Manchester United

3.3990610328412 (1917)
Posted by r2d2 03/01/2009 @ 05:37

Tags : manchester united, england's premier league, european championship, soccer, sports

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Kia Joorabchian: Manchester United relationship is "cordial ... - ESPN
By Soccernet staff Kia Joorabchian has reiterated that there has not yet been a bid from Manchester United for Carlos Tevez but insists that his relationship with the club remains "cordial''. There has been confusion over the last couple of days after...
United on the brink of another title - Sports Network
Manchester, England (Sports Network) - Manchester United needs just one point from its match against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday to clinch a third successive Premiership title, which would give the club 18 league titles in all....
Bolt helps United over Premier League finish line - The Associated Press
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — The world's fastest man is helping the world soccer champions over the line in the Premier League title race. Olympic triple gold medalist Usain Bolt will appear on Manchester United's pitch at halftime Saturday as the team...
Gamecast: Wigan Athletic vs Manchester United - English Premier League - ESPN
Well, that should be that and United's players celebrate as though they've won the title. They battled hard when things went against them early on here and scored two superb goals. All they need is a point on Saturday against Arsenal. Bye for now....
Manchester United end 131 years of English lineage - Global - ESPN
By Dominic Raynor This was the week in which Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner got caught with his pants down, AC Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi rebuked his bouyant manager, the Spanish booed their own national anthem and Manchester United broke with 131...
Rafael Benítez refuses to accept Manchester United's superiority -
Rafael Benítez said Manchester United's lead in the Premier League 'just means they have more points'. Photograph: Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images Rafael Benítez has confronted the unpalatable prospect of Manchester United equalling Liverpool's record of 18...
Rafael Benitez laments notable Liverpool absentees - Times Online
However, the Liverpool manager claimed that it would have been a different story for his club and Manchester United this season had Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres not suffered a succession of injuries that denied them the opportunity to play...
Bruce: It is ''inevitable'' that Valencia will leave - ESPN
Manchester United are believed to be favourites to sign the Ecuadorian, although Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are also in the race for a player who would cost in the region of £20m. Sources close to United insist the player wants to move to Old...
The Full English: One And Done -
One point will win Manchester United the title. One win will keep certain teams safe, while one loss will vanquish certain others to the championship. “You find out life'sa game of inches, so is football” quote the great Al Pacino....
Manchester United's Cristiano Ronaldo apologises for sulky behaviour -
Cristiano Ronaldo has apologised to Manchester United's assistant kit man for his unprofessional behaviour in last weekend's match against Manchester City. By Emily Benammar The Portuguese winger was seen snatching his tracksuit from Alec Wyllie and...

Leeds United A.F.C. and Manchester United F.C. rivalry

Old Trafford – home of Manchester United.

The rivalry between Leeds United and Manchester United, sometimes nicknamed the Roses rivalry, is a footballing rivalry played between the Northern English clubs Leeds United and Manchester United. The rivalry originates from the strong enmity between the historic counties of Lancashire and Yorkshire that resulted from the Wars of the Roses, which took place during the 15th century. Although the cities of Leeds and Manchester lie over 40 miles (64 km) apart, the tradition is upheld and this strong feeling can still be seen between the two clubs. Independent research by the Football Fans Census has shown that, within English football, both Leeds and Manchester United are ranked within the top three clubs based on the number of clubs that consider them to be their rivals.

In the past, rivalry between the two clubs has gone beyond the action on the field at Old Trafford and Elland Road. Hostility has become more intense over the years and during the 1970s, when British football hooliganism was at its height, fights between Leeds' Service Crew and Manchester United's Red Army, two of the most notorious hooligan firms in Britain, were commonplace and became known as some of the most violent clashes in British football. Many people were injured in these encounters and when the clubs face each other nowadays a high level of security is always required.

The rivalry is considered to be a sporting manifestation of the established rivalry between the counties of Yorkshire and Lancashire, which can be traced back to the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars fought between the House of York and the House of Lancaster for the throne of England during the 1400s. The battles contested during the wars were particularly bloody, especially the Battle of Towton, which took place just 15 miles (24 km) away from Leeds and is described as "England's bloodiest ever battle".

Fittingly, the colours of each football team's home shirts correspond to the respective rose representing their historic county – Leeds with a white kit, resembling the Yorkshire rose and Manchester United with a red shirt, like the Lancashire rose. There is a similar rivalry in the sport of cricket, in which matches are contested on a county basis. In this case, the Roses Match is the name given to games played between Yorkshire County Cricket Club and Lancashire Cricket Club. Although the clubs cover the larger county region, Yorkshire are based in Leeds and play at the Headingley Stadium, while Lancashire play at the Old Trafford Cricket Ground in Manchester, close to the football stadium of the same name.

A direct rivalry between the cities of Leeds and Manchester sprang up during the Industrial Revolution in Britain during the 18th and 19th centuries. The entire country was going through an unprecedented phase of economic growth and Leeds' economy had grown rapidly thanks to the woollen industry. Meanwhile, to the west in Manchester, the cotton industry began to flourish, with factories fuelled by the transportation of cheap coal down the Bridgewater Canal.

Manchester's cotton industry was highly successful and it also ruined the traditional Yorkshire woollen industry, due to cotton being far cheaper to produce. This left the weavers in Yorkshire feeling undercut and a loathing for the new wealth in Manchester began to set in. During the mid-1800s, Leeds had constructed the impressive Grade I listed Leeds Town Hall, though the wealth which Manchester had acquired allowed them to retort by constructing striking architectural works of their own, such as the Grade I listed Manchester Town Hall. This served to establish the rivalry between the two cities even further.

Manchester United were the first side to emerge, despite club football itself first originating in Yorkshire. The club was founded in 1878 as Newton Heath L&YR by employees of the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway company with the company, as the name suggests, covering both historic counties. The club's new owners later changed their name to Manchester United in 1902. Leeds had traditionally been a rugby league city so it was a while before the attraction of football finally appealed to the local people. An association football club was finally made though in 1904, when Leeds City emerged. The two sides clashed for the first time in the Second Division at Manchester United's Bank Street stadium on 15 January 1906 in front of 6,000 fans. Leeds City won the game 3–0, but United won the return game at Elland Road 2–1 in April.

These matches proved to be both the first and the last times that the two clubs met, as Manchester United were promoted to the First Division at the end of the 1905–06 season and Leeds City were eventually forcibly disbanded due to financial irregularities. A new club was formed under the name "Leeds United", and they began playing in the Midland League, taking the place vacated by Leeds City's reserve team. The club also took over Elland Road, which had been occupied by Yorkshire Amateurs since the demise of Leeds City. Leeds United were elected to the Second Division on 31 May 1920 and they met Manchester United for the first time at Old Trafford on 20 January 1923. However, the 25,000 spectators went home disappointed as the match ended 0–0. Manchester United claimed the first victory, and indeed the first away win, between the two sides, when they beat Leeds 1–0 at Elland Road a week later on 27 January. It took Leeds until the 1925–26 season to gain their first victory, winning 2–0 at Elland Road on 3 October.

In the 1928–29 season Leeds achieved their first away victory against Manchester United, with a 2–1 win at Old Trafford in the First Division. Leeds also won the fixture at Elland Road 3–2 and became the first of the two sides to achieve a double over the other (winning both fixtures between the two sides in one season). Manchester United's first double over Leeds, however, did not come until 1946–47, when a 3–1 win at Old Trafford was followed by a 2–0 win at Elland Road. Neither side was particularly successful during this period though, and the two sides only met sporadically due to several promotions and relegations.

It was not until after the Second World War that Manchester United became a fully-fledged footballing power, but they picked up three league titles during the 1950s. Matt Busby was the man who had coached Manchester United to glory and he remained at the club until 1969. Meanwhile, across to the east, Leeds United had signed up former player Don Revie as their player-manager and he soon took the manager's post full-time. Manchester United's side during this era featured the likes of Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best, while under Revie Leeds had gained a reputation as a tough, uncompromising side, with the likes of Bobby's brother Jack Charlton, Billy Bremner, who was once described as a "10 stone of barbed wire" and Norman "Bite Yer Legs" Hunter.

During the 1964–65 season, the two sides drew each other in the semi-finals of the FA Cup for a chance to reach the final. The tie at Hillsborough was a very rough game – the image of Jack Charlton and Denis Law punching each other and wrestling on the ground epitomised the spirit in which the game was played – and it ended 0–0, with the Yorkshire Post commenting "both sides behaved like a pack of dogs snapping and snarling at each other over a bone". The replay at the City Ground was tense and it took 89 minutes for Bremner to fire in the winner for Leeds. The two clubs finished 1st and 2nd in the league that same season, both on 61 points, but the Mancunians won the title due to a better goal average.

The rivalry between the two sides carried on at full force throughout the rest of the 1960s and the 1970s. Leeds attained a level of domestic success, winning the top division of English football in the 1968–69 season and the 1973–74 season, as well as finishing runners-up four more times and never finishing outside the top four places whilst Revie was at the helm. During this period Manchester United only won the league once, in the 1966–67 season, but they had other successes, including winning the European Cup in 1968, an honour Leeds have yet to win, although they came close in 1975 when they lost 2–0 to German champions Bayern Munich.

In 1978, Joe Jordan and Gordon McQueen, two of Leeds' best players at the time, were both sold to Manchester United. This was tough for the Leeds fans to take, especially in the case of McQueen as he was a fan favourite. The following season, the two players appeared against their former club. McQueen was targeted in particular with booing and jeering at Elland Road and objects were hurled at him before he scored a headed goal for Manchester United to silence the home fans.

The Roses rivalry did not take place for nine years because Leeds were relegated in 1982. They eventually returned under the stewardship of Howard Wilkinson in 1990 with a newly-strengthened squad that had finished as Second Division Champions. The last league championship before the introduction of the Premier League came in the 1991–92 season, two seasons after Leeds' promotion, and it was a straight title race between Leeds United and Manchester United. Thanks to the likes of Gordon Strachan, Lee Chapman, David Batty and Eric Cantona, Leeds won the league by four points. However, much to the surprise of Leeds fans, Cantona was sold to Manchester United for £1.2 million, the following year. He would be the cornerstone of Manchester United's 1990s revival, leading them to the Premier League title on four occasions in just five seasons and he thus became one of the club's legends. In 2001, he was voted their player of the century and, to this day, Manchester United fans refer to him as "King Eric".

On-the-pitch clashes continued to happen between the clubs, with notable incidents including the beginning of a personal grudge between Manchester United captain Roy Keane and Alfie Haaland in 1997, a clash between Ian Harte and Fabien Barthez in March 2001, and a tussle between Robbie Keane and David Beckham in October 2001.

Two Leeds United fans were stabbed to death during a UEFA Cup game against Galatasaray in 2000. Many Manchester United fans paid their respects, leaving tributes at Elland Road, and there were even reports of Leeds and Manchester United fans embracing, with The Independent using the headline "Old rivalries forgotten as fans unite in grief". However, by the time the two sides faced up in the league, the dark underbelly from a subsection of the fans came out of the shadows and some Manchester United fans unfurled banners bearing the words "MUFC Istanbul Reds" and "Galatasaray Reds". The Manchester United fans who unfurled these banners may have been retaliating to Leeds consistent taunting of the Munich air disaster over the years, but these banners angered the Leeds fans, who retorted by chanting songs about Munich, and there were reports of seats being ripped up and confrontations after the game.

After going through a period of extreme financial difficulties, resulting from huge amounts of money being poured into the club to help them reach the UEFA Champions League semi-finals in 2001, Leeds United were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the 2003–04 season. Alan Smith, a local boy and firm fan favourite at Leeds, shocked the Leeds fans after their relegation by transferring to Manchester United. The Leeds fans dubbed him "Judas" and his actions were made particularly hard for them to take as Smith had been noted for kissing the Leeds badge and he had said that he would stay with the club even if they went down. He had also previously stated years before on an interview with Soccer A.M that he would never join Manchester United. He was welcomed by Manchester United fans and soon became a fan favourite, the fans respecting him and his decision to join a rival club.

Although the two sides have not met since 21 February 2004, the fans of both clubs still feel animosity towards each other. This is evident on matchdays, when the two sets of fans regularly sing about each other.

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History of Manchester United F.C. (1945–1969)

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In 1945, Matt Busby was appointed manager aged only 36, having just finished his playing career which had seen him turn out for Manchester City and Liverpool as well as the Scottish national side. He was ahead of his time, and is thought to have been the first manager to go out on the field with his players during training. A series of astute signings such as the former Celtic player Jimmy Delaney added to the nucleus of the squad, and he began the youth system that would later pay big-time dividends.

League football resumed for the 1946-47 season and United finished second with the likes of Jack Rowley, Charlie Mitten and John Aston. They would repeat this twice, and though disappointed by this failure, they did deliver the FA Cup in 1948, beating Blackpool 4-2. It was the first of many trophies to come. United's stadium Old Trafford had been largely destroyed by German bombs in the Second World War, so they played their home fixtures at Manchester City's ground Maine Road between 1945 and 1949.

After a 41 year wait, league success finally came in 1952, with United, led by Johnny Carey, demolishing second-placed Arsenal 6–1 on the final day of the season to finish four points ahead of Arsenal and Tottenham. However, the side captained by Johnny Carey was beginning to show its age and a new set of players had to be found.

Matt Busby took a radically different direction to other clubs when rebuilding his ageing team. Rather than spend large sums of money on world renowned players, he recruited teenagers who had just left school. In the space of five years, he only made two major signings - winger Johnny Berry from Birmingham and striker Tommy Taylor from Barnsley.

The 1952-53 season saw the retirement of Johnny Carey yet it also saw the introduction of the Busby Babes as the Championship team began to lose steam. David Pegg, Dennis Viollet, Duncan Edwards, and Bill Foulkes all made their first appearances in the 1952-53 season. Many of the players at this time were a tribute to the scouting skills of Chief Scout Joe Armstrong (assigned the duty of finding talent in the North of England), Bob Bishop (Belfast), Billy Behan (Dublin) and Bob Harper, underpinned by United's innovative youth policy under Matt Busby. United finished eighth in 1954 and fifth in 1955 before winning the league by an 11 point margin in 1955-56 with Tommy Taylor and Dennis Viollet leading the line for a side which had an average age of only 22. Only two players in the 1956 team, Roger Byrne and Johnny Berry, had played in the first Championship four years earlier. Against the Football League's wishes, they became England's first representatives in the European Cup.

One of the stars of the team was Duncan Edwards, who set the record as the youngest player ever to be capped for England when he played against Scotland at the age of 17 and 8 months. The record stood for almost 50 years before being broken in 1998 by Michael Owen. His legendary status is demonstrated by the fact that he placed sixth in a 1999 poll of Manchester United fans, asking them to name the top 50 United players of all time.

The Championship was defended successfully in 1957, with Taylor scoring 22 goals, Liam Whelan getting 26 and a young Bobby Charlton grabbing 10 goals. United reached the FA Cup final that year, but played without their goalkeeper Ray Wood for much of the game, eventually losing 2–1 to Aston Villa.

United's first European match was a 2–0 win away to the Belgian champions Anderlecht. The return leg was played at Maine Road as Old Trafford did not have any floodlights, and United won 10–0. This is still their record victory in a European match.

United then knocked out Borussia Dortmund and Athletic Bilbao having come back from two goals behind against Bilbao, before losing to Real Madrid in the semi-final.

The Busby Babes seemed destined to dominate the soccer world for time to come and had captured the imagination of the fans; already they had proved themselves both at home and in Europe. The 1957/58 season opened with talk of a treble - The League, the FA Cup, and the European Cup. But fate had decided it was not to be. On 6 February 1958 the Airspeed Ambassador plane carrying them home from Belgrade crashed on takeoff, killing eight of United's players.

United arrived in Yugoslavia to meet Red Star Belgrade in the second leg of the quarter finals. The first leg in Manchester had ended in a 2-1 win for United. United scored three goals quickly, but by the end Red Star managed to claw back to level it 3-3 after 90 minutes. The Reds went through to the semi-final 5-4 on aggregate.

The plane, a chartered aircraft owned by British European Airways, left Belgrade and stopped at Munich to refuel. Takeoff had to be aborted twice because of boost surging, a common problem in the "Elizabethan". The problem was caused by too rich a fuel mixture, which caused the engines to over-accelerate. The problem was exacerbated by the altitude of the Munich airport.

The pilots were able to control the surging on the third takeoff attempt, but as they reached the V1 "decision speed" (after which it is unsafe to abort takeoff), the airspeed suddenly dropped. The aircraft left the runway, crashed through a fence and into a house. The left wing and the tail were ripped off and the starboard side of the fuselage hit a fuel tank and exploded.

Officially, the cause of the accident was build-up of snow on the runway which had caused the aircraft to lose speed and crash.

Mark Jones, David Pegg, Roger Byrne, Geoff Bent, Eddie Colman, Liam Whelan, and Tommy Taylor were killed instantly. Club secretary Walter Crickmer, and coaches Tom Curry and Bert Whalley were also killed. Duncan Edwards, Matt Busby, and Johnny Berry were critically injured, and Duncan Edwards died three weeks later. Johnny Berry and Jackie Blanchflower survived but never played again. Four other passengers and two of the crew were also killed, as were eight sportswriters travelling with the team, including former England goalkeeper Frank Swift. It was the most tragic day English football had ever seen. Other sadly tragic days in world football are the Superga air disaster in 1949 which killed the entire Torino team, the air disaster in 1987 in Lima, Peru that killed 43 passengers including the whole Alianza Lima squad, plus members of the cheer squad and the coaching staff, and a 1993 crash that killed the entire Zambia national team.

Jackie Blanchflower and Johnny Berry were injured to such an extent that their playing careers were over, and Kenny Morgans was never the same player he had been before the crash. Matt Busby himself was in hospital for two months recovering from multiple injuries. Initially his chances of surviving were thought to be no better than 50-50.

While Busby recovered in hospital, his assistant Jimmy Murphy took temporary charge of team affairs. United struggled in the League after Munich, winning only one of their last 14 matches and finishing in ninth place. However, they performed well in the FA Cup matches and made it to the final, but lost to Bolton 2-0. At the end of the season, UEFA offered The FA the opportunity to submit both United and the eventual champions Wolves for the 1958-59 European Cup, an unprecedented move, as a tribute to the victims, but the FA declined.

A period of rebuilding followed with several significant signings, including Albert Quixall, Maurice Setters, Denis Law, Pat Crerand, and Noel Cantwell. Although they were sound long-term investments, the arrival of fresh blood failed to give the club an immediate leg-up in the league. The team's form was inconsistent, but despite a poor 19th place in the 1962-63 season, United managed to beat Leicester City 3-1 at Wembley to win the FA Cup.

After the crash, Busby's Babes seemed inappropriate so a new name was sought. English rugby club Salford had toured France in the 1930s wearing red shirts and became known as "The Red Devils". Busby liked the sound of it, thinking a devil was more intimidating to opponents than angelic babes. He declared Manchester United should also be known as the "The Red Devils" and soon the club began incorporating the devil logo into match programmes and scarves. In 1970 the club badge was redesigned, but now with a devil in the centre holding a pitch-fork.

1963 also saw the debut of George Best, completing the trio of Charlton, Law and Best that would power Manchester United to the triumphant heights of the 1960s. Law amazed fans in 1963-64 by scoring 46 goals in all competitions. United finished second that season, then won the League in 1964-65 by goal average over Leeds. That season saw United go on a run of 13 wins in 15 games from September-December 1964. The rebuilding was complete: Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes were the only Munich survivors in that team.

That season was significant in other ways too, as England were hosting the 1966 World Cup and Old Trafford was among the stadia to be upgraded at the government's expense. United's players Bobby Charlton and Nobby Stiles played for England in the final, beating West Germany 4–2. United won another league title in 1966-67, going unbeaten in their last 20 games and making sure of top spot by winning 6-1 over West Ham qualifying them for the European Cup the next season and laying the groundwork for the climatic triumph of that era.

The run to the European Cup began easily enough, and the Reds cruised past the Maltese team Hibernians for a 4-0 win on aggregate. A tough, physical series against Sarajevo was next, followed by Górnik Zabrze from Poland. United won 2-1 on aggregate and then came the semi-final - two matches against the mighty Real Madrid. Real played a defensive game in the first leg at Old Trafford, stifling the attacking magic of the Reds. United managed a 1-0 victory, but it was a very small advantage to take into the Bernabéu.

Denis Law was suffering from a knee injury, so Busby decided instead to call up the veteran defender Bill Foulkes. The game started badly for United as Real Madrid ran circles around them, leading 3–1 at half-time, 3–2 on aggregate. United came back strongly after the break and pounded the Real defence to no avail for half an hour until David Sadler levelled the aggregate score. Then Bill Foulkes played the hero as he buried a pass from George Best into the goal. It was the only goal he ever scored in European competition.

United were through to the final and faced Benfica at Wembley. In many ways it was an emotional day, Matt Busby's journey finally coming full circle after the tragically aborted promise of the Busby Babes. It was also a testament to Busby's skill in judging talent, as the club had only paid transfer fees for two of that day's players.

Bobby Charlton opened the scoring for United, then Jaime Graça equalised. Benfica piled on the pressure in the dying minutes and it took a brilliant save from Alex Stepney to deny Eusébio the winning goal. United managed to hold out until extra time, then George Best finally broke free of the stifiling marking of the Benfica defence and scored. Benfica were reeling and Brian Kidd, celebrating his 19th birthday, scored a header. Bobby Charlton finished off Benfica with a high shot for a 4–1 victory and United became the first English team to win the European Cup.

Matt Busby would later be knighted for his accomplishments, as well as being awarded the Freedom of Manchester.

An ugly season that started badly with the infamous World Club Championship matches against the South American champions Estudiantes, which were marked by violence on the pitch. United also disappointed in the league, finishing 11th. The season ended with Busby moving to become General Manager. He had announced his intention to resign as team manager on 14 January 1969, and trainer Wilf McGuinness agreed to take over control of the first team.

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Manchester United (video game series)

Manchester United is a football video game series featured by Manchester United that was highly popular in the early 1990s.

The game Champions World Class Soccer doesn't belong to this series, although there is a picture of Ryan Giggs on the game box.

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MUTV (Manchester United F.C.)

Former MUTV logo

MUTV (Manchester United Television) is an English subscription based television channel, operated by Manchester United F.C. The channel first broadcast on 10 September 1998.

MUTV offers Manchester United fans exclusive interviews with players and staff, full matches, including all Premier League games (broadcast generally at midnight of the day the match was played), live reserve and academy games and "classic" matches plus footballing news and other themed programming. The station also broadcasts all of the team's pre-season friendly matches.

From 2002 to 2004, MUTV programming, including taped matches, aired in the United States on the YES Network.

On 16 November 2007, ITV plc sold its stake in MUTV to Manchester United F.C. Now it is 66.6% owned by Manchester United and 33.3% owned by BSkyB.

Manchester United offers a similar service to its television channel online, allowing users to watch selected match highlights, news and interview clips.

In Australia and the United States programming blocks from MUTV are currently available on Setanta Sports. Dubai Sports also shows selected programmes of MUTV.

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Manchester United F.C. season 1998–99

The FA Cup, Champions League, and Premier League trophies on display

The 1998–99 season was the most successful in the history of Manchester United. United won of the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League, becoming the first English club to achieve the feat of winning the domestic league and cup as well as the European Cup. En route to winning the three trophies, United went undefeated from December 1998 to May 1999, a run of 33 matches in all competitions.

United gained a reputation for winning matches after being behind. Some of their more notable come-backs were the FA Cup Fourth Round tie at home to Liverpool, which Liverpool led from the third to the 85th minute, both legs of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals against Juventus and the FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal, won in the final minutes of extra time by a Ryan Giggs goal. However, the most dramatic comeback came in the final of the Champions League against Bayern Munich, when Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær scored a goal each in stoppage time to give United a 2–1 win.

United lost five times in the entire season; three in the league, one in the Charity Shield and one in the League Cup. They defeated every other Premier League team at least once and were undefeated in the Champions League – Barcelona were the only team that United played in Europe without beating them at least once.

Around this time, United was the world's richest club, with turnover at £110 million.

The previous season Manchester United failed to win a trophy for the second time in the 1990s. The start of the season will also be remembered for the return of David Beckham to competitive action following the 1998 World Cup, where he had attracted enormous criticism following his red card against Argentina, and the threat of a takeover by Rupert Murdoch and British Sky Broadcasting. United signed three new players before the beginning of the 1998–99 season: Dwight Yorke was brought in from Aston Villa, Jaap Stam from PSV Eindhoven became the world's most expensive defender and the Swedish left winger Jesper Blomqvist was signed from Parma. An offer for Ole Gunnar Solskjær from Tottenham Hotspur was accepted, but Solskjær himself made it clear that he did not want to leave United. Eventually the deal was not completed – a decision that United did not come to regret.

The 1998 close season saw the departure of the club's two longest-serving players – Brian McClair and Gary Pallister. McClair had been at United since 1987, and opted for a return to Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League – he had played at Fir Park in the early 1980s. Pallister, meanwhile, agreed to return to Middlesbrough in a £2.5million deal, nine years after he had left them for a £2.3million transfer to Old Trafford. Also on their way out of the club were reserve players Kevin Pilkington, Graeme Tomlinson, David Brown, Michael Appleton and Ben Thornley.

The opening game of the season was the Charity Shield, in which United lost 3–0 to the previous season's double winners Arsenal. The game saw the return of club captain Roy Keane after almost a year out injured, and Jaap Stam making his debut for the club.

Manchester United soon were in the top two positions, competing with Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa. Crucial games for United included a 1–1 draw against Arsenal at Old Trafford and a 2–2 draw at Liverpool.

One of United's most notable matches was at Nottingham Forest, where Ole Gunnar Solskjær came on as a substitute and scored four goals the last 12 minutes of an 8–1 victory, the biggest away victory to date in the Premier League. Some of United's most important results came in games against Leeds United, with the Manchester side winning 3–2 at home and drawing 1–1 away. In contrast, Arsenal's penultimate game of the season was a 1–0 defeat at Leeds which left United with a one-point lead over them, meaning that an identical result to Arsenal's in the final match would guarantee United the League . United would play Tottenham at home at the same time as Arsenal played Aston Villa at Highbury. Spurs took the lead in the first half, but David Beckham scored for United just before half time and Andy Cole's second half goal gave United a 2–1 win and the League Championship. Arsenal had beaten Aston Villa 1–0 but it was not enough for them to overtake United. Manchester United had edged out Arsenal by a single point (79–78) to capture the Premier League with a record number of goals scored (80).

Despite receiving a home draw in each of their first four rounds (3rd – 6th), United were paired against difficult opponents throughout the competition. On their route to the final they defeated five Premier League teams: Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and Newcastle United. The only non-Premier League team that United played in the competition was Fulham, who, at the time, played in the Second Division, the third tier of English football.

In the Third Round of the cup, United were drawn against Middlesbrough, who had recently beaten them in the league. Andy Townsend gave Middlesbrough the lead at half time, but goals from Andy Cole, Denis Irwin and Ryan Giggs gave United a 3–1 victory.

United were drawn at home to rivals Liverpool in the Fourth Round. Liverpool took the lead from a Michael Owen header after three minutes. United created plenty of goalscoring chances and had a shot cleared off the line by their former player Paul Ince but did not equalise until the 86th minute when Dwight Yorke finished off from a David Beckham free-kick. In the second minute of stoppage time, Ole Gunnar Solskjær hit a shot which sent Liverpool's goalkeeper David James the wrong way to give United a 2–1 win.

Andy Cole scored the only goal as United knocked out Fulham in the Fifth Round. United then played Chelsea in the Sixth Round at Old Trafford. Although there were no goals, Paul Scholes and Roberto Di Matteo were both sent off and missed the replay at Chelsea's ground, Stamford Bridge. In the replay, Dwight Yorke, who had scored both goals in United's 2–0 win over Internazionale a week earlier, repeated the feat, scoring both of United's goals in another 2–0 win.

United also played Arsenal in the semi-final replay at Villa Park. Although the semi-final finished with no goals and a debatably disallowed Roy Keane goal (Keane was given offside after Ryan Giggs had knocked the ball past a defender, run on to collect the ball himself and then pulled it back into the area), the teams could not be separated after 120 minutes and the game had to be replayed three days later.

The replay included a goal by Ryan Giggs, a disallowed goal, a red card, and a penalty. The game's first goal was scored by David Beckham, a long range effort from outside the penalty area. After chances for both teams, Dennis Bergkamp drew Arsenal level with a shot that deflected off United's centre back Jaap Stam. Arsenal then thought they had taken the lead when Nicolas Anelka put the ball in the back of United's net. Just as in the first game though, the goal was ruled out for offside, albeit correctly this time. United's captain Roy Keane was red-carded for two bookable offences and United played the last thirty minutes of normal time with ten men. In injury time at the end of the second half, Phil Neville fouled Ray Parlour in the penalty area and Arsenal were awarded a penalty. Peter Schmeichel parried away Dennis Bergkamp's resultant spot kick and the game went into extra time.

Part way through the second half of extra time, Ryan Giggs scored. He picked up possession on the halfway line after a loose pass from Patrick Vieira. Giggs ran away from the halfway line, dribbling past the whole Arsenal back line, before scoring a left-footed strike just under David Seaman's bar and beyond him. Giggs ran celebrating towards the United fans and Man United held on to beat the Gunners 2–1 after extra time. The goal proved to be the last ever scored in FA Cup semi-final replays, which were abolished the following season.

United met Newcastle United in the FA Cup final at Wembley Stadium, the penultimate FA Cup final to be held there before it was closed for rebuilding. Newcastle had lost the 1998 FA Cup final 2–0 to Arsenal.

As in the previous four seasons, United rested many of their first-team players in the League Cup, instead using the competition to provide first team experience to the club's younger players and reserves. In the third round of the competition United required extra-time to defeat Bury, eventually winning 2–0 with goals from Erik Nevland and Ole Gunnar Solskjær. In the fourth round, two more goals from Solskjær gave United a 2–1 victory over Nottingham Forest, earning them a place in the quarter-finals for the first time since they reached the final in 1994. However United were beaten in the quarter-finals by eventual winners Tottenham Hotspur; two goals from Chris Armstrong and one from David Ginola gave Spurs a 3–1 victory, with ex-Spurs striker Teddy Sheringham scoring the consolation for United on his return to White Hart Lane.

United began their UEFA Champions League campaign against ŁKS Łódź in the qualifying round. Goals from Ryan Giggs and Andy Cole in the home leg gave them a 2–0 win, and a goalless second leg ensured their qualification for the group stage. This gave Łódź the distinction of being the only side to keep a clean sheet against the eventual champions (as well as being the only opponents not to score at all against United).

In the group stage, United were drawn together with Barcelona, German champions Bayern Munich and Danish side Brøndby.

Both games against Barcelona ended 3–3. At Old Trafford, Beckham scored a free-kick while the visitors had to rely on Luis Enrique and Giovanni penalties to earn them a point. In the return game at Camp Nou, Man United achieved another 3–3 draw.

United were denied victory by Bayern Munich twice home and away. In Munich, the home side equalised with two minutes to go with United leading 2–1, after Schmeichel failed to hold a throw-in, which was tapped in from a few yards out. In the return leg, Bayern came back from behind again when Roy Keane's goal was cancelled out by Hasan Salihamidžić.

United inflicted two heavy defeats on Brondby, beating them 6–2 in Copenhagen and 5–0 at Old Trafford.

Results in other groups meant that the second place finish was enough for United to progress to the quarter-finals. Bayern Munich finished top of the group and went through to the quarter-final stage as well.

In the knockout stage, United played two Italian sides in the quarter- and semi-finals; Internazionale and Juventus respectively. Prior to 1999, United had never won on an Italian pitch.

In the quarter-final, David Beckham was playing against Diego Simeone for the first time since the 1998 World Cup. In the first leg at Old Trafford, United beat Inter 2–0 with two almost identical goals from Yorke, both from crosses by Beckham, while Simeone's second half goal was disallowed for pushing. In the San Siro, Paul Scholes scored a late, away goal to level the game at 1–1. United advanced 3–1 on aggregate but still hadn't won in Italy.

Juve's captain Antonio Conte met Zinedine Zidane's pass to give Juventus an away goal in the semi-final first leg. United, as they did so many times in the season, scored in the 91st minute to equalise through Ryan Giggs who converted a Beckham cross, after a Teddy Sheringham goal a few minutes earlier had been disallowed. United were happy to take a draw but to qualify for the final, they would either have to win in Italy, or get a score-draw of 2–2 or greater.

At the Stadio delle Alpi, Filippo Inzaghi scored twice in the first 11 minutes to give Juve a 3–1 aggregate lead. However Roy Keane headed a Beckham corner into the net. Sir Alex Ferguson wrote in his autobiography about Keane's Turin performance: "I felt it was an honour to be associated with such a player".

Dwight Yorke scored a header just before half time to level the match and the overall tie at 2–2 and 3–3 respectively. Denis Irwin had struck the post twice before Yorke's equaliser but United now had a result that would send them through to the final.

In the second half, Andy Cole put United ahead for the first time in the match and the tie, although Yorke was brought down by the Juve keeper in the area as he rounded him off, the referee played the advantage and Cole tapped in from an acute angle. United held on for their first victory in Italy and booked their place in the Camp Nou for the final against Bayern Munich.

United were without their first-choice central midfielders, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, as both had received yellow cards in the previous match against Juventus and were suspended for the final, so Ferguson reorganised the team. Jesper Blomqvist and Nicky Butt replaced Keane and Scholes, with David Beckham moving from right-wing to centre-midfield and Ryan Giggs moving from the left to the right wing. United lined up in their normal 4-4-2 formation.

Bayern Munich opened the scoring, Mario Basler scoring a free-kick after six minutes. Bayern then had the chance to extend their lead with Mehmet Scholl hitting the post and Carsten Jancker the crossbar, and forcing Peter Schmeichel to make numerous saves.

Needing a goal, Alex Ferguson substituted in Solskjær and Sheringham. As the game went to injury time, referee Pierluigi Collina indicated that three minutes would be played.

In one of the last attacks of the game, United gained a corner, which Beckham took. Keeper Schmeichel went up front for it. After the ball had been partially cleared, it was played back in to the feet of Ryan Giggs who sent a low volley into the path of Sheringham, who sent his scuffed shot low inside the post. A sense of relief and jubilation flooded the players and fans, and extra-time was now looking inevitable.

Almost immediately after the equaliser, United won another corner, again taken by Beckham. He landed the ball on the head of Sheringham who nodded it to Solskjær who toe-poked it into the roof of the net. Oliver Kahn, the German goalkeeper was motionless on the line. United had completed the come-back. The Bayern team barely managed to restart the game, which referee Collina brought to a close just a few seconds later.

During the celebrations United captain on the night – Peter Schmeichel – and manager Alex Ferguson both lifted the trophy together to the crowd. Normally, the captain alone lifts the trophy for the first time. Despite being suspended for the final, both Roy Keane and Paul Scholes received winners’ medals on the rostrum. Keane claims that to date he has not looked at the medal, feeling that his absence from the final had tainted the accomplishment to the extent that he didn't earn the medal. Substituted Bayern legend Lothar Matthäus removed his runner-up medal as soon as he received it and later asserted that United were "lucky" to win the final.

Manchester United became the first English team to win the European Cup/Champions League since Liverpool won the European Cup in 1984, defeating Roma on penalties.

The date of the final would have been Sir Matt Busby's 90th birthday, the only Manager before Sir Alex Ferguson who has won the Champions League with Manchester United.

3 was a common number in relation to United throughout the season as a whole.

United paraded the Premier League, FA Cup and UEFA Champions League trophies through the city of Manchester on an open-topped bus. A crowd of over 500,000 people lined the streets to cheer them on. That summer, David Beckham finished second in the European Footballer of the Year award and United's manager Alex Ferguson was knighted.

During the 1999–2000 season, United, as champions of Europe, were invited to play in the Intercontinental Cup against Brazilian side, Palmeiras – a game won 1–0 thanks to a Roy Keane goal. In a controversial move, United – under pressure from the FA, UEFA and the British Government (all for different reasons) – withdrew from the 1999–2000 FA Cup, the first time that the holders had failed to defend their trophy. Instead, they played in the inaugural Club World Championship, this time a group competition, including teams like Real Madrid, amongst others. However, United struggled in the tournament, failing to reach the latter stages of the competition.

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Source : Wikipedia