Manchester United scored two late goals in their famous 1999 Champions League final victory over Bayern Munich – but the German outfit weren’t the only ones in despair when Teddy Sheringham fired in their 91st-minute equaliser.
Mario Basler opened the scoring for Bayern after just six minutes and his strike looked like proving the winner, with United heading into stoppage time in desperate need of a goal.
Not only did they manage to find one, nevertheless, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer followed up Sheringham’s dramatic equaliser by turning the ball home from a corner two minutes later to secure a historic treble for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
Understandably, Bayern were inconsolable after suffering the most gut-wrenching of defeats in European football’s biggest club showpiece.
And when Sheringham brought United level, legendary referee Pierluigi Collina – who was officiating the final – admits he was also left feeling gutted.
In his 2003 book ‘The Rules of the Game’, the Italian said: ”While the English were celebrating, I went back to the centre circle thinking to myself, ‘That’s all we need… something’s going to happen now and the match’ll become a real madness’.
“The equaliser wasn’t exactly great news for me as, up until that point, the game had gone smoothly with no contested decisions, no doubts and a scoreline that reflected play – everything a referee could ask for.
“The equaliser meant extra time so everything was open to discussion again because any debatable incident, any wrong decision would erase all positive elements of the previous ninety minutes.”
Of course, Collina and his fellow officials could breathe a sigh of relief when Solskjaer ensured the final wouldn’t be heading to extra-time just two minutes later.
“I’m sure no one who was present that night at the Nou Camp will ever forget the eruption of the English fans – a tremendous roar,” the referee added.
“And then the players’ faces: sheer joy for Manchester United, complete shock for the Bayern team, their eyes empty and glazed as they struggled to accept that in the space of two minutes they’d seen victory vanish before their eyes.
“Who could have imagined a climax like that just a few minutes previously?
“But that’s football – from joy to despair in the blink of an eye.
“It was enough to make a normal sort of match something approaching the final of the century.”