Cole (7, 50mins)
Solskjaer (80, 88, 90,90 mins)
|Crossley||van der Gouw|
© Nottingham Forest 1999
Nottingham Forest 1 v Manchester Utd 8
I woke up this morning excited that there was a game on today, and it was Manchester Utd. It has been a long time since I have felt like that. Left home early because of the traffic, there was a buzz around the ground, a full house and the win against Everton made us think we had a chance today to get a result. What unfolded over the next ninety minutes can only be described as awesome.
Utd started off at a gallop, a corner from Beckham cleared the goal to Keane who swung in a cross which Yorke put away and there was only 1min 29 sec. on the clock. Rogers and Darcheville went up the other end played a one-two and Rogers put away a sweet shot past Schmeichel, 5 mins gone, this was what we had been waiting for. The ball was cleared up field and Cole put the ball past Beasant, 2-1 and it was only six minutes into the game. Although Man Utd were settling down to dominate the first half, van Hooijdonk had a shot smothered and Darcheville was substituted for Freedman after suffering a hamstring injury.
Time for Bovril and the talk was all about the class and brilliance of the Utd team. We thought we had seen a class side with Arsenal with Petit dominating the game, now we were seeing 11 class players showing the difference between the top of The Premiership and the bottom. Scholes rattled the post within a minute of the restart and Utd were showing that they meant to carry on where they had left off. On 50 mins a shot came into Beasant which he couldn't hold and Cole ran in to score his second. They were now in full flow, the flicks, the tackeling, the running into space, the runs off the ball if they hadn't have been playing YOUR side it would have been a total joy to watch. Stone had a couple of chances, Freedman was through but his last touch was too much and Johnson hit the upright. Mattsson was brought on to enable Palmer to be pushed up into midfield. Harkes had the ball down by the by-line and somehow it squeezed past him, hit Hjelde, hit the base of the nearpost and fell to Yorke for an easy tap in on 67 mins.
Ok, we were losing 4-1 but we were not that bad and it was a good game so Ferguson decided to change things and took off Keane and Yorke and brought on youngster Curtis and that super sub Solskajaer. I seem to remember Solskjaer being signed at the same time as a certain Silenzi was, for about the same price, mmm what a difference!! In 11 minutes he scored on 80 mins, 88 mins, 89 mins and 90 mins.
8-1 and we were shell shocked, not the worst home defeat, that was a 9-1 defeat in April 1937 against Blackburn, but the heaviest Premiership defeat by a home club, we just seem to keep collecting these records. I have never been a Man Utd fan, and still find the fact that people support them who have never seen them difficult to understand, however I feel priviledged to have seen the most complete footballing side to grace the City Ground in the 25 years I have been supporting Forest. The Forest players are embarrassed, and a few heads dropped when the 5th goal went in, but this game shows the void between the top 4 teams and the rest of the Premiership. I hope our lone supporter in Antarctica isn't too depressed tonight to "do" a Titus Oates and go for a walk!!!