It is the day of the big man! Sir Alex Chapman Ferguson is most notably the greatest manager in the history of football. The credentials of this Scot are impeccable and his achievements simply remarkable. What he did with Aberdeen and what he has done with Manchester United can simply be called ‘champions stuff’. So in the light of the birthday of the manager who served the Manchester outfit for the longest time, we have made a list of the most thrilling matches of Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United vs Arsenal, 28 August 2011, 8-2
This match marked the second thumping of the night for a North London club as Manchester City thrashed Tottenham by a whopping 5 goals and their city rivals just did something better than them! The game had everything that a football fan could ask for, Rooney’s hattrick, a red card, a missed penalty and 10 massive goals in a game. That game marked the supremacy of the Red Devils over the Gunners and finally on 4th October this year did the Gunners finally have their revenge and record their first win against the Red Devils after 4 seasons!
Champions League final, 26 May 1999, 2-1
When you think about that final, I am sure the first thing that comes to your mind is the boss’s incredulous remark “Football, bloddy hell!” and that truly sums up what happened that night in Barcelona. Bayern Munich had opened up the scoring in the first six minutes of the game and for most of the match looked like that they would take it home. And even the then UEFA president thought that the cup would go to the Blaugrana’s as he began his journey to the pitch with the cup decorated in the Munich colours! But fate had planned something else as Manchester United came back to take the game away in injury time. Sheringham scored the equaliser and Solskjaer scored the winner, both goals coming off Beckham’s corners and in a tantalising injury time! Nobody could believe what had happened and till date the game still gives me goosebumps!
Manchester United vs Ipswich, 4 March 1995, 9-0
This match was where Andy Cole made the record of scoring a whopping 5 goals in a game where the Red Devils cruised a sweet victory and extracted revenge for the defeat they suffered at the hands of Ipswich earlier in the season. A clinical performance by the Manchester outfit, Ipswich was no match for Alex Fergusons’s men. Apart from Cole’s five goals, the other goal scorers were Roy Keane, Mark Hughes and Paul Ince. While the season ended with a second place finish for the Red Devils, Ipswich were relegated from the Premier League.
Champions League final, 21 May 2008, 6-5
Yet another Champions League final for the boss and yet another close finish. Both Manchester United and Chelsea played a terrific brand of football dominating either halves of the game. Cristiano Roanldo struck for the Red Devils and Lampard found the net for the Blues. With both the teams standing on equal ground under the pouring sky, the match went on to penalties and from the battle that ensued, Manchester United emerged victorious after Terry missed from the spot! The win meant the world to that Manchester United team as it came 50 years after the Munich disaster. When we look back on that night in Moscow, the pictures of Ronaldo crying after a missed penalty and Terry being consoled by Grant are still very fresh in our minds!
Manchester United vs Arsenal, 24 October 2004, 2-0
This match ended the winning streak of that Arsenal team who because of their unbeatable run had been christened the ‘invincibles’. Arsenal entered the match willing to extend their winning run to 50 matches but the Old Trafford outfit had some other plans. The United players had revenge on their minds for the 2003-04 title defeat at the hands Wenger’s men. The intensity and importance of that clash can be seen in Gary Nevill’s recollection of that epic encounter as he said “In almost 20 years at United the manager never asked me to kick anyone. I’ve no idea if other managers have issued instructions to ‘take out’ a player but I can promise you that wasn’t our boss’s style. But did he tell us to get tight, put a foot in and let Arsenal know they were in for a battle? Of course, he did”
And on that note we say Happy Birthday boss!