Can you believe that it’s nearly a month since the last Premier League game? No, neither can we.
But as football takes an enforced break due to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s given fans a chance to re-live those games that can never be forgotten. Whether it’s a late comeback against a title contender, or thrashing a rival team – there are some games that need to be watched on repeat.
Manchester United fans have been treated to so many memorable games over the years. The Red Devils have given them so many thrilling experiences, from those amazing European nights, to a last-gasp win against their Premier League rivals.
With that being said, here are nine games that are a must for United fans to search on YouTube and watch again, starting with that unforgettable Champions League final…
Man Utd 2-1 Bayern Munich (1999)
The greatest Champions League final ever? To Man Utd fans, it felt like it was.
It could have been easy to fear the worst for the Red Devils when Mario Basler’s free kick swerved past Peter Schmeichel in the sixth minute. With no Roy Keane or Paul Scholes, the United midfield was lacking inspiration against a well-organised ?Bayern defence.
Hoping for the best, manager Sir Alex Ferguson brought on both Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjær to turn the game around. And what changes they were, with the Englishman equalising first with a right-foot volley as the game went into added time. It set the stage for a glorious finish, where the Norwegian got his boot on the end of his fellow substitute’s header to complete the three minute comeback.
Was this the finest European final? Not really, but United supporters will tell you that the result is all that matters.
Man Utd 7-1 Roma (2007)
This game wasn’t a thriller by any means, but a display of supreme dominance from the Red Devils.
Needing to overturn a 2-1 deficit from the first leg, United knew a quick start would be key to winning the quarter-final tie. And sure enough, they swung the game in the space of eight minutes, with Michael Carrick, Alan Smith (remember him?) and Wayne Rooney all scoring.
Cristiano Ronaldo made it four just before half time and then added a second after the break before Carrick scored once again. Despite Daniele De Rossi’s consolation finish, Patrice Evra made it seven for the Red Devils with his low finish.
This was the mid-2000s Ferguson-managed team at its very best, battering the Italians from start to finish.
Man Utd 4-3 Man City (2009)
Ahh, the feeling of beating your city rivals on a last-minute winner never gets old.
The Citizens’ summer business added fuel to the tensions between the Manchester rivals, with the controversial signing of Carlos Tevez from United. The infamous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard didn’t help either.
And the first derby of the season didn’t disappoint the neutrals. In a classic back-and-forth affair, Rooney’s early goal was cancelled out by Gareth Barry in the early stages. Darren Fletcher and Craig Bellamy scored a brace each, with the Welshman’s second coming in the 90th minute.
Up stepped substitute Michael Owen, who scored from Ryan Giggs’ third assist of the game, to send Old Trafford into ecstasy and City manager Mark Hughes into a furious rage where he complained about the refereeing post-game – again.
The game was deemed so good, it was voted the best match of the first 20 years of the Premier League. All the more reason to check it out, especially as a United fan.
Man Utd 3-2 Aston Villa (2009)
Remember Federico Macheda? Well, go back and watch this game if you don’t.
This was a match United needed to win, given that Liverpool had re-taken the top spot of the league table with their win the day before.
And they got off to a great start, with Ronaldo’s free kick rocketing past Brad Friedel. Yet this was a very good ?Villa side under Martin O’Neill, and the visitors went 2-1 up through goals from John Carew and Gabriel Agbonlahor.
?Ronaldo equalised with a right-footed drive into the bottom corner and, with seconds to go, young Italian substitute Macheda broke Liverpool fans’ hearts with a curling finish to ensure United would go back on top of the league – a position they ultimately never relinquished for the rest of the campaign.
Now at Greek club Panathinaikos, it was this goal that United fans will remember Macheda for the most.
Man Utd 3-2 Liverpool (2010)
While Dimitar Berbatov wasn’t always prolific for the Red Devils, this was the game United fans will remember him most for.
Having nodded in a corner to put the hosts in front, it’s his second goal that was simply astounding. What looked like a wayward Nani cross turned into the perfect assist, as the Bulgarian launched himself into a brilliant bicycle kick with the ball swept past the despairing dive of Pepe Reina.
Steven Gerrard then threatened to end Old Trafford’s celebrations, as he quickly scored a penalty, before putting a free kick past Edwin van de Sar to equalise for the Merseysiders. Yet the former Tottenham striker had other plans, and sealed his hat-trick with another header in the 84th minute to ensure the victory over United’s rivals.
A game that underlined the sheer brilliance of a forward who often gets forgotten amongst United’s top strikers of the modern era.
Man Utd 8-2 Arsenal (2011)
A game where the duo of Tom Cleverley and Anderson overran Arsenal’s midfield? No wonder Arsène Wenger cut a frustrated figure at the final whistle.
Yes, United were helped out by Arsenal’s shocking defending that day. But they were clinical and ruthless in front of goal, capitalising on every error made by a Gunner that day.
?Rooney netted a hat-trick, Ashley Young scored a brace, and the trio of Nani, Park Ji-Sung and Danny Welbeck also got onto the scoresheet for the Red Devils, who looked so far above their counterparts. The visitors were fortunate to have Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie score for them that day – but those consolation strikes meant little in a game that thoroughly belonged to United.
Even David de Gea had something to do – saving Van Persie’s penalty to add further misery for the Dutchman. No wonder he chose to go to Old Trafford not too long after…
Paris Saint-Germain 1-3 Man Utd (2019)
A game few pundits gave United much of a chance to win. And yet, they delivered against the odds. Oh, and also against a PSG team who bottled another European tie.
Having lost the first leg at Old Trafford 2-0, it meant the Red Devils needed at least three away goals to go through. It seemed like an impossible mission.
Except, it only took them two minutes to score at the Parc des Princes. Romelu Lukaku capitalised on a poor pass from Thilo Kehrer and slotted in for the away side’s first. Despite Juan Bernat’s equaliser, veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon spilled a long-range Marcus Rashford effort into the path of ?Lukaku, who fired in a second goal.
With time running out, United fans hoped for another European miracle. And it soon came, in the unlikely form of Diego Dalot’s speculative strike, which struck the arm of Presnel Kimpembe. After a long wait, the penalty was given, and ?Rashford coolly slotted the ball past Buffon to complete the comeback and secure their progression to the quarter-finals at the Parisians’ expense.
A recent European night to crow about? United fans, here’s the game for you.