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  • Writer's pictureDag Jenkins

Lazio on top of the world

Updated: Nov 25, 2023

UEFA Super Cup

Friday, August 27, 1999

Stade Louis II, Monaco

Manchester United Lazio 0-1

Lazio beat the European Champions and win Super Cup. A goal by "El Matador" Salas sinks the Red Devils

Official SS Lazio photo

It was a warm evening with 27 degrees in Monte Carlo and there were more Lazio fans than United's in the small Monaco stadium.

The line-ups held no real surprises. For Lazio Sven-Goran Eriksson played Giuseppe Pancaro rather than Beppe Favalli and his only forward was Simone Inzaghi and not Marcelo Salas, with Alen Boksic injured. Ferguson was less cautious and played with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Teddy Sheringham and Andy Cole up front with Ryan Giggs and Dwight Yorke on the bench.

The start of the match saw the English champions show more attacking spirit. Lazio were more prudent with long balls up front and then hoping for sudden incursions by their many and talented midfielders. One of these saw a Pavel Nedved certain winner walled and blocked by Stam.

The first English chance came in the 11th minute but Luca Marchegiani came out well and diving low anticipated Sheringham in a one-on-one challenge, risking a penalty but clearly touching the ball.

Lazio replied two minutes later with a Sinisa Mihajlovic free kick just wide.

Simone Inzaghi was soon at the receiving end of Jaap Stam's tough defending style. The Italian striker suffered an involuntary blow from a Stam elbow and was clearly in pain. Stam in an interview had once criticized the Inzaghi brothers' calling them shams.

The game went on and the Man. Utd keeper, Raimond van der Gouw, almost gave a goal away by kicking the ball directly against Roberto Mancini's backside but it bounced and went just over the bar.

In the 21st minute Lazio went close again when Mancini crossed for Dejan Stankovic who headed it forward and with the ball falling put a low left foot narrowly wide.

In the 23rd minute Inzaghi was unable to continue after Stam's "attentions" and was replaced by Chilean Marcelo Salas.

The Red Devils in the meantime had an opportunity when a Beckham cross was headed by Cole but Marchegiani saved.

In the 27th minute another Mihajlovic free kick was punched away by the Dutch keeper. In the 32nd minute Paolo Negro tried his luck from a distance but his shot was powerful but central and easily saved by the keeper.

Manchester United continued to attack more but without threatening and in the 35th minute it was Lazio who scored. Pancaro lobbed the ball to Mancini who headed it back to the edge of the area to Salas, the "Mapuche" chested the ball down into the box and then at incredible speed hit a low left footed volley which the keeper touched but could not stop. Man. Utd 0 Lazio 1.

The English champions responded immediately with a Sheringham left footed effort from a low cross but Marchegiani was ready, he dived and blocked on the near post.

It was Lazio however who went close again in the 38th minute. Sebastian Veron, who had grown into the game and now pulling the strings in midfield, set up Nedved at the edge of the box, the Czech's curling right foot shaved the post.

In the 42nd minute came Marchegiani's masterpiece. A perfect David Beckham cross from the right found Paul Scholes unmarked in front of goal, he headed it towards the low left-hand corner but "Il Conte" with amazing reflexes managed to dive to his right and slap it away. A superb save.

In the 47th minute came an extremely controversial episode. Veron chipped a ball over Stam into the area to Salas who chested it down and had only the keeper to beat, he pushed the ball past him and was then clearly hacked down. An obvious penalty but not for the referee, Polish Mr. Wojcik, an incredible decision. Halftime Man. Utd 0 Lazio 1 but Lazio denied a chance for a possible second.

The second half started with no changes. On the field it was Lazio who started strongly. On a similar move to the Salas goal, the "Matador" this time was the assist man with a header for Nedved whose cracking shot was tipped over the bar by Van der Gouw.

In the 51st minute Lazio missed the most incredible of chances to double their lead. Nedved teed up Salas with only the keeper to beat, he went round him and only had to slot the ball in but unbelievably pulled it wide and then Stankovic hit the side netting.

On the hour mark Alessandro Nesta showed his defensive masterclass when he sprinted across to challenge Solskjaer and dispossessed him with a long, sliding tackle.

In the 63rd minute Solskjaer jiggled his way into the area but his shot was walled by Nesta and lost power, giving Marchegiani a routine save from a potentially dangerous move.

In the 65th minute, another huge chance for Lazio. Beppe Pancaro did well on the left dribbling his way into the area, he then put in a low cross which was controlled by Salas and pulled back to Stankovic for a free, close range shot but the Serb, possibly caught unawares, shot wide.

In the 66th minute Lazio replaced Nedved with more defensive Diego Simeone while ten minutes earlier the Red Devils had already changed Stam and Beckham and brought on John Curtis and Jordi Crujff (luckily for Lazio not a patch on his dad.. but who was).

Nesta continued to dominate in defence but in the 86th minute a Greening cross, who had come on for Cole, was headed backwards by Sheringham but went wide even if Marchegiani seemed to have it covered anyway.

Manchester United attacked in the last minutes but apart from a couple of scrambles never really threatened. On one, Jordi Cruijff headed a ball across goal from a throw in but there were no red shirts to get a foot to it.

After three minutes of injury time the referee blew up giving Lazio another prestigious European trophy and a historic win over Manchester United. A huge satisfaction for Lazio who were now considered one of the top clubs in the world. For us who had been through the lows of the 80's it all seemed unreal but fortunately it was all very true.

Lazio deserved to win, possibly even by more goals. They had been the better team and had more chances. Manchester United may have underestimated Lazio and even the competition (some years later they pulled out of the FA Cup) but the history books will forever say, 1999 Super Cup Winners: SS Lazio.

Who played for Manchester United

Van der Gouw, G. Neville, Stam (56’ Curtis), Berg, P.Neville, Beckham (57’ Cruijff), Keane, Scholes, Solskjaer, Cole (78’ Greening), Sheringham

Substitutes: Wilson, Giggs, Yorke

Manager: Ferguson

Who played for Lazio

Manager: Eriksson

Referee: Wojcik (Poland)

Goals: 34' Salas



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