Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wound back the years as the Manchester United manager came off the bench to score for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side against Bayern Munich in the Treble Reunion match.
Fans young and old descended on Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon to see some of the club’s greatest players 20 years to the day since sealing Champions League glory in such spectacular fashion at the Nou Camp.
Solskjaer again started on the bench but made an impact far quicker than that night in Barcelona, where his goal deep in stoppage time sealed a 2-1 victory and the treble on May 26, 1999.
This time he came on for Andy Cole shortly after kick-off and produced a smart finish inside four minutes to put United Legends on course for a comprehensive win.
Dwight Yorke gave Ferguson’s side a two-goal cushion at the break, before man-of-the-match Nicky Butt, substitute Louis Saha and returning favourite David Beckham completed a 5-0 rout.
It was a memorable afternoon played out in front of 61,175 fans at Old Trafford, raising £1.5million for the Manchester United Foundation in the process.
“It was great fun,” Solskjaer said. “You know, just to see the lads in the dressing room before and after, getting the banter going, was fantastic. This is a group of people who have meant so much to each other.
“I think everyone enjoyed it, of course, when you win the game. It was still competitive, we needed to win it and you could see a few tackles flying in.
“I think everyone was happy towards the end and to see everyone enjoying themselves is what this club is all about – playing football in front of unbelievable and amazing fans.”
After a difficult season, Sunday’s match brought a welcome feel-good factor back to Old Trafford.
With the teams led out by Ferguson, supporters were treated to the familiar sight of Beckham firing cross-field balls, Jaap Stam showing no mercy at the back and Paul Scholes bossing the midfield.
Solskjaer only played a small part in the match, but the fans were still singing his name at the end as the United boss looks to turn things around with the current crop.
“I’ve got to thank the supporters again for supporting us and the money will be well spent,” Solskjaer told MUTV. ” I think everyone knows how much it means to play for Manchester United and this match, for everyone, means so much more than just turning up because it was such a big part of our lives.
“We have a big job getting back to these moments. We want to have moments to celebrate and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
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