Writer: Matthew Thomas
Date:Sunday May 12 2013
12th May 2013
Manchester United ended the 26 year reign of Sir Alex Ferguson, at Old Trafford with a win over a very heroic Swansea City.
Javier Hernandez had put United in front after combining with Van Persie before Michu scored his 22nd goal of the season just after the break. The Swans had enough chances to spoil the end of an ear, however the script had been written as Rio Ferdinand popped up to slam home the winner for an emotional Sir Alex Fergusson.
Michael Laudrup made five changes from the team that had beaten the FA Cup winners Wigan last week. Gerhard Tremmel started in goal for the injured Michel Vorm and Neil Taylor made his first start since breaking his leg against Sunderland towards the start of the season. Chico Flores and Nathan Dyer were also back in the team while Michu, despite his manager claiming his injury was season ending, came back into the starting eleven.
It took the home side only four minutes to fashion the first great chances as Van Persie and Javier Hernandez combined and the Mexican rattled the bar when one on one with Tremmel. And straight from that chance the Swans broke up field and Michu fed the other Hernandez, and the Swans winger cut back onto his right foot but sent his shot well wide.
United`s Mexican striker was next to threaten, again, as he pulled off the back of Chico Flores and got a header towards goal but the Spanish centre-back did well to get across and deflect the ball out for a corner.
Paul Scholes, another making his final appearance at Old Trafford, played a lovely one-two with Hernandez on the edge of the box and was only denied the return by Flores. Tremmel had to be alert as Evra won the ball in the air but his shot was easily claimed by the German.
On twenty-five minutes, Scholes did manage to test Tremmel as he found himself in the box, with the ball at his feet, but it was another tame effort that rolled straight into the hands of the goalkeeper.
The partnership between Hernandez and Van Persie was causing Swansea all sorts of problems and the former again had a sight of goal but fired well over from the edge of the box. Finally after numerous attempts he finally got his goal as a free-kick evaded Pablo Hernandez and fell for the Mexican who stroked it underneath Tremmel.
Van Persie, the Premier League top scorer, forced Tremmel into a save before he sent another effort well over the bar just before half-time.
Having scored in the 1-1 draw earlier in the season, Michu was at it again as Dyer flung a cross in from the right and a flick finish from the Spanish sensation gave Laudrup`s side a quick-fire equaliser.
And minutes later, Swansea could have been in front as Routledge surged past Ferdinand but put his shot just wide of the far post. And United had a penalty appeal turned down after Van Persie went down inside the six-yard box.
Having not impressed, since the New Year, Pablo Hernandez had a chance to make himself a Swansea hero as he twisted inside the box and his shot from the angle was brilliantly parried by David De Gea. Chico Flores saw his shot blocked by Phil Jones and his shouts for handball fell on deaf ears.
Neil Taylor managed just over an hour on his return to the starting line-up as he was replaced by Ben Davies.
Manchester United substitute Anderson nearly put Sir Alex Ferguson`s side back in front after he hit a stinging volley, from a punched clearance from Tremmel, which flew just inches wide as United pushed for that special finish.
Swansea were more than a match for a United side looking to send their manager off with the perfect ending, but they were nearly caught out when Hernandez got past Ferdinand but instead of shooting he tried to go further and got tackled.
And they paid for it as another set-piece mistake allowed Ferdinand to lash home from six yards. Flores and Williams both went for the same ball and left the United defender completely unmarked to send Old Trafford in orbit.
At the final whistle the sound inside 'The Theatre of Dreams` was like nothing ever heard before. And in tribute to the great support of Swansea City Football Club, they stayed behind to applaud the greatest club manager, probably in history.
Thanks to Matthew Thomas for his match report. You can access his blog at http://matththomas66.wordpress.com/ and follow him on Twitter @mcthomas2905
Date:Sunday May 12 2013
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