English Premiership

Win marks Fergie anniversary

2011-11-05 19:57
Sir Alex Ferguson (AP Photo)

Manchester - Sir Alex Ferguson marked his 25th anniversary as Manchester United manager in subdued fashion as an own goal from former defender Wes Brown handed his team a 1-0 win over Sunderland.

The Old Trafford clash had been preceded by a brief, but poignant, ceremony to mark Ferguson's quarter-century in charge of the club, both sets of players forming a guard of honour to applaud the 69-year-old Scotsman onto the field.

United chief executive David Gill then announced that the club are to re-name Old Trafford's largest stand, the North Stand, as the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand, the first time an individual has been afforded such an honour at the stadium.

United have also commissioned a Ferguson statue, to be unveiled outside the stand, for the start of next season.

It was a gesture which clearly moved Ferguson, who said: "I'm happy to have had so many great matches here and so many of the greatest footballers this country has ever seen. I'd like to thank the fantastic supporters who have made this a very proud moment for me. Thank you so much."

However, the ceremonies over, the football that followed will hardly be remembered among the more shining moments of Ferguson's 25-year reign.

It took until first-half injury time for United to generate their first real opening, from which they took an undeserved lead into the dressing room.

Nani's right-hand corner took the faintest of touches from the head of Danny Welbeck and a far more significant touch off ex-United defender Brown on its way into the Sunderland goal.

It was rough justice on the visitors who had manfully overcome an early setback when promising forward Connor Wickham was taken off on a stretcher after only two minutes following an accidental collision with United's Nemanja Vidic.

Undaunted by the enforced change, Sunderland created the first chance when Sebastian Larsson shot into the side netting after 13 minutes with Nicklas Bendtner then forcing Anders Lindegaard into a full-stretch dive to keep out a 20-yard shot.

While United were limited to ineffective free-kicks and long-range shots, Sunderland looked the more dangerous side with Wickham's replacement Ji Dong-Won wasting two promising openings, missing the target from the edge of the United area on both occasions.

Finally, in the 43rd minute, United finally showed some life as Park Ji-Sung's attack ended with the ball falling to Phil Jones who volleyed over from 18 yards.

Soon after the restart, Nani's 25-yard free-kick beat the Sunderland wall but passed just wide of the goal before Park's cross was half cleared by Keiren Westwood's punch only for Javier Hernandez to hurry his shot.

The home side survived an anxious moment in the 67th minute when it appeared that referee Lee Mason had awarded a penalty for an alleged handball from Jones although he eventually, and correctly, gave United a free-kick instead.

Sunderland then had their goalkeeper Westwood to thank for remaining in contention as he made an acrobatic double-save to keep out efforts from Wayne Rooney and Patrice Evra after persistent work in the area from Vidic.

But Ferguson's defence has not been at its usual resilient best this season and, in the 80th minute, Larsson's low centre was almost converted by Bendtner as he slid into the six-yard area.

Hernandez might have eased some of the strain on Ferguson and United when he gathered Michael Carrick's 86th minute pass but his shot, on the turn, was woefully off target.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

Schut reveals Kwakman link

2014-07-29 18:09

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
  • SS3
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @04:00
  • SS4
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @05:00
  • SS5
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @05:59
  • SS7
    Tue, 29 Jul 2014 @06:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
16 August 2014
Manchester United v Swansea City, Old Trafford 13:45
West Ham United v Tottenham Hotspur, Boleyn Ground 16:00
Stoke City v Aston Villa, Britannia Stadium 16:00
Leicester City v Everton, King Power Stadium 16:00
Queens Park Rangers v Hull City, Loftus Road Stadium 16:00
West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland, The Hawthorns 16:00
Arsenal v Crystal Palace, Emirates Stadium 18:30
17 August 2014
Liverpool v Southampton, Anfield 14:30
Newcastle United v Manchester City, St. James' Park 17:00
18 August 2014
Burnley v Chelsea, Turf Moor 21:00
Vote

How will Manchester United fare in next season's English Premiership under Louis van Gaal?

 
 
Featured Blog

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

TV schedule Plan your couch time with our searchable sport TV guide

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.