SULLEY MUNTARI’S penalty secured a famous FA Cup victory at Old Trafford in March 2008.
Thursday represents the 10th anniversary of that memorable Old Trafford quarter-final clash.
I really didn’t feel like that was a good tackle. Sometimes as a defender you do something and think “Yes, that was good” but in this instance I didn’t believe it was anything specialSylvain Distin
Yet there was another crucial moment, when Sylvain Distin somehow prevented Michael Carrick’s shot crossing the line when the scores were goalless.
In 2015 book ‘Played Up Pompey’, the Pompey defender recalled that day.
Distin said: ‘People still talk about my tackle at Old Trafford, but for me I didn’t do anything special.
‘It is not even a tackle to be honest, it wasn’t like a sliding challenge where I stretch my leg and hook the ball away from the opposition player.
‘I couldn’t believe Michael Carrick didn’t shoot, it was an open goal, he took too much time and missed his opportunity.
‘In the 70th minute he went past David James and I just went for it, but it wasn’t like I could get the ball from his foot, I wasn’t close enough, then he just delayed it for a second.
‘Maybe he didn’t see me coming, but it gave me time to put my leg in front and he kicked the ball against me and it bounced away – that’s it.
‘I really didn’t feel like that was a good tackle. Sometimes as a defender you do something and think “Yes, that was good” but in this instance I didn’t believe it was anything special, I just went for it, Carrick has taken his time and I got it.
‘It was 0-0 when it happened, they had been on top and if they had scored that goal it was game over, but it was not down to me, it was down to him missing.
‘That was a really good and strong United team, 10 of them would be in the side which won the Champions League final against Chelsea two-and-a-half months later.
‘Going into it we felt we could win, we were on a decent run with good spirit through the team and knew we could compete, but after 15 minutes realised we’d have to defend the whole match.
‘I cannot remember if we even had a shot on goal before Sulley Muntari netted the penalty, but we knew we were strong defensively so just kept at it hoping we could counter and score.
‘Just playing against Manchester United was special at the time and it was an amazing, amazing experience winning there.
‘We had won at Old Trafford, not too many players in the game can say they did that, especially against a Sir Alex Ferguson side.’