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EDITIONS
Uniteds treble triumph Friday, 28 May, 1999, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
United's road to Wembley
Ryan Giggs: Goal of the season?
Manchester United had already torn up the record books even before they stole the European Cup from Bayern Munich at the last gasp.

Saturday's 2-0 defeat of Newcastle at Wembley saw Alex Ferguson's side take the FA Cup back to Old Trafford for a record 10th time.

The FA Cup victory also saw the side pull off the League and Cup double for the third time in the 1990s.

It is staggering to think that winning the FA Cup has been the least of United's achievements this season - especially bearing in mind the obstacles they overcame on the road to Wembley.

During their cup run Ferguson's team only faced non-Premiership opposition once and played two tough replays.

United's treble triumph
Middlesbrough, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, and Newcastle were all despatched - if not always with clinical efficiency, then with tremendous persistence and a team spirit that saw the Red Devils triumph after conceding early goals on several occasions.

Michael Owen puts Liverpool in front
In a typically dramatic match in the early stages of Manchester's assault on the twin towers, arch rivals Liverpool were unceremoniously kicked out of the competition in a match that bore more than a passing resemblance to Wednesday's European cup final.

Despite playing on home ground, Ferguson's men conceded a goal in the sixth minute as Liverpool's fleet footed boy wonder Michael Owen caught United's defence napping.

His headed goal looked to be taking Liverpool to their first FA Cup victory over United since the 1920s - but with two minutes to go Manchester turned the game on its head as Dwight Yorke and substitute Ole Gunnar Solskjaer put Liverpool to the sword.

Kevin Keagan's ambitious Fulham side were the next team to book a trip to Old Trafford.

A fifth round upset was always on the cards during a hard fought match as giant killers Fulham refused to lie down and United were denied time and time again by the bravery and skill of Fulham keeper Maik Taylor.

But in the end a first half goal from Andy Cole was enough to see an occasionally nervy United side through to the next round.

The first clash between fellow Premiership contenders Chelsea ended in a dour nil-nil draw but the return match at Stamford Bridge was a model of flowing football.

Chelsea forged a hatful of chances with both Zola and Marcel Desailly coming close.

But where the Londoners drew a blank United's deadly Dwight Yorke sent the foreign legion crashing out of the cup.

But Manchester's toughest test was yet to come.

Having beaten Chelsea, Ferguson's men now faced reigning champions and FA Cup holders, Arsenal.

As with Chelsea the first game ended in stalemate but the re-match at Highbury was to prove one of the highlights of the English season.

This classic cup-tie featured missed penalties, red cards and one of the most memorable goals in recent football history.

United were down to 10 men, midfielder Roy Keane having been sent off, when Ryan Giggs injury time winner added to David Beckham's brilliant goal to take the score to 2-1.

Gigg's awesome goal saw him take on four Arsenal defenders before cracking the ball past England keeper David Seaman.

With breathtaking understatement the Welsh winger said later: "I just set off."

Paul Scholes makes it two
Facing an average-looking Newcastle side in the final meant Manchester would always be favourites, and so it proved on the day.

Ruud Gullit's side started brightly but their defensive frailties were soon exposed by super-sub Teddy Sheringham who chose Wembley as the venue for his 250th club goal.

Paul Scholes sewed the game up in the second half, with the stickiest moment coming when Newcastle's wonderfully unpredictable striker Temuri Ketsbaia hit the post.

The season may have ended for the rest of England but with their sights fixed firmly on Europe, for Manchester winning the FA Cup was simply a case of two down one to go.

See also:

23 May 99 | FA Cup
27 May 99 | FA Cup
Links to more Uniteds treble triumph stories are at the foot of the page.


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