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“Danish giant”: how Schmeichel's goal “Rotor” saved the legendary record

Over the weekend, Christian Eriksen's goal gave Manchester United victory over Fulham in the Premier League match. He became the first Dane in 27 years to score for the Red Devils. Before him, goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel succeeded in the legendary match of the UEFA Cup 1995/96 against Rotor.

Great draw for Rotor
In the 90s, the format of the second most important European club competition was very different from the current Europa League draw. Then the teams immediately played knockout, bypassing the group stage. The draw brought the Russians with the team of Alex Ferguson already in the 1/32 finals. Central” managed to roll up a goalless draw. The English press had no doubt that United would take their toll at Old Trafford.“After the UEFA Cup draw, we did not believe that we could go further. When we played a draw in Volgograd, we thought that in Manchester they would ship five or six balls to us, and we would go home. Apparently the United players undertuned”, Alexander Shmarko recalled.

But in England, the “devils” did not go according to plan. By the 25th minute, Rotor had scored two goals. The away goals rule did not apply, so United needed three to qualify for the next stage. And they almost succeeded.
Paul Scholes equalized in the middle of the second half, but then the ball did not want to go into the goal of the guests. Already in the 89th minute, “United” earned a corner, and Peter Schmeichel ran into the goalkeeper's “Rotor”. Ryan Giggs crossed, the keeper struck – and the ball after the rebound flew into the goal.

The referee added five minutes, but the British did not have enough strength for the saving third goal. “Rotor” sensationally knocked “Manchester United” out of the UEFA Cup. Football players returned to Volgograd as heroes. it was the last minute when Schmeichel ran into our penalty area – this Danish giant, a blond Viking. I then stood at the near post. Peter jumps on a tall ball and how it bangs at the gate! I did not let the ball touch the net, I was able to knock it out already behind the goal tape. Five extra minutes lasted an incredibly long time, but we survived, ”said in an interview with Soviet Sport. Alexander Tsarenko.

Despite the relegation from the UEFA Cup, Manchester still had a reason to rejoice. The Devils were undefeated in European competition at home to that point, and Schmeichel's goal helped extend a historic streak. However, a year later, Ferguson's team lost to Fenerbahce in Manchester. in the next round, our club lost to the French “Bordeaux”, which eventually reached the final of the tournament.

Schmeichel the scorer
Goal against the “Rotor” – the only one for Schmeichel for “Manchester United”. In total, he scored 11 goals in his career. A dozen came from clubs, and he scored one more in the Danish national team. Moreover, he considers the goal against Rotor to be the best in his career. But everything could have been different if in one of the United games the linesman had not recorded an offside position. “Rotor” “United” lost to “Wimbledon” in the League Cup. Schmeichel in the last minute went for a corner and, after a partner's rebate, masterfully struck with a kick through himself. Peter hit exactly in the bottom corner and was about to run and celebrate, but he saw the referee's flag raised. Offside stole an incredibly beautiful ball from him.

Surprisingly, Schmeichel scored more than half of his goals in one season. The goalkeeper began his professional career at Hvidovre, for which he scored six times in 1985. The fact is that in the first seasons he sometimes went out to play in the field. The fact is that in the football school, Peter played in attack, not in goal.

At the end of his career, Peter ended up in Aston Villa, for which he also managed to excel. In 2001, he became the first goalkeeper to score in the English Premier League. Everything went according to a familiar scenario – the end of the match, a corner, Schmeichel in someone else's penalty area. But this time he kicked after a partner's discount.

This ended Peter's scoring accomplishments, which were never passed on to his son. For seven hundred games, Kasper Schmeichel has not yet been able to upset his opponent.

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