Fans left purring as they mark 20th anniversary of the day Man United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer came off the bench to score FOUR goals in 10 minutes at Nottingham Forest
- It is 20 years to the day since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scored four against Forest
- Solskjaer replaced Dwight Yorke in the 72nd minute with United leading 4-1
- The Norwegian scored four times in just over 10 minutes as United hit eight
- It remains a record score by an away side in the history of the Premier League
- Solskjaer would help inspire United to an historic Treble that season
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is working tirelessly to restore the attacking ethos that was the hallmark of Sir Alex Ferguson’s great Manchester United sides.
And there are few greater examples of that philosophy than the masterclass Solskjaer himself produced at Nottingham Forest 20 years ago today.
United were leading 4-1 when the Norwegian striker came off the bench at the City Ground with 18 minutes of the Premier League fixture remaining.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer memorably scored four goals against Nottingham Forest 20 years ago
The Norwegian striker came off the bench to net four times in United’s 8-1 rout of Forest
Dwight Yorke, whom he replaced, and Andrew Cole had scored two goals apiece that afternoon but Solskjaer would eclipse them both by scoring four times in just over 10 minutes.
The Premier League tweeted out highlights of United’s 8-1 win – which remains the biggest away win in the competition’s history – and fans were quick to reminisce.
One wrote: ‘Lol he was so casual at treating a Premier League team like a group of seven year olds in the park.’
Another replied: ‘From Nottingham and the joke going around school the day after this match was ‘Forest fan bought eight pies on the way home, but he was so sad he only 8-1!’
One recalled: ‘Love how after this game Ron Atkinson [the Forest manager] said that Nottingham Forest had just been in a 9 goal thriller.’
Solskjaer scores United’s seventh goal past a stranded Forest keeper Dave Beasant
The record away win in the Premier League was a key afternoon in United’s Treble triumph
Solskjaer is congratulated by his team-mates after scoring one of his four goals that day
NOTTINGHAM FOREST 1 MANCHESTER UNITED 8
February 6, 1999 – Premier League
The City Ground
Nottingham Forest: Dave Beasant; John Harkes, Craig Armstrong (Hugo Porfirio 74), Jon Olav Hjelde, Alan Rogers; Steve Stone, Carlton Palmer, Andy Johnson, Scot Gemmill (Jesper Mattsson 57); Pierre van Hooijdonk, Jean-Claude Darcheville (Dougie Freddman 26)
Substitutes not used: Mark Crossley (GK); Chris Bart-Williams
Manager: Ron Atkinson
Scorer: Rogers 6
Manchester United: Peter Schmeichel; Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen, Jaap Stam, Phil Neville; David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane (John Curtis 72), Jesper Blomqvist (Nicky Butt 86); Dwight Yorke (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 72), Andrew Cole
Substitutes not used: Raimond van der Gouw (GK); David May
Manager: Alex Ferguson
Scorers: Yorke 2, 67; Cole 7, 50; Solskjaer 80, 88, 90, 90
Booked: Keane, P. Neville
Referee: Paul Alcock (Kent)
That afternoon on the banks of the River Trent was when United’s ultimately glorious Treble campaign really caught fire.
Ferguson’s side had been engaged in a cat-and-mouse title chase with Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal for months and had proved remarkably tough to beat.
A week before the annihilation of Forest, United had won at Charlton thanks to a last-minute Yorke goal – something that would become their forte – and midweek had seen a scraped 1-0 win over Derby.
But United were in full flow against Forest, taking just two minutes to take the lead when Yorke turned home a right-wing cross from Paul Scholes.
Forest actually equalised five minutes later through Alan Rogers but that proved the only negative in United’s afternoon.
Cole restored their lead less than a minute later, skipping around Forest keeper Dave Beasant before scoring from a narrow angle.
And United were home and dry against the relegation strugglers when Cole and then Yorke added goals after half-time.
Given their ruthless streaks, no doubt Cole and Yorke were both eying hat-tricks at that point but Yorke was taken off for Solskjaer, who trumped them both.
With 10 minutes left on the clock, he side-footed home from two yards after Gary Neville had played a cross through the six-yard box.
Solskjaer then beat the offside trap to gather David Beckham’s pass, seeing his attempted lob blocked by Beasant before pinging the rebound into the top corner.
The ball sat up nicely for Solskjaer to rattle in his hat-trick goal in stoppage time, taking United to seven goals.
Solskjaer would help Ferguson’s United win an historic Treble of Premier League, FA Cup and Champions League that season
The Norwegian scored United’s stoppage time winner against Bayern Munich in the Champions League final
The match programme from 1999
And when Scholes mis-hit a Nicky Butt cross in the muddy penalty box, Solskjaer was on hand to sweep home his fourth and United’s eighth at the death.
Remarkably, there were only 10 shots on target in the match by both sides – with nine finding the net for a conversion rate of 90 per cent.
United were unstoppable from then on, remaining unbeaten in the league to pip Arsenal by just one point after a dramatic final-day win over Tottenham.
Ferguson’s side also won the FA Cup, defeating Newcastle 2-0 in the Wembley final, and the Champions League, where Solskjaer’s stoppage-time goal defeated Bayern Munich in one of the most dramatic finishes to any final ever.
How Solskjaer will wish for something similar now he is in charge at Old Trafford.
What happened to the man who came on with Solskjaer?
John Curtis comes on alongside Solskjaer during the win at Nottingham Forest
John Curtis came on for Roy Keane at the same time as Solskjaer’s introduction.
The versatile defender could play anywhere along the back four or in midfield and made a total of 14 league appearances for United having graduated from their academy.
But breaking into such a talented side proved impossible and Curtis went out on loan to Division One side Barnsley the following season before moving to Blackburn in 2000.
Curtis later played for Leicester City, Portsmouth, Nottingham Forest, QPR, Wrexham and Northampton Town.