Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted he has been unable to get over the Ryan Giggs goal that knocked them out of the FA Cup in 1999.
The last-gasp goal sent the Gunners crashing out at the semi-final stage and came just minutes after Dennis Bergkamp missed a penalty. Manchester United went on to win a historic treble that year, which Wenger now deems a 'miracle'.
Not only can Wenger not get the image of that goal out of his head, and, like the rest of us, the image if Giggs' chest hair, but he also speaks of still hearing 'the shouts' of that immortalised Manchester United team.
Wenger, who will take his side to Old Trafford on Monday in an FA Cup quarter-final tie, describes the experience as a trauma.
“I can still hear the shouts of that team, having won"
“When Giggs retired I saw a replay of the goal and I think that goal won them the ‘Treble’ – because, if Bergkamp scores, the game is over,” he told reporters.
“I can still hear the shouts of that team, having won. They couldn’t believe it because they were down to 10 men (after Roy Keane had been sent off). It was a trauma for us and a positive for them."
Had Bergkamp scored the penalty that night then it is likely Arsenal would have progressed and the treble would have never happened. Wenger says the Dutchman was so despondent after missing the spot kick that he never wanted to take one again.
“Bergkamp never wanted to take a penalty again and the result put them on the road, it put them on a crest of euphoria.
“And in the same way they won the title – just. They played at Blackburn on May 12, the night after we had lost at Leeds in the last minute, when Nigel Winterburn was kicked off the pitch and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored at the far post.
“Kaba Diawara had hit the bar twice for us in that game and after that, they won the Champions League final in the last minutes.
“Ryan Giggs was at the peak of his career and that goal was certainly what decided their season.”
Who is going to make the difference on Monday? Angel di Maria, maybe, or Alexis Sanchez? Give us your views in the comments box below!
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