Peter Schmeichel v Newcastle — when a keeper is a difference between triumph and humiliation

Frank Grimes

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Keane was so uncharacteristically nervy in this match, definitely grew leaps and leaps as player in that time.
I remember this game as I watched it a couple of years back. Keane was by far our best player and got us playing in the 2nd half.

I’m really curious to hear which ones were better.
Only Schmeichel performance better or a similar level to this was for Denmark v Germany in Euro 1992 final.
 

Red00012

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I’m really curious to hear which ones were better.
Apart from making one decent save from Ferdinand the rest any keeper would be expected to save . I’m not sure why you are getting so excited about his performance . His kicking was poor to say the least that night.
 

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Watching us losing to Brentford in such manner, conceding 4 goals before the half time, made me think of something. De Gea made a couple of horrible mistakes and after the game took all the blame on himself. I doubt that it's completely fair as the entire team was useless, but it did made me think of the games where keepers really made the difference — like the better version of De Gea v Arsenal, for example or the last CL final.

The Athletic recently published their Golden Games series — 50 articles on 50 best individual performances in Premier League's history. The pick for the #1 spot was pleasantly surprising, considering the usual bias towards attackers — it was Peter Schmeichel v Newcastle from the 1995/96 season. The one when we were trailing behind Keegan's (I would love it if we beat them) boys by 12 points before executing the most miraculous comeback and somehow winning the league. The head to head fixture in March was crucial — Newcastle had the chance of finishing us off, basically ending the title race here and there.

So I've decided to rewatch it and make a video on it since, surprisingly, there aren't any. I have to say that the first half was brutal, triggering my Brentford PTSD — even though United had Cantona, Keane, Giggs, Irwin and Cole on the pitch Newcastle could've easily scored 4 or 5 goals. But Schmeichel had other plans. Instead of conceding easy goals, he turned on God mode and demoralised the opposition forwards by effortlessly saving anything that was flying his way. Watching Keegan's face slowly shifting from happiness (since his team was playing so well) to despair (as one man made all that irrelevant) was priceless.

Anyway, here's the video and I'll leave the link to The Athletic's article here. I figured that we can all use some positive reinforcement at the moment. What's your favourite goalkeeping performance of all-time?

I still think the Brentford game wasn’t as catastrophic as many felt at the time. We simply gave them a 2 goal headstart by 2 howlers gift wrapped.

Once you are 0-2 down chasing the game away from home, it was always going to be uphill from there. I still don’t think Brentford did anything special to beat us. Their 4th goal was nice but we were gung ho at that point.
 

Chief123

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I also remember De Gea having a similar performance for us away at Arsenal I think. Where he saved over 11 shots on target a few of them which would be easy goals on another day. His heroics solely won us the game that day. I think that was more impressive than Shmikes against Newcastle.
 

berbatrick

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The DDG Arsenal game is well known. Away at Madrid is my favourite - the Coentrao fingertip save is ridiculous, the Khedira deflected shot was a really tough hold made to look easy, and the kick save at the far post was the icing on the cake. And a lot of routine stuff besides that.
The Arsenal game is maybe better, but by then it was expected - Madrid was the game where I realised he is a miracle worker.

Unlike Schmeichel - this wasn't a difference between triumph and humiliation, thanks to the second leg starring Ronaldo, Modric, and that referee.


Stupid, repetitive video, but it's the only one that exists.
 

V.O.

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Loved Schmeichel as a kid. When United were already up by 2 or 3, I almost wanted the opposition to have a few chances just so I could see big Pete make some saves.

However, outside of the importance of that game, there's really nothing all that remarkable about it. It's not even close to the best PL performance by a keeper, let alone any player. Fecking Jordan Pickford had a handful of more impressive outings at the end of last season to keep Everton up.
 

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Not exactly strictly on topicc but the season after 96/97 I think I remember him having one of the greatest saves I’ve ever seen, vs Newcastle that time as well. The ball was headed towards goal, and Schmeichel seemed beat, somehow he managed to get the ball from behind himself to get it off the goal line. We won 5-0 or something so not crucial, but what a save!
 

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Loved Schmeichel as a kid. When United were already up by 2 or 3, I almost wanted the opposition to have a few chances just so I could see big Pete make some saves.

However, outside of the importance of that game, there's really nothing all that remarkable about it. It's not even close to the best PL performance by a keeper, let alone any player. Fecking Jordan Pickford had a handful of more impressive outings at the end of last season to keep Everton up.
Yeah, I love Schmeichel and couldn't really remember that game so watched the highlights expecting some unbelievable saves and true magic, if it was hailed the best PL performance by a player in history. Huge stage, huge result, great game from Schmeichel, but it really doesn't strike me as the best goalkeeper performance I have seen in my life. Also, it was much different times, but I just can't help but chuckle at these random kicks, throws and goal kicks going straight outside the pitch :lol: Football really went a long way.
 

BerryBerryShrew

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Goalkeeping is more than just making saves
Well if it's also about organising the defence in front of you then he certainly didn't do a very good job of it in that game given that our back four was all over the place for 90 mins.
 

Lay

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What a goalie he was. It took us so long to replace him. If he wasn’t making saves, or distributing the ball up the pitch with a long throw, he was intimidating strikers by his sheer presence.
 

Zetrio2002

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United is so lucky to be graced by 3 legendary keepers during the premier league era.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Not exactly strictly on topicc but the season after 96/97 I think I remember him having one of the greatest saves I’ve ever seen, vs Newcastle that time as well. The ball was headed towards goal, and Schmeichel seemed beat, somehow he managed to get the ball from behind himself to get it off the goal line. We won 5-0 or something so not crucial, but what a save!
I'm wondering whether you're confusing 2 different saves. He had a save from a Wreh shot in the 3-2 loss at Highbury in 97/98 where the ball took a deflection and looped over him and he somehoe managed to save that and get it over the bar.

And he had a save against Newcastle at St James' Park in that same season which was going to his left (and seemed destined to go into the net) but which he managed to put an arm out to save.

If you're referring to something else, I'd be curious to see a video of it. If neither of the saves I mentioned were the one you had in mind and if you can find the one you're referring to online, it would be nice to see it here.
 

Devil81

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United is so lucky to be graced by 3 legendary keepers during the premier league era.
Please don't bracket De Gea with Schmeichel and VDS.

He's made more mistakes than any keeper I've ever known.
 

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I'm wondering whether you're confusing 2 different saves. He had a save from a Wreh shot in the 3-2 loss at Highbury in 97/98 where the ball took a deflection and looped over him and he somehoe managed to save that and get it over the bar.

And he had a save against Newcastle at St James' Park in that same season which was going to his left (and seemed destined to go into the net) but which he managed to put an arm out to save.

If you're referring to something else, I'd be curious to see a video of it. If neither of the saves I mentioned were the one you had in mind and if you can find the one you're referring to online, it would be nice to see it here.
sounds like the second one. Can’t remember whose header it was. Weirdly (in my opinion of course) at one stage I’m sure that was voted best ever PL save when it’s not even Schmeichel’s best save.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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sounds like the second one. Can’t remember whose header it was. Weirdly (in my opinion of course) at one stage I’m sure that was voted best ever PL save when it’s not even Schmeichel’s best save.
Yeah that sort of thing is always subjective. It was a great save and we can leave it at that.
I think most people would have this save as his best:

For reference, the Wreh save is at #7 here and the Barnes save is at #3:

 

ROFLUTION

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Please don't bracket De Gea with Schmeichel and VDS.

He's made more mistakes than any keeper I've ever known.
Schmeichel made many mistakes too. One or two pr season where you thought “what on earth was he doing?”. The difference is mostly that De Gea has made most of his mistakes in 2-3 seasons alone. Schmeichel had many more great seasons though and commanded more.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Schmeichel made many mistakes too. One or two pr season where you thought “what on earth was he doing?”. The difference is mostly that De Gea has made most of his mistakes in 2-3 seasons alone. Schmeichel had many more great seasons though.
I don't think the amount of mistakes that each made is comparable, to be fair. Schmeichel made most of his in his last season (98-99) including an unusual cascade in the fall, which prompted Ferguson to give him a middle-of-the-season break. He came back on top form and was crucial in United winning the treble, making important saves in pretty much rver important match United had that spring.

De Gea has been shaky for several seasons now and by sheer volume, he's probably made more mistakes since Solskjaer's 2nd season (2019-20) than Schmeichel made in his entire United career.

Everyone drops clangers, but De Gea seems to have more of them than many great keepers.
 

ROFLUTION

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I don't think the amount of mistakes that each made is comparable, to be fair. Schmeichel made most of his in his last season (98-99) including an unusual cascade in the fall, which prompted Ferguson to give him a middle-of-the-season break. He came back on top form and was crucial in United winning the treble, making important saves in pretty much rver important match United had that spring.

De Gea has been shaky for several seasons now and by sheer volume, he's probably made more mistakes since Solskjaer's 2nd season (2019-20) than Schmeichel made in his entire United career.

Everyone drops clangers, but De Gea seems to have more of them than many great keepers.
Just curious but how much United in the 90s did you watch? Seems like we disagree due to how we watched the games. Can only speak for myself but I remember Schmeichel as having the personal errors in him despite being world class and being almost inhuman at times.

From memory it is a bit hard to lay complete judgement however - stats should probably be used (will probably be slightly in favour of Schmeichel), but yeah De Gea’s worst season under Ole will have a lot - I dont agree that he seems to have a lot at all times though - go back in his prime seasons and it’ll be like Schmeichel’s best. In De Gea’s prime there was talk of him overtaking Schmeichel if he kept it up (Sadly he didnt - also football became way more in disfavor of De Gea with constant pressing (cant play the ball really))
 

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I'm wondering whether you're confusing 2 different saves. He had a save from a Wreh shot in the 3-2 loss at Highbury in 97/98 where the ball took a deflection and looped over him and he somehoe managed to save that and get it over the bar.

And he had a save against Newcastle at St James' Park in that same season which was going to his left (and seemed destined to go into the net) but which he managed to put an arm out to save.

If you're referring to something else, I'd be curious to see a video of it. If neither of the saves I mentioned were the one you had in mind and if you can find the one you're referring to online, it would be nice to see it here.
No, none of these. I know for sure it was 96/97, the first season I started watching games regularly, but I was 6 yo when the season started so it’s based on the vhs copy Champions again! I’ll try finding it when I get the time:)

I might be making more of it then it was, but as I remember the ball had passed the Dane on the way into the net and he sort of reached behind himself to keep it out. Sounded like the second one, I just remember thinking the guy was superman or something.
 

AKDevil

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Yeah that sort of thing is always subjective. It was a great save and we can leave it at that.
I think most people would have this save as his best:

For reference, the Wreh save is at #7 here and the Barnes save is at #3:

The Don Hutchison save is the one I think of when the ‘best ever’ convo comes up. Palace one is unbelievable but that was in the First Division so I accept that one.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Just curious but how much United in the 90s did you watch? Seems like we disagree due to how we watched the games. Can only speak for myself but I remember Schmeichel as having the personal errors in him despite being world class and being almost inhuman at times.

From memory it is a bit hard to lay complete judgement however - stats should probably be used (will probably be slightly in favour of Schmeichel), but yeah De Gea’s worst season under Ole will have a lot - I dont agree that he seems to have a lot at all times though - go back in his prime seasons and it’ll be like Schmeichel’s best. In De Gea’s prime there was talk of him overtaking Schmeichel if he kept it up (Sadly he didnt - also football became way more in disfavor of De Gea with constant pressing (cant play the ball really))
Quite a lot. And I don't remember him having nearly as many clangers. The only season which could be compared to any of De Gea's last 4 was the 98-99 seasons (specifically the first half of the season).

The comparisons were a case of regency bias, in my opinion, but even that is a moot point because we would be hard-pressed to see anyone rank De Gea ahead of Schmeichel at this point. Moreover, it isn't really a discussion of who's better in his respective prime (I lean towards Schmeichel) but about the number of mistakes each made. To me, that's less subjective, and I do believe we have more mistakes over the past few years from De Gea than by Schmeichel over his stint.

No, none of these. I know for sure it was 96/97, the first season I started watching games regularly, but I was 6 yo when the season started so it’s based on the vhs copy Champions again! I’ll try finding it when I get the time:)

I might be making more of it then it was, but as I remember the ball had passed the Dane on the way into the net and he sort of reached behind himself to keep it out. Sounded like the second one, I just remember thinking the guy was superman or something.
Could it have been the save against Arsenal at Highbury? Ian Wright headed a ball over him and he reached backwards and tipped it over the bar. That's the only thing that comes to mind in the 96-97 campaign (but I could be forgetting something).

Again, if you can find it, it would be nice to see it. Thanks in advance
 

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Quite a lot. And I don't remember him having nearly as many clangers. The only season which could be compared to any of De Gea's last 4 was the 98-99 seasons (specifically the first half of the season).

The comparisons were a case of regency bias, in my opinion, but even that is a moot point because we would be hard-pressed to see anyone rank De Gea ahead of Schmeichel at this point. Moreover, it isn't really a discussion of who's better in his respective prime (I lean towards Schmeichel) but about the number of mistakes each made. To me, that's less subjective, and I do believe we have more mistakes over the past few years from De Gea than by Schmeichel over his stint.



Could it have been the save against Arsenal at Highbury? Ian Wright headed a ball over him and he reached backwards and tipped it over the bar. That's the only thing that comes to mind in the 96-97 campaign (but I could be forgetting something).

Again, if you can find it, it would be nice to see it. Thanks in advance
I tried finding it, and I’m starting to think you might be right! I might be confusing different saves, but he was stretched left, full length and the ball was bouncing near ground and he just instinctively reached behind with his left hand and tipped it out or over. I’ll watch the whole season review again soon (about time anyway!) and get back to you. It was a header, I’m sure of that, I think corner or freekick since the box was full of players.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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I tried finding it, and I’m starting to think you might be right! I might be confusing different saves, but he was stretched left, full length and the ball was bouncing near ground and he just instinctively reached behind with his left hand and tipped it out or over. I’ll watch the whole season review again soon (about time anyway!) and get back to you. It was a header, I’m sure of that, I think corner or freekick since the box was full of players.
If you're sure it was during the 96-97 season, I think it might have been either the save against Rapid Vienna:

Or the save against Arsenal at 9:54 here:


Having said that, you're also describing a save against West Ham away during the 95-96 season (I think ) which went down exactly as described here. He saved a header going down to the ground to his left by flicking it over the bar with an outstretched arm. Couldn't find that one on YouTube, unfortunately.
 

Handré1990

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If you're sure it was during the 96-97 season, I think it might have been either the save against Rapid Vienna:

Or the save against Arsenal at 9:54 here:


Having said that, you're also describing a save against West Ham away during the 95-96 season (I think ) which went down exactly as described here. He saved a header going down to the ground to his left by flicking it over the bar with an outstretched arm. Couldn't find that one on YouTube, unfortunately.
You nailed it! It’s the one v Rapid Vienna! Wow, my memory was playing tricks on me :lol: I remembered it to be even better though, tbf I was 7 years old at the time:wenger: Schmeichel sure did have lots of great saves though! If de Gea had hos heart and command of the box Schmeichel had, he’d be a totally different beast imo.
 

Zed 101

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I grew up watching Schmeichel so it may be a little bit of nostalgia, but for me the greatest keeper I have ever seen, his saves and command of the area just stood out, I lost count of the number of games where he was Utd's most dominant force.... imagine him in the current Utd set up he would tear our defenders to ribbons.

I think people also forget (in this modern era where distribution is so highly valued) how good he was at throwing the ball out, used to throw the ball better than any kicked pass well into the opposition half.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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You nailed it! It’s the one v Rapid Vienna! Wow, my memory was playing tricks on me :lol: I remembered it to be even better though, tbf I was 7 years old at the time:wenger: Schmeichel sure did have lots of great saves though! If de Gea had hos heart and command of the box Schmeichel had, he’d be a totally different beast imo.
Just glad we found it:D
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Yeah, I was seriously thinking about digging up my vhs player from storage to watch the season review :lol: I can probably find it on youtube, but the quality would be even worse I think. It is a very good save all the same.
You can dowload all of the 1990s season reviews online. I had the 92-93 season up until the 2002-03 season on VHS and then got the 2002-03 season (yes, again) to the 2010-2011 season on dvd. I have never gone back to plug in an old dvd or plugging in the old VCR to watch those VHS tapes. It's much easier having them on a harddrive. They're all available online, for what it's worth.

Incidentally, if you manage to get your hands on the following highlights documentary, it's brilliant:





I converted my old VHS to DVD format and years later converted the DVD to digital. I tried putting that on YouTube but it was taken down almost immediately based on copyright issues.

Its the best Schmeichel highlights that has ever been done (goes linearly season by season with his best saves) and I think it would be very interesting for any United fan to watch, but I can't upload it.
 

CloneMC16

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I'll be honest. I don't think a lot of that was very impressive. He made two great saves in the video. 0:35 and 13:14. He was very dominant in the air, though. The rest of the saves he made were routine saves. If he let them in, you wouldn't be happy. A lot of his kicking was quite bad. Quite a few went straight out of play or went right back to Newcastle. Newcastle's shooting lost them the game. A lot of their shots were straight at Schmeichel or went wide. We were terrible in that game, though. Even though we won, Sir Alex must have been very upset with the performance.

That game against Arsenal where De Gea saved everything was definitely better than this.
 

Irwin99

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I remember this game as I watched it a couple of years back. Keane was by far our best player and got us playing in the 2nd half.



Only Schmeichel performance better or a similar level to this was for Denmark v Germany in Euro 1992 final.
Yeah I thought he was really good in this game too. Beautiful last ditch tackle to stop Rob Lee from scoring and a great first time pass for Giggs for one chance in the first half. Also started the movement for the goal by winning a challenge against David Batty and playing a nice pass to the wings.

Regarding whether Schmeichal had better games than this? yeah probably, almost certainly, but it's THE match and the occasion that defines its greatness. Keane's MOTM performance against Liverpool in 1996 was probably better than Juventus but it was the Juventus game that everyone thinks of and rightly so.

Becks against Greece for England is probably another example. He probably had better games than that but it was the circumstances that made it so great and memorable.
 

Adebisi's Hat

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I still remember watching that game, it was a crucial 3 points that season. They battered us in the first half but did not score and once Eric put us in front it was never really in doubt. That whole team were 'mentality monsters' and never lay down.
 

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You can dowload all of the 1990s season reviews online. I had the 92-93 season up until the 2002-03 season on VHS and then got the 2002-03 season (yes, again) to the 2010-2011 season on dvd. I have never gone back to plug in an old dvd or plugging in the old VCR to watch those VHS tapes. It's much easier having them on a harddrive. They're all available online, for what it's worth.

Incidentally, if you manage to get your hands on the following highlights documentary, it's brilliant:





I converted my old VHS to DVD format and years later converted the DVD to digital. I tried putting that on YouTube but it was taken down almost immediately based on copyright issues.

Its the best Schmeichel highlights that has ever been done (goes linearly season by season with his best saves) and I think it would be very interesting for any United fan to watch, but I can't upload it.
So when you say download, are we talking from some official store or..? I would love to have all the reviews from 1990-2011! I’ve never seen that Schmeichel documentary anywhere, seems like a good watch.
 

AKDevil

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You can dowload all of the 1990s season reviews online. I had the 92-93 season up until the 2002-03 season on VHS and then got the 2002-03 season (yes, again) to the 2010-2011 season on dvd. I have never gone back to plug in an old dvd or plugging in the old VCR to watch those VHS tapes. It's much easier having them on a harddrive. They're all available online, for what it's worth.

Incidentally, if you manage to get your hands on the following highlights documentary, it's brilliant:





I converted my old VHS to DVD format and years later converted the DVD to digital. I tried putting that on YouTube but it was taken down almost immediately based on copyright issues.

Its the best Schmeichel highlights that has ever been done (goes linearly season by season with his best saves) and I think it would be very interesting for any United fan to watch, but I can't upload it.
Excellent video. Even though I don’t have a VHS player, whenever house clear outs are happening that is going nowhere!

He’s also done a Soccerbox episode with Gary Neville recently which is meant to be good though not been able to find just yet.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Excellent video. Even though I don’t have a VHS player, whenever house clear outs are happening that is going nowhere!

He’s also done a Soccerbox episode with Gary Neville recently which is meant to be good though not been able to find just yet.
I retained mine as well, even though I don't have a VHS player anymore either and even though I have the same doc in digital format. Those old tapes can't be replaced and it'll be nice to have them. Thanks for the suggestion. I had not heard of the episode with Neville, and I'll try to download that, if I can find it.

So when you say download, are we talking from some official store or..? I would love to have all the reviews from 1990-2011! I’ve never seen that Schmeichel documentary anywhere, seems like a good watch.
You can buy them all on Amazon. Ill PM you with more details.
 

Adnan

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The sheer magnitude of the game and what was at stake away to a rampant Newcastle team was what made this a stand out game for Schmeichel. He displayed leadership and a proactiveness that is completely absent in the current United goalkeeping ranks, and has been since VdS retired. It's not about the saves but rather about Schmeichel extinguishing the threat before it became a threat. So the command of his area along with his bravery as a goalkeeper made him the great keeper he was. And in that era it wasn't a big deal to play out from the back, so it was normal to kick it long. But a keeper was required to command his area and be a presence in his own box which is currently missing in our team due to a reactive keeper who is rooted to his line.
 

NinjaZombie

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Watching us losing to Brentford in such manner, conceding 4 goals before the half time, made me think of something. De Gea made a couple of horrible mistakes and after the game took all the blame on himself. I doubt that it's completely fair as the entire team was useless, but it did made me think of the games where keepers really made the difference — like the better version of De Gea v Arsenal, for example or the last CL final.

The Athletic recently published their Golden Games series — 50 articles on 50 best individual performances in Premier League's history. The pick for the #1 spot was pleasantly surprising, considering the usual bias towards attackers — it was Peter Schmeichel v Newcastle from the 1995/96 season. The one when we were trailing behind Keegan's (I would love it if we beat them) boys by 12 points before executing the most miraculous comeback and somehow winning the league. The head to head fixture in March was crucial — Newcastle had the chance of finishing us off, basically ending the title race here and there.

So I've decided to rewatch it and make a video on it since, surprisingly, there aren't any. I have to say that the first half was brutal, triggering my Brentford PTSD — even though United had Cantona, Keane, Giggs, Irwin and Cole on the pitch Newcastle could've easily scored 4 or 5 goals. But Schmeichel had other plans. Instead of conceding easy goals, he turned on God mode and demoralised the opposition forwards by effortlessly saving anything that was flying his way. Watching Keegan's face slowly shifting from happiness (since his team was playing so well) to despair (as one man made all that irrelevant) was priceless.

Anyway, here's the video and I'll leave the link to The Athletic's article here. I figured that we can all use some positive reinforcement at the moment. What's your favourite goalkeeping performance of all-time?

Watching that video and seeing Schmeichel's reactions everytime he did something and I can't help but think about Keane calling Schmeichel a "poser" in his book, with the latter giving off a "look at me, look at how much I have to save this team here" vibe. :lol:
 

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Watching that reminds me of one of Schmeichel's most forgotten attributes. He could throw the ball with sniper like accuracy virtually the length of the pitch. It was such a dangerous weapon and set up numerous counter attacks over the years.
 

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Schmeichel was an absolute beast. Not about the saves, more about the way he just comands the whole area. Just an alpha.

Also the game that finished Bruce and convinced Fergie Gary Neville will never be a centre half. They had an absolute shocker.
 

Ladron de redcafe

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Watching that reminds me of one of Schmeichel's most forgotten attributes. He could throw the ball with sniper like accuracy virtually the length of the pitch. It was such a dangerous weapon and set up numerous counter attacks over the years.
There was a goal against Wimbledon in 1994 where he literally threw the ball more than 2/3 of the way across the pitch to Kanchelskis putting him clear on goal. The strength and accuracy to do that with his arms were unlike anything I've seen from a keeper.

Schmeichel was an absolute beast. Not about the saves, more about the way he just comands the whole area. Just an alpha.

Also the game that finished Bruce and convinced Fergie Gary Neville will never be a centre half. They had an absolute shocker.
If I'm not mistaken, he played him at center half a few more times, including during the 1999 club world cup, but it was embarrassing. Edmundo made mincemeat out of him, and it was clear Neville could not play in that position.
 

FujiVice

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If I'm not mistaken, he played him at center half a few more times, including during the 1999 club world cup, but it was embarrassing. Edmundo made mincemeat out of him, and it was clear Neville could not play in that position.
In 1995/96 Fergie was big on the idea that he'd be the best centre half in the country, because of his communication and timing. But after this, that idea went out the window. He did play him every now and again there, but as a regular the idea was well out the window.
 
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