Manchester United Scored Greatest Ever Team Goal 20 Years Ago
Manchester United scored their greatest ever team goal, hailed as the absolute peak of Alex Ferguson's era, in the Champions League 20 years ago this month.
Paul Scholes' sublime chip was the finish, sealing a 3-1 win over Panathinaikos at Old Trafford. But it's what came before that was truly perfection - we reckon Pep Guardiola secretly has this goal on repeat in his office.
A 32-pass move sees the ball flow seamlessly via David Beckham, Roy Keane, Dwight Yorke, Teddy Sheringham, Nicky Butt and Gary Neville. Eventually, Sheringham's cheeky layoff allows Scholes to arc the ball over helpless goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis from the edge of the area.
"Fergie-ball at its peak," praised one United fan on Reddit, about a stunning goal that the best Brazil or Barcelona sides would be proud to have scored.
Another said simply: "That's pretty damn close to footballing perfection as you'll see."
Ferguson himself agreed. The United manager had no need to warm up his infamous hairdryer post-match, calling the performance "magnificent".
"You would not see a better goal than that - I thought there were 30 passes before it," purred Lord Ferg about the sensational move.
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United were reigning European champions at the time, having won the Treble the season before. And they played like a team utterly brimming with confidence.
The 1999/2000 season saw Man United win the league by an incredible 18 points above Arsenal. But the Champions League defence ended with a 3-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the quarter-finals.
During the 2000s, Ferguson gradually began to adapt his approach to Europe. The swashbuckling attacking style that had sealed the deal in 1999 was a bit too open, Fergie realised, and it was a more strategically savvy team - albeit still with brilliant individuals - that gave the club their next Champions League win in 2008.
But for many fans, this is the absolute best of the Ferguson era. A team just ripping the opposition apart by slick passing, aggressive running and audacious skill.
Have Manchester United ever scored a better team goal than this? If you can think of one, let us know in the comments.
All imagery: PA Images
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