Betslip Killers: Manchester United Champions League 1999

August 26, 2016 •

In this series we’re going to take a look at some of the most dramatic finishes to sporting events that rendered good betting slips worthless in the final moments of the game (or tournament). From soccer, to the NBA, and golf to snooker there are some absolute classics that had people crying into their worthless pieces of paper.

Champions League Final 1999

1999-Champions-League-FinalWe had to pick a good one to start with and the 1999 Champions League Final is one of the ultimate Betslip Killers. The only other result that comes close in English football is Arsenal’s dramatic league title win in 1989.

To set the scene, both United and Bayern entered that match which was held at the Camp Nou in Barcelona having won their respective leagues in the preceding weeks. They had both however qualified for the Champions League in 1999 as runners up.

United has beaten both Juventus and Inter on their way to the final in the knockout stages, while Bayern has an easier route beating Kaiserslautern and Dynamo Kiev.

They were very evenly matched and the bookies had Bayern as very slight favourites before the kickoff. This was mostly due to the fact that both Roy Keane and Paul Scholes were both suspended for the match.

They were replaced with Nicky Butt and David Beckham in midfield. Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke started up front for United. Effenberg and Jeremies started in midfield for Bayern with a 3-man attack of Baskler, Jancker, and Zickler starting up front.

How the Match Played Out

Just 6 minutes in Mario Basler scored a free kick in the bottom which was a disaster for United, but as any football fan knows, 84 minutes is a long time to hang on! United went on to play well in the first half and didn’t let their heads drop.

They carved out a couple of good chances but their lack of control in midfield meant that they struggled to make the most of their possession advantage which was 55-45 in their favour in the first half. They ended the half with 4 shots on target to Bayern’s 2, but neither side had any gilt edged chances.

The second half was a lot more open, with long ranges efforts from both sides. Sensing that the game was slipping away from United, Alex Ferguson brought on striker Teddy Sheringham for Jesper Blomqvist after 67 minutes. Bayern had some great chances, hitting both the post and the bar along with forcing a few saves from Schmeichel.

Deep into the second half at the 81 minute mark, Ferguson would bring on the man who later gained the reputation as perhaps the greatest ‘super sub’ in the history of the game, Ole Gunnar Solksjaer. The two subs started to cause problems quickly, with both going close in the last 10 minutes.

Injury Time Drama

As the clock ticked past 90 minutes, and with 3 minutes of injury time to be played, United won a corner which keeper Schmeichel went up for. After some chaos in the box and a dribbled shot from Giggs, Teddy Sheringham managed to tidy up and stroke the ball past Oliver Khan. Somehow, United forced another corner just 30 seconds later with Bayern clearly flustered and unable to put the game to bed.

No Schmeichel this time, but those poor souls who had bet on a Bayern win were about to be joined in the doldrums were about to be joined by those who bet on a draw. Sheringham headed to Solksjaer who stuck out a limb and parked the ball in the roof of the net. Sick Germans everywhere, and not a bad way for Peter Schmeichel to bow out of the game!

An analysis of the stats show that the Bayern were over 400/1 to win the game after the clock passed the 90 minute mark. Of course, all of this happened before the days of online gambling and in-play betting so it’s unlikely that anyone got this price, but anyone who had Man United to win will have been celebrating. As long as they hadn’t thrown their bet slips in the bin already!

Have a look at the drama in the video below:

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