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Season Stats 2006-2007

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This website is in no way authorised by or connected with Manchester United plc or the official club website.

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Manchester United started the new decade, century and millennium in typical pioneering fashion. They entered a brand new competition the FIFA Club World Championship in Brazil but at the expense of their participation in the FA Cup, of which they were the holders.
The January jaunt to South America didn't result in any silverware beating the Brazilian sides in their own backyard and stifling climate was a bridge too far but it gave the Reds valuable relaxation time in the sun. Rejuvenated by this, they raced ahead of their rivals in the title race when they returned to England. They achieved their sixth Premiership title early, in April, and still without a convincing replacement for Peter Schmeichel.

Several goalkeepers including Mark Bosnich tried and failed to establish themselves during the 1999/2000 season. So it was hardly surprising when Fabien Barthez joined United in July 2000, fresh from adding the European Championships crown to his World Cup winners medal. The eccentric but brilliant French goalkeeper helped United to win their third successive title in 2000/01, a feat that had previously been achieved by only a handful of clubs in England. Liverpool had been the last team to do it, in 1982, 1983 and 1984, but this was under the supervision of two different managers Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan.

Sir Alex Ferguson had been at the helm for all three of United's back-to-back titles, and was therefore the first manager in English football to achieve the hat-trick. On the back of this latest trophy, Fergie announced he would be retiring from management at the end of the 2001/02 season. Meanwhile, his right-hand man Steve McClaren announced he would be leaving immediately to replace Bryan Robson as Middlesbrough manager.Ferguson filled the gap left by McClaren by promoting ex-players Jim Ryan and Mike Phelan to the posts of assistant manager and first team coach respectively. But Sir Alex then created another troublesome void by offloading star defender Jaap Stam to Lazio in a transfer that took everyone by surprise, including the player!

One of Barthez's World Cup-winning team-mates, Laurent Blanc, joined United on a free transfer to play in Stam's position and forge a new partnership with Wes Brown, Gary Neville or Ronny Johnsen.

Many people assumed Blanc would be Fergie's last signing as United manager, especially after the expensive acquisitions of Ruud van Nistelrooy and Juan Sebastian Veron. But Sir Alex splashed the cash again in January 2002, to sign Uruguayan striker Diego Forlan from Independiente.

It was difficult to see where Forlan would fit in, given that van Nistelrooy had just set a new Premiership record by scoring in eight consecutive league games. United had won all those games to rejoin the title race, having previously lost more matches (six by early December) than was usual for their trail-blazing standards.

Copyright, Manchester United PLC, 2002
Photography provided by Manchester United PLC and EMPICS

Champions 2000-2001
Champs2001
Remember when?

UEFA Champions League

The Champions League is the ultimate club prize in European football. United have won the trophy twice, in 1968 and 1999, although Real Madrid have the record number of wins, with eight European Cups to their name.

Manchester United first played in the European Cup in 1957. The decision did not go down well with the Football League due to the fear that it would affect the quality of domestic competitions was quickly quashed as the competition helped raise standards in the English game.

Manchester Uniteds first match in the competition was a 10-0 win against Belgian Champions Anderlecht. United reached the semi-finals in both 1956-57 and 1957-58 seasons, but the clubs involvement in the 1957-58 competition, however, will be forever linked to the Munich air disaster. Uniteds draw in Belgrade and subsequent semi-final defeat against AC Milan were overshadowed by the tragic death of eight United players.

From tragedy came hope as Sir Matt Busby built a new team. Another semi-final in 1965-66 was followed by the clubs first European Cup success in 1967-68 when Goals from Bobby Charlton (two), George Best and Brian Kidd at Wembley gave England its first European Cup winning side against Benfica.

The club had to wait a long 26 years to compete in the competition again, now expanded and renamed the Champions League. United have played in the Champions League every year since 1994 and reached the semi-finals in 1997 before winning the Cup for a second time in 1999.

The final in Barcelonas Nou Camp stadium looked all but lost as United trailed 1-0 going into the three minutes of added time at the end of the match. Goals from Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left Bayern devastated and the clubs 50,000 throng of supporters in ecstacy. Sir Alex Ferguson had finally emulated the achievement of his predecessor Sir Matt Busby.


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