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For a preview, here is an excerpt from coverage of the 8-1 win against our next Premier League opponents, Nottingham Forest, during the Treble-winning campaign:

“I remember Jim Ryan telling me: ‘We’re winning 4-1 so you don’t need to do anything stupid or daft. Just keep the ball,’” recalled Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2020. He kept the ball, all right – kept the ball hitting the back of the Forest net. His first on 80 minutes was a back-post tap-in from a Gary Neville cross.

Number two eight minutes later was an unerring drive into the top corner of the vacant net with [Dave] Beasant stranded. With time almost up the Norwegian trumped [Dwight] Yorke and [Andy] Cole by completing a hat-trick with a smart volley. And there was even time to enter the record books with a fourth goal as a substitute, this one passed coolly into the corner after the ball had fallen kindly for him.

“For the opponents, 4-1 was close enough for them to have to have a go, and I knew there would be spaces for me to run into,” Ole remembered. “Every time I was on the pitch, I wanted to show the manager I should be playing more.”

His manager had indeed taken note. “I thought the finishing was magnificent. Solskjaer was amazing,” said Ferguson post-match (while Forest boss and former United manager Ron Atkinson quipped that his team had been involved in a “nine-goal thriller”). It was a record away victory in the Premier League at the time, and it kept the Reds four points ahead of the pack – an invaluable cushion in the run-in to end all run-ins…

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