Until you really start to think about it, we all tend to forget just how good football was back in the ’90s. We were treated to some of the greatest goals in the greatest matches from the greatest of players. I’ve decided to list the top 10 iconic moments in football in the 1990s. Such a mammoth task is, of course, open to debate so feel free to add what you would consider the best moments.
David Beckham scoring from the half-way line: In 1995, at Selhurst Park, a young David Beckham wearing the number 24 shirt for Manchester United, announced himself to the world. Comparisons were made with legends like Rivaldo after he lobbed Neil Sullivan and he didn’t fail to live up to that reputation!
Michael Owen against Argentina: Talking of people announcing themselves, Michael Owen didn’t do too bad a job in the quarter final of the 1998 world cup against old foes Argentina. Although it was slightly over-shadowed after the game, his wonder goal made the teenager who one of the most talked about prospects in world football.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer against Bayern Munich: In 1999, Manchester United won an historic treble in the most spectacular of fashion. 1-0 down in the final of the Champions League with one minute to go, Teddy Sheringham and then Solskjaer scored to crown Alex Ferguson’s side European champions for the first time since 1968.
England V Scotland Euro 1996: England hosted a major competition for the first time since 1966 and the Euro’s threw together the ‘Auld enemy’ in a competitive match for the first time since 1984. England won 2-0 and Paul Gascoigne scored one of the goals of the tournament as he dinked it over Colin Hendry and then volleyed home. The celebration wasn’t bad either.
Kevin Keegan: The It’s been played to death but still incredibly funny to watch. In 1996, Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan embarked one the most memorable rant live on T.V. Talking about Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, Keegan blasted: “I’d love it if we beat them. LOVE IT!”
Steve Bruce: Manchester United won the inaugural Premier League title quite comfortably in the end. It was a huge moment for the club who hadn’t won the title in 26 years. However, the turning point in the 1992/93 season came in a game which United were losing at home to Sheffield Wednesday. After equalising, Steve Bruce headed home a 97th minute winner from a Gary Pallister cross. Old Trafford erupted and Fergie time had arrived…
Forest 1-0 Liverpool 1992: Not a classic by any means. But it was the first ever Premier League game to shown live on Sky Sports TV. If you think of how Sky dominate football in modern times, it was quite significant time for football. Teddy Sheringham scored the only goal of the game and has the pleasure of being the player who scored the first ever live Premier League goal.
Liverpool V Newcastle: Not so much of a ‘moment’ but certainly an iconic match. Voted the greatest ever game in the Premier League, the 1996 clash between two of the best attacking teams in the country certainly didn’t disappoint viewers. It finished 4-3 with Stan Collymore scoring in injury time. Newcastle manager Kevin Keegan, summed the moment up perfectly as he was caught hanging his head in dismay.
Blackburn winning the league: The most memorable moment of the 1994/95 season wasn’t just Blackburn Rovers lifting the trophy. They were losing 2-1 away at Liverpool, which wouldn’t have been enough if Man United were winning at Wimbledon. They weren’t and the whole of Anfield sat waiting for the final whistle from Selhurst Park. I’ve never known a set of fans celebrate another teams victory so much! It was a great moment which summed up the unbeatable rivalry in English football.
Paul Gascoigne: There have been some fantastic moments in the FA Cup and some great moments that are worthy of a mention like Sinclair’s famous overhead kick vs Barnsley or Giggs’ solo goal that took United a step closer to achieving the treble; however I decided to plum for Gazza’s famous free-kick in the Wembley semi final in 1991 – not only a wonderful strike, but a goal that had extra significance on events off the pitch.
So they are my ten – please feel free to add any glaring omissions in the comments below.