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Solskjaer reflects on his famous match-winner against Liverpool


Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has recalled his famous match-winner for Manchester United in their last-gasp FA Cup win over Liverpool in 1999.

A United team that featured the likes of Peter Schmeichel, Gary Neville, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs played host to Liverpool in a fourth-round tie in January under the leadership of Sir Alex Ferguson.

But Michael Owen’s second-minute header threatened to cause an upset and hand Liverpool a first FA Cup victory over United since 1922.

The Red Devils quickly woke up afterwards and set about dominating the possession of the ball throughout the entire match, but were unable to find an equaliser despite their best efforts.

Liverpool put up a resilient display against their old rivals and were, perhaps, fortunate to still be in the game when United twice hit the woodwork.

However, Gerard Houllier’s side finally caved in the final two minutes at Old Trafford when Dwight Yorke tapped in the equaliser from point-blank range after Andy Cole had headed the ball across the goal from Beckham’s free-kick.

Then substitute Solskjaer scored the decisive goal in injury time to hand United a famous comeback win.

“I had three touches in that game, one to stop it, one to touch it to the side and one to put it through Jamie Carragher’s legs,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.

“We were behind the whole game, Michael Owen scored early on.

“We had so many chances, Roy Keane hit the post, Ryan Giggs had chances and then Dwight Yorke scored.

“I was thinking it would go to a replay until Jaap Stam threw the ball up, Scholes controlled it, I nicked it off him and I scored.

“They were my only three touches in that game, I was strangled more or less in the celebrations, I couldn’t breathe at all. I tried to kiss the badge, but everyone was on top of me.”

The former striker then went on to grab an even bigger match-winner for United in the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich at Barcelona as Ferguson’s team secured a historic treble.

Now Solskjaer is the manager of United and will be looking for a similar outcome in their Premier League match against Liverpool on Sunday, where the Red Devils will hope to knock their old foes off the top of the standings.

“It’s 20 to 18 [league titles], you never want your rivals to surpass you,” said Solskjaer.

“But it’s not about that for us but as a supporter yes, of course, that is a big thing. As a manager I have to make sure we focus on doing a favour for ourselves, not stopping anyone, we do it for ourselves.

“I cannot control what Liverpool, [Manchester] City or Tottenham are doing, I’ve got to focus all my energy on us. I’ve got to focus on what I control which is this environment.”

LONDON, ENGLAND – FEBRUARY 18: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Interim Manager of Manchester United celebrates victory after the FA Cup Fifth Round match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on February 18, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)