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Ryan Giggs reflects on iconic FA Cup semi-final goal against Arsenal 21 years ago

The magic of the FA Cup has provided countless iconic moments and on this day 21 years ago it did just that when Manchester United took on bitter rivals Arsenal.

The back end of the 1998-99 season saw the two teams vying for the Premier League and the FA Cup – with the pair meeting in semi-final stages of the latter.

An enthralling replay at Villa Park on April 14, 1999 saw 10-man United edge out as 2-1 winners in extra-time courtesy of Ryan Giggs’ stunning solo run and strike.

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has reflected on his 1999 FA Cup goal against Arsenal

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has reflected on his 1999 FA Cup goal against Arsenal

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs has reflected on his 1999 FA Cup goal against Arsenal

Giggs ran half the pitch before smashing the ball into the top corner to seal a 2-1 semi-final win

Giggs ran half the pitch before smashing the ball into the top corner to seal a 2-1 semi-final win

Giggs ran half the pitch before smashing the ball into the top corner to seal a 2-1 semi-final win

That goal has become synonymous with the Red Devils’ treble-winning campaign.

Reflecting back on that piece of wizardry, the Welshman says it was purely instinctive.

‘When I was playing I never ever watched it but obviously, I’ve had kids and they have never seen me play so it is good to watch it back with them so they can see what the old man used to do,’ he told Sky Sports.

‘It was us and Arsenal back then. We were the two brilliant teams, we were so alike, similar characters and two great managers and at that time, the rivalry was at its peak.

‘I had come off the bench and was having a nightmare actually. I had given the ball away a couple of times so I said to myself next time I am going to have a dribble and run.

‘We were down to 10 men, it was one of those times that was purely instinctive, running with the ball and beating players and next thing I knew I was in the box and decided to shoot. Scholesy [Paul Scholes] was free in the box screaming for it but I thought I am in the box I am going to shoot.’

As well as the goal, Giggs’ celebration is iconic too as he took off his top in celebration before sprinting up the side of the pitch.

The 46-year-old still gets mocked for that due to his hairy chest on show and the club legend wishes that Scholes did follow his lead by going topless too. Replays of the celebration show Scholes getting ready to take his top off too, before thinking otherwise.

‘I don’t want to see that celebration. Scholesy nearly took his top off, that would have got me out of jail.’

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