Old Trafford Celebrates 100th Anniversary

Posted: February 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

On the 19th February 1910, Old Trafford opened its gates for the very first time. Since then, the historic old ground has witnessed everything, from jubilant successes to sorrowful tragedies. The mercurially great in Sir Alex Ferguson and Bobby Charlton to the astoundingly bad in Garry Birtles and Eric Djema-Djemba. Moments of unfathomable skill and technique such as Eric Cantona’s effort against Sunderland in 1996 to the controversial, see Pedro Mendes’ 2005 effort ‘saved’ by Roy Carroll. 

It has seen some of the very best the beautiful game has to offer. Here are my top 5 most memorable matches at Old Trafford. 

Manchester United 2-1 Tottenham (1999) 

The first of three steps to secure the elusive treble. This match had the delicious side note of Spurs having the chance to virtually hand the title to their hated rivals, Arsenal, but thankfully for United fans, and perhaps Spurs fans too, it never happened. Les Ferdinand put the north Londoners ahead early in the second half, leaving United fans with the hideous thought that this may of just been that one game too far. David Beckham crowned an excellent season where he defied his critics who had called for his head after his shameful sending off at France 98 the previous summer, by curling in an exquisite shot to level the game, before Andy Cole wrapped things off with a splendid chip over Ian Walker, after majestically plucking the ball out of air. The first stage of the greatest ever season was completed. 

Manchester United 7-1 Roma (2007) 

Ronaldo & Smith

Ronaldo & Smith celebrate on a glorious night

 Who saw this coming? United were favourites to advance to the semi finals of the Champions League, despite suffering defeat in the first leg of the tie in Rome, but the exhibition of scintillating attacking football Ferguson’s men produced on this glorious night surpassed everyone’s expectations. To pick one stand out performer in this game is nearly impossible, a master-class in midfield by Michael Carrick and Paul Scholes, outrageous skill and execution from Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Ryan Giggs and a makeshift back four of Wes Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Gabriel Heinze and John O’Shea displaying audacious freedom and confidence in their duties was all too much for a shell-shocked Roma who were well and truly bent over the table.

Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday (1993) 

Nearing the end of the very first Premier League season, United had the chance to claim their first league title since 1967. A string of poor performances leading up to the game was exacerbated when Wednesday went ahead after an hour. Only for the most dramatic of conclusions the famous old ground has become renowned for did United turn things around, an 86th minute equaliser from Steve Bruce followed by his second after an astonishing 6 minutes of extra time. The scenes of Alex Ferguson running to the touchline with then assistant manager Brian Kidd going one further and leaping onto the pitch with all the enthusiasm of a 8-year-old on an ecstasy binge will ensure that the game will live long in the memories of United fans. The victory put United on course to secure the first Premier League title. They haven’t looked back since. 

Manchester United 4-3 Man City (2009) 

After City’s financial assault of the transfer market, the Manchester Derby was looking more compellingly competitive than ever. It didn’t disappoint. A game that featured huge names, superb goals, school boy defending you would struggle to find at the park on Sunday mornings and more emotional turmoil than a Hollywood marriage was always going to have an eventful conclusion. After a thrilling end to end game, Craig Bellamy seemingly secured a point for City after capitalising on a horrific error from Rio Ferdinand with 10 minutes to go. But deep into injury time, former Liverpool love child Michael Owen was picked out by Ryan Giggs who slotted home a winner, blowing the roof off Old Trafford in the process. The former villain had completed his fairytale introduction and finally put an end to an exhilarating advertisement for the Premier League. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Solskjaer's winner

Manchester United 2-1 Liverpool (1999) 

When you think of Manchester United and 1999, the romanticism of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last minute winner to defeat Bayern Munich in the Champions League and secure the treble rushes to mind. But without this FA Cup 4th round victory, the treble would of remained as elusive as it has always been. Michael Owen sent Liverpool ahead after just three minutes, followed by 85 minutes of pure frustration for United. Not until the 88th minute did United break through, when Andy Cole combined brilliantly with Dwight Yorke to slide in and equalise. Surely, a replay was now on the cards? Not for United. Minutes later the baby-faced assassin Solskjaer found just enough space in a packed penalty box to slam home a winner. Old Trafford was euphoric.

  1. Manchester United. The best team in England and Europe, just clinched the Carling Cup and definitely more to follow.

    Also, the Champions League match when Manchester United defeated Real Madrid 4-3 should of been here.

  2. tonymogan says:

    Yeah, leaving out the Real game was hard, could of put that in for the Spurs game or maybe even the Sheffield Wednesday game. Was unbelievable at times, Ronaldo’s hat-trick and then getting applauded of the pitch, Beckham’s goals, all the biggest names were out, even Collina reffing it!

    Going out was hard though, took the shine off the game, especially as it meant we missed the chance to play in the final on our own turf.

    Also considered United 6-2 Fenerbache, when Rooney got the hat-trick on his debut, and beating Arse 6-1 back in 2001.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s