Written by El-Khoury
On April 14, 1999, Ryan Giggs scored perhaps one of the most beautiful and decisive goals of his career. It was a unique solo unique effort with Giggs passing the whole of Arsenal defence and scoring in the semi-final of the FA Cup, keeping alive the treble dream for United. It was a goal that would be costly to the opposing coach, Arsene Wenger, which he will always remember.
Ryan Giggs himself had said several years later that a few days before that terrible game against Arsenal, Sir Alex Ferguson had called him to his office to ask if anything was bothering him, as he hadn’t played the way he wanted in the last few games. He stated that he wanted the good old Ryan Giggs back. The guy who did amazing sprint dribbles, who didn’t constantly give the ball away, and who relied more on his instinct.
So, in that magical changing phase that came a few days later, Giggs just followed his instinct and ran! Arsenal fans have said from time to time that this goal was the best they have ever seen. And when the opponent admits this kind of phenomenon, then nothing else is needed to be said.
The magical second leg of the FA Cup
In the second leg on April 14, 1999, for the semi-finals of the FA Cup, with the match taking place at the “Villa Park” in Birmingham, it took more than 90 minutes of the match to find the team that would continue in the grand final after 1-1 at the end of the game scored by David Beckham of the United team and Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal. Of course, let’s not forget the significant penalty kick save, showing to be decisive, by Peter Schmeichel on the 90th minute against Bergkamp!
On the 109th minute, however, Ryan Giggs had a tremendous feeling deep inside, carrying all of United on his back, began his run from the centre of the field, made a rally that no one could stop from the Arsenal defence and fired a lightning-shot into the back of the net. This striking shot was one of the most magical goals ever scored in the history of football and especially in the oldest football institution.
“That goal was being judged all season by the United team indicating the reason of claiming the treble. It was a traumatic experience for us at Arsenal. I can still hear their voices in my head after their victory. They didn’t believe it because they were playing with 10. I think that this wave of euphoria and belief that this goal provided them, endured and assisted them to get the title afterwards”, Arsene Wenger had stated after years.
Of course, Alex Ferguson’s “red devils” won the treble in 1999 consisting of the championship, cup and champions League in Barcelona’s epic final against Bayern Munich!