There wasn’t much to gladden the heart of Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford last night. A missed penalty by a man who he believed shouldn’t have been anywhere near the ball, a scrappy performance which could have conceivably ended in defeat and some errant finishing that made the game closer than it ought to be.
A 1-0 win over Galatasaray in the Champions League it might have been, but there wasn’t too much to cheer for the gnarled Scot.
Except there was reason to celebrate. Last night marked Ferguson’s 100th Champions League win, yet another milestone or a man who has been collecting prizes and landmarks at will over the last 26 years.
So in order to celebrate this feat so rare no other coach has done it, GMF has cobbled together Manchester United’s finest ever moments on the continent – if there’s any games you feel deserve a mention leave your comment below!
V Bayern Munich, 1999
The game of which the final few minutes are etched on to every Manchester United fan’s brain, the Champions League final in 1999 is undoubtedly Sir Alex Ferguson’s crowning moment in Europe.
You know the story by now. 1-0 down in the dying minutes of the game at the Nou Camp, Teddy Sheringham bought the sides level with a scrappy goal in the 90th minute before Ole Gunnar Solskjær ensured his place in Manchester history by firing home with 92 minutes gone. Pure euphoria.
V Fenerbache, 2004
One of those nights where everything seemed to tick for one man in particular, Wayne Rooney announced himself to the Manchester United faithful as a man worthy of his hefty transfer fee with a hat-trick on debut against Turkish outfit Fenerbahce.
Rooney became the youngest player in the Champions League to score a hat-trick at 18 years 335 days, and laid on an assist to boot as United romped to a 6-2 win. An icon at Old Trafford was born.
V Juventus, 1999
The game that set up that fateful night in Barcelona was not exactly short on drama either. How different it could all have been had United not fought back from going 2-0 down inside 11 minutes to claim a staggering 3-2 win.
Having drawn the first leg at Old Trafford, Filippo Inzaghi put the Turin-based outfit in the driving seat with two quick strikes, only for Roy Keane to slam home United’s first on 24 minutes before Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole struck to put the Red Devils through to the final 4-3 on aggregate.
V Arsenal, 2009
Ten years after Ferguson had first guided his side to the Champions League final he was at it again, befuddling Arsenal in their 2009 semi-fina with a counter-attacking style so dangerous they were 2-0 up in the second leg with just 11 minutes gone.
Carrying over a 1-0 advantage from the first leg United were in devastating form as Park and Ronaldo struck early, before the Portuguese winger rounded off victory with a sublime finish after a breath-taking counter. Robin Van Persie scored a penalty late on but by then it was too late, United were on their way to Rome.
V Chelsea, 2008
The trophy Ferguson wanted to win again so badly was his in 2008 as United triumphed over Chelsea in Moscow four years ago.
The game itself was hardly a classic as Ronaldo’s 26th minute goal was cancelled out by Frank Lampard soon after, and with no further goals it came down to the lottery of a penalty shoot-out.
Ronaldo missed his penalty but soon after John Terry slipped and missed with his effort. The shoot-out went to sudden death, with Ryan Giggs scoring from the spot. Nicolas Anelka missed and the trophy belonged to United again.