Manchester City fans are absolutely buzzing at the moment.
Not only have they watched their club shatter the Premier League record for consecutive wins (14), they did it by comprehensibly beating bitter rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola looks like he’s building something truly special at City. His side have only been beaten once this season, losing in a dead rubber against Shakhtar Donetsk having already qualified at the top of their Champions League group. They’ve only dropped two points in the Premier League, when Ronald Koeman’s Everton came to park the bus at the Etihad early in the campaign.
And although this is looking set to be an historic season for Guardiola and his men, there was a perhaps more important one back in 1998-99.
While Sir Alex Ferguson’s United side were battling their way to an unprecedented treble win, City were doggedly fighting to gain promotion from Division Two.
That season culminated in City playing out one of the most dramatic games in their history, when they overcame Gillingham in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium.
Despite being 0-2 down after 90 minutes, Kevin Horlock gave Royle’s side the faintest hope by netting what most thought was a late consolation. Then Paul Dickov popped up to send the game to extra time in the 95th minute, in scenes that provided the original Sergio Aguero moment.
After extra time, City beat Tony Pulis’s Gillingham on penalties, and went up to Division One. They were promoted again the following season and were eventually bought out by a super-rich Abu Dhabi consortium in 2008. So the theory goes, if Dickov hadn’t scored that crucial goal, Sheik Mansour may have taken his money to another, better-suited Premier League outfit.
Although they wore the florescent yellow and black Brother-sponsored kit in the final against Gillingham, City’s home shirt was a thing of beauty that year too.
The Kappa-manufactured kit was an electric blue, with the glorious trim that all late-90s Kappa kits had.