework as Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke - both expertly marked - attempted to survive on emergency rations with their supply lines cut.

There was the glimpse of an opening just after the break, when Jesper Blomqvist beat keeper Oliver Kahn to a cross from Giggs but he could not keep his shot down at full stretch.

The crowd's calls for Sheringham were duly met with the striker's introduction with 24 minutes left for the hapless Blomqvist.

At last Beckham and Giggs were restored to their rightful places, with Yorke dropping deeper, and Cole mishit an overhead kick just after Stam had headed over.

The Germans countered by withdrawing Alexander Zickler for midfielder Mehmet Scholl, leaving Jancker up front on his own.

Steffen Effenberg then threatened with a long-range drive before only a giant leap by Schmeichel prevented the midfielder lobbing him as he broke clear.

It was almost completely over for United with 11 minutes left after Basler set up Scholl after a superb run and the substitute's chip over Schmeichel looked goalbound until it rebounded off the post back into the relieved keeper's arms.

Nicky Butt threatened at the other end but his hooked cross eluded his team-mates, while Solskjaer's header was clutched by Kahn within a minute of him coming on for Cole.

The match was simply exploding into action by now, with Schmeichel diving full-length to deny Scholl and Jancker's overhead kick striking the underside of the bar as United sacrificed defence for attack.

Solskjaer back-heeled the ball to Sheringham but his shot was easily gathered by Kahn, Yorke completely missed his kick in the penalty area and Solskjaer's header was saved.

Memories of yet another German victory to match the 1990 World Cup and Euro 96 were flooding back but then came those two simple incredible late strikes.

It was a match which no one in the Nou Camp will ever forget.

United secured their places in the history books and, whisper it quietly, possibly even in the hearts of a nation as well.

Player Ratings

Peter Schmeichel: Some early scares after first Bayern goal as the Germans pressurised but a brilliant tip-over from Stefan Effenberg and a Mehmet Scholl drive was a reminder to United of just how much he will be missed. 8.

Gary Neville: Solid and effective throughout the game. 7.

Denis Irwin: The Republic of Ireland international displayed total professionalism on the left side of the field. 7.

Ronny Johnsen: Gave away free-kick from which Mario Basler handed Bayern an early advantage with a foul on Carsten Jancker but made important tackle to deny Basler later in first half. 6.

Jaap Stam: Struggled to cope with Zickler in the first half but found his way into the game in the second period. 6.

David Beckham: Played his heart out in midfield and did all he could to boss the game for United in place of Roy Keane. Not reticent to let his team-mates feel his wrath at times. 9.

Nicky Butt: Did not enjoy his best display of the season but was still efficient in midfield. 6.

Andy Cole: Failed to show the form which has helped United to the domestic Double. 5.

Ryan Giggs: Not as devastating as the Welshman can be but still set up Sheringham for the equaliser. 6.

Jesper Blomqvist: Missed a good chance early in the second half after finally beating Markus Babbel to the ball but no surprise when he was replaced by Teddy Sheringham. 5.

Dwight Yorke: Barely seen in a disappointing personal display and mis-kick in dying minutes summed up his night. 5.


Teddy Sheringham: On as a 65th minute substitute, the FA Cup hero earned the freedom of Manchester with a last-gasp equaliser. 7.

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer: A flashing header just seconds after being on the field forced a great save by Oliver Kahn before hitting the winner for United. Thank goodness for substitutes. 7.


Oliver Kahn: Bayern captain spent the night encouraging and cajoling his team-mates along with some good saves in a true leader's performance. 8.

Lothar Matthaus: The veteran German international looked solid throughout the game and marshalled the defence well before being substituted. 6.

Markus Babbel: Must have been particularly galling for Babbel to lose out the way Bayern did. Great display. 8.

Thomas Linke: Made a crucial stop from Beckham through ball which denied Yorke in the first period. 6.

Samuel Osei Kuffour: Shackled Dwight Yorke thoroughly and effectively during the first period. Strong and competitive but lost Solskjaer for United's winner. 7.

Michael Tarnat: Coped admirably with the threat of Giggs. 7.

Stefan Effenberg: Reformed bad boy of German football produced a solid and comfortable display in midfield and forced a great save from Schmeichel in the second half. 7.

Jens Jeremies: An excellent busy performance in central midfield - constantly looking for the ball. Bags of energy. 9.

Mario Basler: Scored after just six minutes from free-kick to set the tone for Bayern and almost embarrassed Schmeichel with a long-range effort in the second half. 7.

Carsten Jancker: A constant thorn in the side of United's defence who found him very difficult to handle and only the crossbar prevented him from scoring Bayern's second. 8.

Alexander Zickler: Should have added a second for Bayern but mis-kicked under pressure from Stam and was unlucky to be judged offside with another opportunity but did not show the same kind of determination in the second period. 6.


Mehmet Scholl: Almost made an immediate impact by setting up Effenberg before hitting the post himself with 11 minutes left. 6.

Thorsten Fink: Not on the field long enough to make his mark

Hasan Salihamidzic: Not on the field long enough to make his mark. No mark.


Bayern Munich: Khan, Babbel, Kuffour, Matthaus, Effenberg, Basler, Jeremies, Tarnat, Jancker, Zickler, Linke.
Subs: Fink for Matthaus, Scholl for Zickler, Salihamidzic for Basler.
Scorers: Basler (6)

Manchester United: Schmeichel, Irwin, G Neville, Stam, Johnsen, Beckham, Blomqvist, Giggs, Butt, Yorke, Cole.
Subs: Sheringham for Blomqvist, Solskjaer for Cole
Scorers: Sheringham (90), Solskjaer (90)

Referee: P Collina (Italy)

Attendance: 90,000

© Sporting Life 1999. Page maintained by Patrick Eustace, last updated Thursday, 27-Jan-2000 21:12:46

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Match Highlights

Alex Ferguson's Verdict

Ole Solskjaer's Verdict

Alex Ferguson after winning

Radio 5 Live Commentary of Solskjaer goal

Radio 5 Live Commentary of Sheringham goal

ITV Live Commentary of Sheringham goal

ITV Live Commentary of Solskjaer goal

Teddy's Goal (MPEG Format)

Ole's Goal (MPEG Format)

Further Articles
Utd capture Holy Grail

Season Meetings
Bayern Munich 2:2 Man Utd

Man Utd 1:1 Bayern Munich

Season 98/99
Full Season Results

Final League Table

98/99 Player Profiles