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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Football

Old Trafford bids Sir Alex a fitting farewell
Agencies
Manchester, May 13, 2013
First Published: 01:06 IST(13/5/2013)
Last Updated: 01:09 IST(13/5/2013)

Alex Ferguson's last home match in charge of Manchester United ended in a low-key 2-1 Premier League win over Swansea City as the Old Trafford crowd gave their long-serving manager a warm and emotional send-off on Sunday.

 

Defender Rio Ferdinand struck the winner three minutes from time, yet another one of the late goals which have been a feature of Ferguson's 26-year reign at the club.

Ferguson, in his 1,499th match at the helm, received a rapturous reception from the fans and a Guard of Honour from the players of both teams as he walked on to the pitch as heavy rain fell at Old Trafford.

Champions United started brightly and Javier Hernandez scooped a shot on to the underside of the crossbar after five minutes.

The home side dominated possession and they opened the scoring after 39 minutes when Mexican Hernandez reacted sharply to lash a loose ball low into the net from six metres.

Swansea briefly silenced the crowd when striker Michu equalised four minutes after halftime, getting in front of Phil Jones to steer a cross firmly past David de Gea for his 18th goal of the season.

A right-wing corner fell kindly to Ferdinand at the far post and the England defender gleefully lashed the ball into the net from six metres.

Scholes hangs boots

In another sign of the changing times at Old Trafford, Paul Scholes said goodbye to United fans after announcing that he is to retire for the second time.

The 38-year-old English midfielder, who returned from retirement in January last year after only seven months out of the game, made his 717th and final appearance for United before being substituted after 66 minutes in typically modest fashion to more warm applause.

“Paul is one of the greatest players this club has ever had and ever will have,” said Ferguson in his farewell speech.

Rooney wants to leave United

Alex Ferguson confirmed on Sunday that striker Wayne Rooney has asked to leave the club for the second time in three years.

Ferguson dropped Rooney for the 2-1 win over Swansea City in his final home game, and said the England international had not been in the right frame of mind to play.

"I don't think Wayne was keen to play because he's asked for a transfer and he wants to think it through in his mind," Ferguson told Sky Sports. "We're not going to let him go."


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