Friday, 4 December 2015

1999 Vs 2008 which was more dramatic?

1999 vs 2008 which one was more dramatic.
The look on Osei Kuffour tells it all

When you talk about the 1999 champions league final the first thing that come into my mind is Ole Gunnar Solskjær directing Teddy Sheringham downwards header into the roof of the net.

In 2008 I see John Terry slipping at the most important time in his life to hand the Champions League to Manchester United.

All these moments were dramatic. Nobody expected Manchester United to make a comeback after being outplayed for most of the game by Bayern Munich in 1999. Mark you it was in the last three minutes of injury time.

The 1999 squad were missing the qualities of their most influential players due to suspension. Roy Keane who had single handedly guided Manchester United to the final against Juventus was suspended and in came Jesper Blomqvist. Paul Scholes also missed the final.

An early goal by Mario Basler,  remember him.. which surprises me he didn't play for so long for Bayern Munich.  The free kick was struck with expertise, just bending it over the wall leaving the great Peter Schmeichel rooted on the spot.

Mehmet Scholl and Stefan Effenberg orchestrated things in midfield leaving the lightweight midfield of Manchester United chasing shadows. Carsten Jancker was a big striker and the defence of Ronny Johnsen and Jaap Stam had a lot to do.

But the 1999 squad was made of steel or they must have been former insurance agents because they never gave up. You would have been foolish to think the game is over with five minutes to go.

And that's what Bayern did. Substituting Lothar Matthaus was a mistake. As Sheringham equalized you could have felt Matthaus thoughts.
Solskjær goal and Matheus felt like he could cry. This was the only major trophy he had never won in his already glittering career and this was the second time he was losing in a final of the prestigious European cup late in the game.

Samuel Osei Kuffour summarized it all,  the frustrations of being too near but yet too far. Had he been watching keenly Solskjær would not have scored that goal.

While Bayern Munich fans were mourning, Manchester United fans were in cloud nine. What had appeared lost was now in the their hands. You cannot fight with destiny, this was written in the stars and had come to pass.

That feeling 

Ronaldo was the man behind Manchester United run to the final in Moscow although in the semi-final Paul Scholes ran the show.
Ronaldo had missed a glorious opportunity to give Manchester United an advantage in the first leg semi-final by missing a penalty against Frank Rijkaard Barcelona. This left the tie delicately posed for the return leg at Old Trafford.
Paul Scholes thunderous strike settled the tie.
An all English final tie, the first one in the Champions League final awaited them in Moscow.
Chelsea their opponents had had a difficult season, firing Jose Mourinho early in the season and replacing him with the not so popular Avram Grant.
But Grant had then done a wonderful job,  steadying the ship and even guiding them to their first ever Champions League final.
The question was would they be able to beat the much fancied Manchester United.
It is the same United that had humbled them 3-0 a week after Mourinho had been fired.