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September 1998

The month of September began in a controversial off the pitch as Rupert Murdouch’s BSkyB launched a reported £625 million bid in an attempt to takeover Manchester United. However, the United faithful were not best pleased with the proposed move and made it clear in no uncertain terms that they did not want the club to be sold by launching vehement protests.


On the pitch though, United got back on track by securing their first two victories of their Premier League campaign; beating Charlton Athletic and Coventry City.


The Champions League draw was not too kind to the Red Devils as they were placed in a group consisting of the mighty Bayern Munich and Catalan giants Barcelona. United kicked off their European campaign against Barcelona and secured a pulsating 3-3 draw.


The following game was another disappointment though as Sir Alex’s men were again comprehensively beaten by rivals Arsenal.  Despite the setback, September ended on a good note as United claimed a fine victory over Liverpool as well as earned a valuable point away to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.


9/9/1998
Manchester United 4 – 1 Charlton Athletic
Venue – Old Trafford

Despite fans expressing their displeasure at the pending BSkyB takeover bid, the Manchester United squad did not look too distracted and managed to claim their first Premier League victory of the season over Charlton Athletic.


United typically went a goal down early on though, as Mark Kinsella’s long range effort found its way into Peter Schmeichel’s goal via a huge deflection.


However, the Red Devils were on level terms through a fine strike from Ole Gunnar Solskjær on the 39th minute before club record signing Dwight Yorke gave United the lead by scoring his first goal for the club on the stroke of half time.


United began to assert themselves more after the interval  and Yorke soon doubled his tally by once again scoring from a pass provided by David Beckham. Solskjær got in on the act again, scoring his second of the game to seal a comprehensive victory for Sir Alex’s side.


12/9/1998
Manchester United 2 – 0 Coventry City
Venue – Old Trafford

Three days after their fine victory over Charlton Athletic, Manchester United picked up another comfortable victory by seeing off Coventry City 2-0 at Old Trafford.


Dwight Yorke grabbed his third goal in two games with a scruffy finish in the first half before Ronny Johnsen confirmed United’s victory in the second period by scoring an instinctive goal which even a striker would have been proud of.


16/9/1998
Manchester United 3 – 3 Barcelona
Venue – Old Trafford

Manchester United kicked off their Champions League campaign with a truly pulsating 3-3 draw against Louis van Gaal’s Barcelona.


United got off to a fine start after a wonderful run and a cross of the highest quality down the right by David Beckham was met by an equally fine header from Ryan Giggs before Paul Scholes gave the Red Devils a 2-0 lead within the first 25 minutes.


Barcelona launched a comeback in the second half though as Sonny Anderson and Giovanni levelled matters.


In a seesaw game United once again took the lead from a truly magnificent free kick from Beckham, only to be pegged back by Barcelona for the second time after Luis Enquire scored from the penalty given away by Nicky Butt, who was duly sent off for handling on the line. At the end the draw was probably a fair result.


20/9/1998
Arsenal 3 – 0 Manchester United
Venue – Highbury

Manchester United followed their fine draw against Barcelona with another disappointing 3-0 loss against Arsenal in the Premier League.


First half strikes from Tony Adams and Nicolas Anelka had handed Arsenal the lead going into half-time. To make matters worse, Nicky Butt got himself sent off for the second time in the space of four days and from that point on United never really looked like they could launch a comeback.


The Gunners then sealed the emphatic win after debutant Fredrik Ljungberg scored the third with a fine chip.


24/9/1998
Manchester United 2 – 0 Liverpool
Venue – Old Trafford

After conceding 6 goals in 2 matches, question marks were raised about the United defence and particularly of big money signing Jaap Stam.


The Red Devils responded well to the criticism though, as they returned to winning ways with an impressive 2-0 victory over Liverpool.


Denis Irwin gave Manchester United the lead through a penalty after Jason McActeer handled the ball inside the box and while the Red Devils rode their luck a bit throughout the game, their victory was secured in the 80th minute when Paul Scholes popped up with a truly fantastic left footed strike.


30/9/1998

Bayern Munich 2 – 2 Manchester United,

Venue – Olympiastadion

Manchester United had to settle for another draw in the Champions League as they once again squandered a lead in their second group game against Bayern Munich to come away from the Olympiastadion with only a point.


Giovane Elber gave Bayern the lead with a contentious goal but United soon managed to turn the game on its head through strikes from Dwight Yorke and Paul Scholes, with Lothar Matthaus guilty of making poor mistakes on both occasions.


However, a howler from Peter Schmeichel allowed Elber to score once again and level things up. Teddy Sheringham had a wonderful chance of claiming a dramatic victory for the Red Devils late on but Olivier Kahn produced a truly brilliant save to deny the Englishman, which ensured that the match would end in a stalemate.


Star Performer of the Month:
Dwight Yorke

There were quite a few eyebrows raised when Manchester United decided to splash £12million to secure the services of Dwight Yorke.


However, the doubts about the striker were soon laid to rest after the Trinidad & Tobago star scored 4 goals in the month of September, finding the net on his home debut as well as his Champions League debut.


His goalscoring prowess as well as his infectious smile meant that Yorke quickly became adored by the fans and he seemed well worth the money United shelled out for him.


League Table

Pos

Team

Pld

Pts

GD

4th

West Ham United

7

12

+2

5th

Newcastle United

7

11

+6

6th

Manchester United

6

11

+4

7th

Leeds United

7

11

+4

8th

Liverpool

7

11

+3

Results - September 1998

Date

Comp

Opp

Venue

Score

9th

Premier
League

Charlton
Athletic

H

4-1

12th

Premier
League

Coventry
City

H

2-0

16th

Champions
League

Barcelona

H

3-3

20th

Premier
League

Arsenal

A

0-3

24th

Premier
League

Liverpool

H

2-0

30th

Champions
League

Bayern
Munich

A

2-2