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History shows United's gift for drama

Published: Thursday 26 May 2011, 14.41CET
Manchester United FC have contested four previous European Champion Clubs' Cup finals. UEFA.com looks at the three-times winners' knack of doing it the hard way.

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Published: Thursday 26 May 2011, 14.41CET

History shows United's gift for drama

Manchester United FC have contested four previous European Champion Clubs' Cup finals. UEFA.com looks at the three-times winners' knack of doing it the hard way.

For three-times winners Manchester United FC, it seems victory in a European Champion Clubs' Cup final must always come with a large dose of drama. UEFA.com recalls their past triumphs – and also the one that got away, against their opponents on Saturday night, FC Barcelona.

1967/68 Manchester United FC 4-1 SL Benfica
Ten years after the Munich air crash had claimed the lives of eight of his players, Matt Busby's rebuilt United side became England's first European Cup winners on a night of high emotion at Wembley. Bobby Charlton, a Munich survivor, put them ahead but Jaime Graça equalised in the 80th minute and Benfica would have won but for Alex Stepney foiling Eusébio in the last minute. Instead United hit three goals in an incredible four-minute sequence in extra time, George Best, Brian Kidd and Charlton all bulging the Wembley net.

1998/99 Manchester United FC 2-1 FC Bayern München
Miracle at the Nou Camp is the title of the chapter in Sir Alex Ferguson's autobiography recounting United's remarkable second triumph. Bayern's ribbons were already on the trophy entering added time of a contest they had led since Mario Basler's sixth-minute goal. They would have been out of sight had the woodwork not denied Mehmet Scholl and Carsten Jancker. Yet two David Beckham corners led to two goals from United at the last, Teddy Sheringham equalising before Ole Gunnar Solskjær stuck out his right foot to prod home the winner.

2007/08 Manchester United FC 1-1 Chelsea FC (6-5 pens)
United brought the Manchester weather to Moscow and they rode their luck again to claim their third European crown in the first all-English UEFA Champions League final. Although Cristiano Ronaldo headed them in front, Frank Lampard equalised on the stroke of half-time. He and Didier Drogba then rattled the woodwork and although Drogba was sent off in extra time, Chelsea would have prevailed on penalties but for John Terry slipping and sending his potentially winning kick against the post. Instead Edwin van der Sar's save from Nicolas Anelka secured the glory for United 50 years after Munich.

2008/09 FC Barcelona 2-0 Manchester United FC
United's dream of becoming the first team to defend the UEFA Champions League title vanished in Rome where they were well beaten by Barcelona. The promise of an early flurry of Ronaldo goal attempts faded once Samuel Eto'o had beaten Van der Sar with a near-post strike in the tenth minute. Sir Alex's men had downed their opponents in the semi-finals 12 months earlier but Lionel Messi ensured there would be no repeat by confirming Barcelona's supremacy with a towering header 20 minutes from time.

Last updated: 07/12/13 3.50CET

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