Given Manchester United’s rich history, there are a lot of great moments which will go down long in the memory of football fans all around the world but arguably the Red Devils’ greatest achievement has to be their brilliant 1998/1999 treble triumph.
The legendary Sir Alex Ferguson is a born winner and the trophy less 1997/98 season would have certainly hurt the Scotsman’s pride. Therefore, Ferguson was intent on making amends during the following campaign and he assembled a formidable squad to do so.
The fabled class of ’92 consisting of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Nicky Butt and Phil Neville – along with established stars such as Roy Keane, Andy Cole, Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer formed a strong squad and to add to the strength in depth, a lot of cash was splashed to bring in the likes of Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke and Jesper Blomqvist.
Despite the ridiculously talented group of players, United did not get off to the best of starts and had to wait till mid September to claim their first victory of the season. Then to make matters worse, the Red Devils succumbed to a disappointing 3-0 defeat at the hands of title rivals Arsenal early on.
While United struggled domestically, they were decent in the Champions League after claiming thrilling draws against the likes of Barcelona and Bayern Munich before thumping past Brondby.
Building on from their good performances in Europe, United were able to translate such form into the league and keep themselves afloat at the top of the table alongside the likes of Aston Villa, Chelsea and Arsenal.
A terrible run of only one win in eight matches during the month of December looked like United’s season was put in jeopardy but it was after their blues in the winter that the Red Devils embarked on a sensational 33 match unbeaten run to conquer all before them.
United raced to the top of the Premier League table by February and were still going strong in the FA Cup as well as the Champions League. Then as the business end of the season approached, there were murmurs that the Red Devils could even achieve the impossible by claiming the treble – with football betting experts and pundits all excited at such a prospect.
However, it was going to be anything but straightforward for United as they were being pursued by Arsenal in the table as well as in the FA Cup while the mighty Juventus laid in wait in the Champions League.
Great teams prove their worth during the big occasions and it was exactly what United did by defeating Arsenal in the FA Cup semi final extra time through a wonder goal by Ryan Giggs, while launched a wonderful comeback victory against Juventus to seal their place in the final of the competition against Bayern Munich.
Despite their wonderful feat throughout the season though, it all came down to the final three games which would decide whether the campaign would end in a dream or tragedy for United.
First of all was a must win Premier League clash against Tottenham Hotspur to decide the fate of the title and in typical United fashion, they went behind early on. Nonetheless, goals from David Beckham and Andy Cole saw the Red Devils claim the victory and in turn, the title.
The FA Cup final against Newcastle United was more of a straightforward victory as Teddy Sheringham and Paul Scholes guided United to a 2-0 result.
However, the same could not be said regarding the Champions League final against Bayern Munich where United came back from the jaws of defeat to claim a victory.
Having been dominated throughout the match, it looked like Bayern would crush United’s treble dream but the Red Devils managed to claim the most sensational comeback victory ever as goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in injury time helped them to a wonderful triumph and an improbable treble.