Best Man Utd European wins, from beating Bayern Munich in the last minute to George Best's demolition of Benfica
28th May 2021

WILL victory in Gdansk in the Europa League final provide another magical European night for Manchester United?

Over the years, the Red Devils have enjoyed themselves on the continent – and have a decorated history because of it.

The Red Devils have won the European Cup/Champions League three times, as well as the Europa League, European Cup Winners' Cup, Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup – notching some famous victories along the way.

So if you're feeling nervous ahead of tonight's final United fans, you need not worry.

Let SunSport take you down memory lane for Manchester United's greatest European victories to boost morale ahead of a match against Villarreal.

MAN UTD 2-1 BAYERN MUNICH, 1999

They came into the game as underdogs, severely hindered by the absence of midfield hardman Roy Keane and Paul Scholes, who were suspended.

And for large periods of the game they were outplayed, and in truth were lucky to be only 1-0 down going into the final moments of the 1999 Champions League final.

The Germans appeared victorious, substituting legend Lothar Matthaus, who received a hero's welcome as he was clapped off the pitch in the last minute.

But as the game went into injury time, a scramble in the box was only half-cleared. Ryan Giggs mishit a shot outside the box that fell to Teddy Sheringham, who scuffed the ball home.

Then, just seconds later and with United sniffing blood, they won a corner which was whipped in by Beckham, headed down by Sheringham for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to stick out a foot and knock the ball into the roof of the net.


MAN UTD 2-1 BARCELONA, 1991

Being underdogs in European finals has always suited United.

In 1999, they faced Johan Cruyff's Barcelona – featuring Ronald Koeman, Michael Laudrup and Julio Salinas in their star-studded line-up in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup final.

However, that all-star Barça side didn't scare United one bit.

After a drab first half, United took the lead in the second after a Steve Bruce header was tapped over the line by Mark Hughes.

The Welshman spectacularly added his second of the night with 16 minutes to go, rounding goalie Carles Busquets and finishing from a tight angle from outside the box with a ferocious shot.

A late free kick from Koeman failed to stir a comeback, and it was United's night to celebrate.


PSG 1-3 MAN UTD, 2019

When United lost the first leg of their last 16 tie in the Champions League to the French champions in 2019 2-0, few gave them a prayer to comeback.

History was against them, no team had EVER lost a tie 2-0 at home and won an away leg to go through to the next round of the competition.

However, two first half goals from Romelu Lukaku put United in dreamland.

Then, a controversial VAR decision for handball gave Marcus Rashford the opportunity to score from the penalty spot, which he did with aplomb.

It's still, probably, United's best performance under boss Solskjaer.

JUVENTUS 2-3 MAN UTD, 1999

United don't do things the easy way.

On their way to winning the 1999 Champions League, they faced off against Italian giants Juventus in the semi final, who boasted Zinedine Zidane and "That lad must have been born offside" Filippo Inzaghi.

After scraping a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford, United found themselves 2-0 down after 11 minutes in Turin and were heading out.

But Roy Keane saw things differently, leaping above Zidane to head home from a corner and give United a lifeline.

Then came the Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole show, with the latter crossing for the former Aston Villa man to head home an equaliser.

Cole sealed the sensational comeback, after tapping in from a tight angle when team mate Yorke was brought down after rounding the keeper.


BENFICA 1-4 MAN UTD, 1968

The stage was Wembley Stadium, a fitting arena for United's first ever European triumph.

And it was their favourite son George Best who stole the show, scoring a wonder goal to set his side on their way to victory in the '68 European Cup final.

The game headed into extra time, when a late Jaime Graça levelled Bobby Charlton's earlier strike.

Like he was famous for, Best went on a mazy run three minutes into the first period of extended time.

Faced with goalie José Henrique, he threw him with a dummy before rolling the ball into the empty net.

United added twice more to end with a comfortable 4-1 win.


MAN UTD 1-0 BARCELONA, 2008

On their way to winning the 2008 Champions League, United were handed a tough tie against Barcelona in the semi-final.

The first leg finished 0-0, with Cristiano Ronaldo missing a penalty, so it might've looked like they'd blown a good opportunity.

But when Paul Scholes ferociously rifled a shot past Victor Valdes from 25-yards in the 14th minute, they began to believe another final was their destiny.

And despite the efforts of a young Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, Thierry Henry, and Samuel Eto'o – Barcelona were kept at bay by a brilliant defensive performance from Rio Ferdinand and Wes Brown.

Wild scenes followed the final whistle with the Theatre of Dreams rocking from the crowd's cheers.


MAN UTD 7-1 ROMA, 2007

It goes without saying, but before this moment Sir Alex Ferguson and Manchester United had enjoyed so many glorious nights in Europe.

But Fergie would later say that this was his side's best ever performance under him in European competition.

You might have forgotten, but United were 2-1 down going into the second leg of this quarter final match.

And this was a Roma side full of talent – with Daniele De Rossi and Francesco Totti their talisman.

But they were powerless as United raced to a 4-0 win before half time with goals from Michael Carrick, Alan Smith, Wayne Rooney, and Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo added a fifth, Carrick then got his second, before Patrice Evra got himself on the scoresheet to record an 8-3 aggregate win.



 

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