It was a Football Factory moment. Replace Chelsea with United and Millwall with Liverpool, and the reaction is exactly the same. Result, the dippers in the Cup! These draws can’t be rivalled by any other match, when you get put up against your enemies in a winner takes it all scenario. Defeat means you’re out of the Cup and will be forced to have it shoved down your throat for an infinite amount of time. Victory means you’ve got one over on your rivals and denied them an opportunity of bringing home a trophy at the end of the season.
So, it’s the 4th Round of the FA Cup at Old Trafford and the players, as well as the fans, are really up for it. So when that little scouse twat, Michael Owen, puts the visitors ahead after 3 minutes, we’re all seething. Owen, just a teenager then, ran towards the celebrating away fans, smile on his face, arms in the air, and it was sickening.
However, Liverpool were just one of many teams that season who learnt that United don’t ever know when they’re beaten.
United pressed to at least get an equaliser. A replay at Anfield would be double the fun. Paul Ince cleared off the line in the first half, Roy Keane saw his shot saved by the post in the second half. “This is Liverpool’s day,” laughed Andy Gray.
Then the breakthrough. Two minutes from time, David Beckham floated a freekick in to the box, Andy Cole headered it down, gifting Dwight Yorke with a simple tap in on the line.
The game entered in to injury time and the ball fell to Solskjaer. Instinctively, he put his foot through the ball and beat the keeper. Ecstatically, he ran to the Stretford End, holding his badge him, as his team mates joined in the celebrations.
Of course, this wasn’t the only injury time winning goal Solskjaer scored that year, but at the time, it was the happiest moment of the season.