90min
Manchester United

Anatomy of a goal: Ryan Giggs solo run vs Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup semi-finals

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
GOOOAALLLLLLLL!!!!
GOOOAALLLLLLLL!!!! / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images
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On April 14 1999 Manchester United kept their dream of a treble alive, edging out Arsenal 2-1 after extra time in one of the all-time great FA Cup semi-finals.

This one had everything: great goals, a red card and a missed penalty - and that was just in normal time. However, the moment that has stood the test of time is Ryan Giggs' incredible extra time winner.

As that iconic strike holds such weight in popular consciousness it is often forgotten how good David Beckham's opener was. Striking Teddy Sheringham's clever flick first time from 25-yards, Beckham produced a picture perfect combination of whip and power that gave David Seaman no chance.

Arsenal's equaliser scored by Dennis Bergkamp was far luckier, with the Dutchman's hopeful long-ranged drive deflecting off Jaap Stam's knee and past Peter Schmeichel. There was plenty more drama to come before Giggs stole the show as well.

First Nicolas Anelka had a goal ruled out for offside, then Roy Keane was dismissed 15 minutes from time for a second bookable offence. In the dying minutes, Phil Neville would go on to bring Ray Parlour down the book, only for Peter Schmeichel to keep out the spot kick and save Fizzer's blushes.

FA Cup semi-final replay Lee Dixon and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer started up front for the Red Devils / Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

This set the stage perfectly for the game's magic moment. After seeing out the first half of extra time without any major problems, Giggs seized upon an ill-advised cross-field pass from Patrick Vieira. Picking the ball up in his own half, he began to dribble as quickly as his little Welsh legs could carry him.

Shimmying past the usually impregnable Vieira with ease, he then spun Lee Dixon and spotted the tightest of routes into the penalty area between the right-back and Martin Keown - who had been pulled out of position by a superb decoy run from Dwight Yorke.

Flip flapping between the pair he only had Seaman to beat, albeit from a tricky angle. Giggs was a player known for his technique and finesse. On this occasion though, all that went out the window and he opted for pure, unadulterated power. Seaman tried his best but could not stop the shot arrowing into the roof of the net from close range.

Ryan Giggs
Giggs played in the FA Cup final as United bested Newcastle / Stu Forster/Getty Images

Then came that celebration.

Not wasting a second, Giggs immediately whipped off his shirt, revealing a chest that resembled the plughole at your local leisure centre showers. The chest hair alone was enough to make this an iconic celebration but the winger's decision to whirl his shirt above his head as he belted down the touchline took it into a league of its own.

The goal was enough to see United through to the final and it remains one of the defining images of their legendary treble winning season.


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