Ryan Giggs: Man Utd v Arsenal 1999

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Words from Mark Lomas.

While Solskjaer’s injury-time winner against Bayern Munich was the exclamation point on Manchester United’s 1999 Treble-winning season, it was another goal that was arguably the campaign’s defining moment. We couldn’t get tickets to the FA Cup semi-final at Villa Park so my dad and I had to make do with sitting on our sofa, glued to the TV. It was an absorbing match that had everything: Beckham’s amazing long-distance strike, Keane’s red card, and Schmeichel’s incredible last-minute penalty save from Bergkamp.

The match was locked at 1-1 and time was running out in extra-time. I’ll never forget the moment when, as the game ebbed and flowed, my dad uttered the immortal words, “It’s going to take something special from Giggs here.” He wasn’t wrong.

Just a couple of minutes later, Giggs intercepted a misplaced pass from Vieira (a pass that is forever enshrined in song for United fans) and set off galloping into the Arsenal half. What followed was a devastating display dribbling that was the very essence of Giggs as a player. He turned Arsenal’s defence inside out with almost balletic poise, leaving one of the best backlines in English football history in tatters, before crashing a thunderous left-foot shot into the roof of David Seaman’s net. In a state of unbridled ecstasy Giggs ripped his shirt off in celebration; United’s hairy-chested hero had done it.

Mark Lomas is a Dubai-based editor & journalist. Follow him on Twitter here: @marklomasSport

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