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1998/99 Premier League Table: Team Of The Decade Wins Again

Champions: Manchester United

Runners-up: Arsenal

Champions League places: Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea

UEFA Cup places: Leeds United, West Ham United (Intertoto cup), Newcastle United (FA Cup finalists), Tottenham Hotspur (League Cup)

Promoted (from 1997/98): Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic

Relegated: Nottingham Forest, Blackburn Rovers, Charlton Athletic

Leading Scorer: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (Leeds United), Michael Owen (Liverpool), and Dwight Yorke (Manchester United) – 18 goals

Premier League Table 1998 – 1999

1Manchester United38221338037+4379
4Leeds United 38181376234+2867
5West Ham United 38169134653-757
6Aston Villa381510135146+555
8Derby County381313124045-552
10Leicester City381213134046-649
11Tottenham Hotspur381114134750-347
12Sheffield Wednesday38137184142-146
13Newcastle United381113144854-646
15Coventry City38119183951-1242
18Charlton Athletic 38812184156-1536
19Blackburn Rovers38714173852-1435
20Nottingham Forest3879223569-3430

1998/99 Season Review

The last season of the 20th Century was full of twists, turns, and breathless excitement. Oh, and Manchester United won the ‘treble.’

Having lost the Premiership (then sponsored by Carling) and FA Cup crowns to Arsenal the previous season, Manchester United was desperate to win them back.

However, early signs did not bode well. New signings Dwight Yorke and Jaap Stam took a while to settle. Two 3-0 defeats to Arsenal (the Charity Shield and League) seemed to indicate the title would remain at Highbury.


Gone On Strike

At the other end of the table, Nottingham Forest never looked like beating the drop. On the contrary, the season started severely poorly as Pierre Van Hooijdonk – leading scorer in their Division One victory – went on strike, claiming he felt betrayed by the club.

He eventually returned in November but continued to be disliked by fans and teammates. Ron Atkinson took over in January but could not save a club that only won seven matches all season and finished bottom of the 1998/99 premier league table.

In his first match in charge against Arsenal, he infamously walked into the wrong dugout – laughing afterward that he wondered why a team with those substitutes was heading for relegation.


Relegation Shock

Blackburn Rovers was a big shock. Barclays Premier League champions just four seasons ago, and many were expecting them to be title contenders. But they never got close to that. Then, with just three victories by November, manager Roy Hodgson was sacked.

Replacement Brian Kidd didn’t fare much better, and Rovers became the first former Barclays Premier League champions to be relegated.

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Back in the top flight after an eight-year exile, Charlton Athletic could consider themselves unlucky to go straight back down. Southampton had occupied that position until a late resurgence in April secured their safety.

The end of the season was all United, United, United as fans around the globe watched to see if the Reds could snare an impossible treble. Before United’s injury-time equalizer in the Champions League final, television commentator Clive Tyldesley said: “Can United score? They always score.” That extraordinary comeback summed up their season. Trailing in so many matches, they always managed to turn it around – often with late goals.


Neck And Neck To The End

Arsenal and Manchester United were neck-and-neck throughout the season, with the Gunners favorites to retain their title. However, it went to the wire, with Arsenal praying that rivals Tottenham could win at Old Trafford on the last day of the season. Though they conceded the first goal again, the Reds came back to win the match and took the trophy by one point as they finished on top of the 1998/99 Premier League table.

This was double misery for the Gunners, who United had also trumped in the FA Cup. Their semi-final victory – where Ryan Giggs scored the Goal of the Season – is widely regarded as one of the classic matches of all time. The Reds went on to win their tenth FA Cup (a record) and completed their hat-trick of trophies with a memorable last-gasp European Cup victory over Bayern Munich.


1998/99 Cup Results

1998/99 FA Cup Winners: Manchester United [Final – Man. Utd 2 v 0 Newcastle]

1998/99 League Cup Winners: Tottenham Hotspur [Final – Spurs 1 v 0 Leicester City]

1998/99 Champions League Winners: Manchester United [Final – Man. Utd. 2 v 1 Bayern Munich]

1998/99 UEFA Cup Winners: Parma [Final – Parma 3 v 0 Marseille]


1998/99 Managerial Changes

Blackburn Rovers: Roy Hodgson out, Brian Kidd in

Everton: Howard Kendall out, Walter Smith in

Leeds United: George Graham out, David O’Leary in

Liverpool: Roy Evans out, Gerard Houllier in

Newcastle United: Kenny Dalglish out, Ruud Gullit in

Nottingham Forest: Dave Bassett out, Ron Atkinson in

Tottenham Hotspur: Christian Gross out, George Graham in

the biggest soccer transfers in 1998