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Classic match replay: City 2-2 Gillingham (3-1p) 1999

CITY+ subscribers can now relive one of the most important games in Manchester City’s history in its entirety.

Our penalty shootout victory over Gillingham in the 1999 Second Division Playoff final is considered by many as the match that saved the Club, as Joe Royle’s men staged the most dramatic and unlikeliest of comebacks to claim a victory that will never be forgotten.


With three minutes of normal time remaining, City were staring an agonising second season in the third tier of English football in the face after Carl Asaba and Robert Taylor struck late goals for Gillingham.

However, in true ‘Typical City’ fashion, Royle’s side were going to do it the hard way.

Kevin Horlock’s 90th minute strike felt like little more than a consolation, but prompted the commentator to query: “I wonder if there will be a late twist here?”

And those words proved prophetic as Paul Dickov crashed home a 95th minute equaliser to send the City fans at Wembley Stadium into raptures.

After a goalless 30-minutes of extra-time, Nicky Weaver made two saves in the shootout, as Horlock, Terry Cooke and Richard Edghill scored to give City a 3-1 victory on penalties.

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READ: Wembley '99: The inside story of City's promotion