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March 1999

Entering the business end of the season, Manchester United had a couple of huge clashes awaiting them in the Champions League, FA Cup as well as the Premier League.


At the end, United managed to come out of the tough looking fixtures unscathed as they comfortably saw off Italian giants Inter Milan in the Champions League over two legs while also managed to seal their place in the FA Cup semi finals after beating Chelsea.


In the league, the Red Devils negated tough looking fixtures against Newcastle United and Everton with relative ease as well.


3/3/1999
Manchester United 2 – 0 Inter Milan
Venue – Old Trafford – 1st Leg

March began with the return of Champions League football as Manchester United welcomed Italian giants Inter Milan to Old Trafford in the first leg Quarter Final clash of the competition.


The match was predicted to be a feisty affair and there was certainly a bit of spice added due to fact that David Beckham would be going up against Diego Simeone for the first time since their infamous clash at the 1998 World Cup.


Simeone prevailed during the World Cup for Argentina but this time out it was Beckham who would exact revenge, putting in a wonderful display and helping his side to victory.


Beckham provided the cross through which Dwight Yorke managed to score in the 6th minute before the duo combined once again to give United a two goal advantage heading into half-time.


Inter looked a much better team in the second half and pushed on for the all important away goal. The Italian giants created some glorious opportunities but it was due to the heroics of Peter Schmeichel and Henning Berg which meant that United managed to keep a vital clean sheet heading into the 2nd leg.


7/3/1999
Manchester United 0 – 0 Chelsea
Venue – Old Trafford (FA Cup)

Following a tiring clash against Inter Milan in the Champions League, Manchester United did not look at their best in the FA Cup quarter finals clash against Chelsea and laboured to a 0-0 draw, forcing a replay.


There were not too many chances created in the game and the notable events of the game was the sending off of Roberto Di Matteo for Chelsea, while Paul Scholes also saw red soon after for two silly challenges.


10/3/1999
Chelsea 0 – 2 Manchester United
Venue – Stamford Bridge (FA Cup Replay)

After failing to score for the entire 90 minutes in the prior FA Cup Quarter Final clash against Chelsea, Manchester United did not have to wait long to break the deadlock during the replay in Stamford Bridge as Dwight Yorke slammed home the opener in the 4th minute.


Yorke then got his second on the hour mark with a delightful chip over Ed de Goey to earn United a semi final clash against Arsenal.


13/3/1999
Newcastle United 1 – 2 Manchester United

Venue – St. James’ Park

After wonderful results in the Champions League as well as the FA Cup, Manchester United had to refocus their energy back to the Premier League after a two weeks hiatus with a tough looking clash away to Newcastle United.


United fell behind early on as Nolberto Solano put Newcastle ahead as he curled in a wonderful free-kick from 30 yards out past the despairing dive of Peter Schmeichel. However, it was former Newcastle star who would haunt the Magpies at the end as Andy Cole scored two goals on either side of half-time to complete the turnaround for the Red Devils.


17/3/1999
Inter Milan 1 – 1 Manchester United
Venue – San Siro

Heading to the San Siro with a commanding 2-0 advantage from the first leg, Manchester United were fairly confident of progression into the semi finals of the Champions League.


However, the Red Devils would not have expected an easy ride against a very dangerous Inter Milan side and so it proved to be as the Italian giants laid a siege in front of United’s goal.


While United survived a couple of close shaves in the first half, Inter were handed a great initiative after Nicola Ventola scored in the second period. It was a case of holding on for United as Inter pushed on for the winner.


In the end though, it was not meant to be for the hosts as United sealed their place in the semi finals after Paul Scholes broke Inter hearts in the 88th minute with a cool finish.


21/3/1999
Manchester United 3 – 1 Everton
Venue – Old Trafford

After sealing their place in the semi finals of the Champions League, Manchester United continued their fine form in the Premier League with a professional performance in the 3-1 victory over Everton at Old Trafford.


After a goalless first half, United grabbed three quick fire goals in the space of 12 minutes through Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Gary Neville and David Beckham to earn the Red Devils a comfortable three points.


Don Hutchinson scored a consolation goal for the Toffees late into the game.


Star Performer of the Month:
Dwight Yorke

Dwight Yorke was proving to be the key man for Manchester United heading into the crucial part of the campaign for the Red Devils and a testament to this fact was his brace against Inter Milan and Chelsea to seal his side’s passage into the semi finals of the Champions League as well as the FA Cup.


Not only did Yorke score important goals, his overall contribution was vital to the United juggernaut gathering momentum heading into the final two months of the season.




League Table

Pos

Team

Pld

Pts

GD

1st

Manchester United

30

63

+37

2nd

Arsenal

30

59

+29

3rd

Chelsea

29

56

+21

4th

Leeds United

30

54

+22

5th

West Ham United

30

46

-5

Results - March 1999

Date

Comp

Opp

Venue

Score

3rd

Champions
League

Inter
Milan

H

2-0

7th

FA Cup

Chelsea

H

0-0

10th

FA Cup

Chelsea

A

2-0

13th

Premier
League

Newcastle
United

A

2-1

17th

Champions
League

Inter
Milan

A

1-1

21st

Premier
League

Everton

H

3-1