MAN UNITED 2, SWANSEA CITY 1.
A late goal from Rio Ferdinand helped deliver the Manchester United victory against Swansea City which gave Sir Alex Ferguson a winning send off as he bid an emotional farewell in his final Old Trafford appearance before retirement,
It was the perfect ending to Ferguson’s 26-year reign as manager as they were yet again crowned Barclays Premier League champions.
There could not have been a more fitting finale than an afternoon when the Reds became league champions for a record 20th time.
Thirteen of those were Premier League titles won during Ferguson’s reign which has yielded a remarkable 38 trophies making Ferguson the most successful manager in British football.
Ferguson, addressing the fans at the final whistle, described his time as United manager as “the most fantastic experience of my life.”
He added he had been fortunate to manage some of the greatest players in the country saying the current class had won the title in terrific fashion.
Ferguson said: “My retirement doesn’t mean the end of my life at the club – I will be joining you (the fans)and suffering.
“The last-minute goals, the comebacks, the defeats are all part of it. It has been an unbelievable experience.”
And there was a call for the fans to back heir apparent David Moyes.
“In bad times the club stood by me, the staff and the players. Now you stand by the new manager,” he continued.
Ferguson also paid tribute to Paul Scholes who was also making his farewell appearance at Old Trafford before retiring describing him as one of the greatest players the club has ever had and ever will have.
There was a guard of honour by both teams for Ferguson before the match as he received a standing ovation from flag-waving fans who also created a giant mosaic commemorating the club’s 20th league title.
It was fitting that Hernandez should make the breakthrough as he was United’s most potent attacking threat in the opening period.
The little Mexican struck the crossbar in the fifth minute, had a goalbound header blocked by Pablo Henandez and also fired over the crossbar.
The breakthrough came in the 39th minute when the resistance of the Swans was finally broken.
Robin van Persie’s free kick took a ricochet off Ashley Williams into the path of Hernandez who slotted home his 17th goal of the season.
Dutchman van Persie could have doubled the lead shortly before the break when he was denied by a smart save by Gerdhard Tremmel.
The Reds had a let off soon after the restart when Williams’ header was clear off the line.
They failed to heed the warning signs as the visitors equalised in the 49th minute thrrough Miguel Michu’s 22nd goal of the season, a volley with the outside of his boot low to the right of keeper David De Gea, from a cross by Nathan Dyer.
United could easily have fallen behind when Wayne Routledge beat Rio Ferdinand only to shoot narrowly wide while a fierce angled shot from Pablo Hernandez was beaten out by De Gea.
Scholes and Danny Welbeck were replaced by Anderson and Antonio Valeencia midway through the half as United looked for new attacking ideas.
The winner came in the 87th minute from an unlikely source, central-defender Ferdinand with his first goal of the season.
A corner by van Persie was flicked on by Nemanja Vidic and Fedinand, lurking at the far post, smashed home an unstoppable shot to provide the perfect ending for Ferguson’s reign as manager.