JOHNSEN’S TREBLE SEASON
The Norwegian defender played 37 times in 1998/99, starting on 30 occasions. That figure would undoubtedly have been higher had it not been for his injury problems during the autumn, but he started and finished the season as Ferguson’s favourite partner for Stam.
Johnsen was also extremely useful to Ferguson in midfield, when needed, and also popped up with three goals. The first arrived against Coventry, when he deftly turned home a spicy Paul Scholes shot from outside the area, and his final two came in the same match, against Nottingham Forest. His header and thunderous volley gave United a 2-0 lead that day, and were the goals that kickstarted our incredible 33-match unbeaten run, which stretched from Boxing Day until that balmy night in the Nou Camp.
At the close of the season, with Stam’s Achilles injury leading Ferguson to omit him from the starting XI for the decisive league match against Spurs and the FA Cup final, Johnsen partnered David May to guide United’s defence through the first two steps on the way to the Treble.