April 6, 2009
"Manchester United never lose, they just run out of time," was a quote once attributed to that great sage Steve McClaren. The erstwhile former England manager and sometime Dutchman was speaking as United closed in on the treble of 1999.
Hopes of a quintuple, quadruple and treble may have dimmed after those defeats to Liverpool and Fulham yet Sunday saw United able to relive some fond memories of their greatest season. Post-match, Gary Neville was able to say how "grateful" he was to a young man who was not even of primary school age a decade ago and just two years old when a Steve Bruce double against Sheffield Wednesday raised the rafters on Easter Saturday 1993 to revive a flagging and fading force.
In the years since 1999, United have lost some of that fabled and feared ability to mount a late charge, especially in the last month, but Federico Macheda's wonderful strike was highly reminiscent of supersub supreme Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who just happens to be the club's reserve-team manager and specialist striking coach these days.