Date: 24th February 2009 at 8:03am
Written by:

10 years on from ousting Mircea Lucescu’s team from the Champions League mainly due to Peter Schmeichel’s heroism and the magical understanding between David Beckham and Dwight Yorke, United return to the San Siro tonight with the hope of securing a result against Internazionale.

In 1999 the second leg was played at the San Siro and United arrived with a 2-0 lead. Another difference was that Inter had a bigger squad than us and had a strikeforce of Ronaldo, Baggio and Zamorano which, on paper, was frankly astounding. How they did not win the Serie A is beyond me and was beyond the owner, Massimo Moratti who soon after the United game fired his manager.

But on that night Lucescu’s players could have saved his job because, for all the brilliance of the Treble team, we were in very real danger of going out. Fergie said we had been playing well enough to deserve our share of luck – well, the reality is that Inter could have had a penalty and missed a host of glorious chances, hitting the post in the process.

But in the end they had only Ventola’s strike to show for all their efforts and they started to neglect their defensive duties as the final whistle was looming. And from a not very subtle attack (Gary Neville’s high cross was headed into Scholes’ path by Andy Cole) our Ginger Ninja deflated the expectant San Siro and started the United party.

While I would be uncomfortable if we were outplayed to the extent of that night, if anyone guaranteed that Inter miss almost all their chances and we score an equaliser at the end to take a 1-1 draw back to Old Trafford, I’d sign it here and now.