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Thursday 30 March 2017

Manchester United European Cup Final appearances

1968, Wembley - Benfica 1 Manchester United 4 (AET)

The game headed into extra-time following first-half goals from Bobby Charlton and Jaime Graca and a vital save from Alex Stepney to deny Eusebio. As Benfica tired in extra-time, George Best embarked on a 25-yard run and waltzed past the goalkeeper to roll the ball into the empty net. Minutes later future assistant manager Brian Kidd scored on his 19th birthday and Charlton fittingly sealed the win, 10 years on from the tragic Munich air crash.



1999, Barcelona - Manchester United 2 Bayern Munich 1



Manchester United's penchant for making it hard for themselves struck again as Bayern's Mario Basler bent in an early free-kick. As United pushed for an equaliser, the Germans looked dangerous on the counter-attack, forcing Danish goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel to make some important saves. The introduction of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer improved the Red Devils' attacking threat but, as the game reached the 90th minute, it appeared time had run out. Cue two mad stoppage-time minutes where the two substitutes converted from two David Beckham corners to send one half of the Nou Camp into raptures.



2008, Moscow - Manchester United 1 Chelsea 1 (Manchester United win 6-5 on penalties)



The 2008 final will be remembered for Chelsea captain John Terry's tears. Cristiano Ronaldo gave United the lead with a firm header from a Wes Brown cross. Frank Lampard equalised before the break for Chelsea before the Blues dominated the second half. The game's frenetic pace continued into extra-time but neither side could make the breakthrough, and Chelsea finished with 10 men as Didier Drogba was sent off. The match went down to penalties and, after Ronaldo had his spot-kick saved, Terry had the chance to win the final. The England captain famously slipped on the Russian turf and Nicolas Anelka had his penalty saved by Edwin van der Sar to present the trophy to United.



2009, Rome - Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United



Sir Alex Ferguson's men put on all the early pressure, with Wayne Rooney and Ronaldo twice going close. However, it was Barcelona who took control of the match in the 10th minute, with a toe-poked finish from Samuel Eto'o. The goal changed the dynamic of the game as Barca began to dominate possession in Rome, coming close through chances for Lionel Messi, Xavi and Eto'o. As Manchester United pushed for a second-half equaliser, the Catalans were able to respond effectively; Messi met Xavi's cross with a looping header past the helpless Van der Sar.



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