Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football European

Manchester United fans unveil George Best tribute at Old Trafford on 10th anniversary of legend’s death

Old Trafford lights up to remember Best on 10th anniversary of his death

Published 25/11/2015

A tribute to former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best is pictured during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 25, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
A tribute to former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best is pictured during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 25, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Fans display a banner as they remember former Manchester United player George Best during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Fans remember George Best by shining lights during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Fans remember George Best by shining lights during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Football fans sit next to a poster of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best on the 10th anniversary of his death, outside Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 25, 2015, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven. AFP/Getty Images
PSV Manchester United's English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) attempts an overhead kick during their UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 25, 2015. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
David De Gea of Manchester United makes a save from Jorrit Hendrix of PSV Eindhoven (29) during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Manchester United's Anthony Martial (R) challenges PSV Eindhoven's Dutch defender Jeffrey Bruma during the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 25, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's Dutch manager Louis van Gaal is pictured before the start of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven at the Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England on November 25, 2015. AFP/Getty Images
The Manchester United team group before the UEFA Champions League game at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA
Manchester United's Italian defender Matteo Darmian (L), Manchester United's Dutch midfielder Memphis Depay (C) and Manchester United's Dutch midfielder Daley Blind (R) are pictured as they warm up before the start of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney warms up before the start of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven. AFP PHOTO / OLI SCARFFOLI SCARFF/AFP/Getty Images
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Phillip Cocu, coach of PSV Eindhoven looks on prior to the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Manchester United fans take a photo prior to the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 25: Luuk de Jong of PSV Eindhoven warms up prior to the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Police on horseback patrol outside the ground prior to the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
File photo dated 24-11-2015 of Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal speaks during a press conference at Old Trafford, Manchester. PA

Manchester United fans unveiled a George Best banner at Old Trafford on Wednesday night's Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven.

The banner reading 'George… Simply The Best', appeared in the J stand to mark the 10th anniversary of the legend’s death.

Fans display a banner as they remember former Manchester United player George Best during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Fans display a banner as they remember former Manchester United player George Best during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Fans remember George Best by shining lights during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Fans remember George Best by shining lights during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between Manchester United FC and PSV Eindhoven at Old Trafford on November 25, 2015 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)

After a quiet opening, Old Trafford came to light in the seventh minute to honour the Belfast boy.

To mark the decade since Best's death, United fans turned the flashlights on their phones and held them aloft in memory of the Northern Irishman, who wore seven during one of the club's most successful periods in the 1960s and 1970s.

The Red Devils could have done with a sprinkling of magic from their most famous number seven on Wednesday night.

Louis van Gaal's team created plenty of chances, but in the opposition box they looked toothless.

Morgan Schneiderlin, Martial, Jesse Lingard and Memphis Depay - who was substituted against his old club after another poor showing - wasted chances and United played out their first European goalless draw at Old Trafford in over five years.

Victory would have sent Van Gaal's team through, but now they must win at Group B leaders Wolfsburg in their final match next month to guarantee their place in the knockout stages.

And on the evidence of this uninspiring performance, qualification is by no means guaranteed.

After a quiet opening, Old Trafford came to light in the seventh minute. To mark the decade since Best's death, United fans turned the flashlights on their phones and held them aloft in memory of the Northern Irishman, who wore seven during one of the club's most successful periods in the 1960s and 1970s.

Football fans sit next to a poster of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best on the 10th anniversary of his death, outside Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 25, 2015, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven. AFP/Getty Images
Football fans sit next to a poster of former Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballer George Best on the 10th anniversary of his death, outside Old Trafford Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on November 25, 2015, ahead of the UEFA Champions League Group B football match between Manchester United and PSV Eindhoven. AFP/Getty Images

The current holder of that famous shirt was trying to rekindle memories of the Belfast boy.

Unfortunately for United, Depay does not have the finishing touch or class of Best. The Dutchman did sting Jeroen Zoet's palms with a 30-yard drive in the 15th minute, but United looked stronger on the other flank.

Right-back Matteo Darmian whipped in a flat cross which Zoet missed, but Rooney mistimed his run at the back post by just a second.

Lingard, operating on the right wing instead of Juan Mata, misread Martial's dummy inside the box and the ball dribbled into the goalkeeper's arms.

Schneiderlin then wriggled free from Hector Moreno's grasp in the box, but could only muster a weak shot at the goalkeeper. Martial did the same moments later.

United were creating plenty of chances, but buoyed by their profligacy, PSV came into the game. The Dutch champions would have gone ahead had David de Gea not saved well from Jorrit Hendrix at the end of the first half.

Schneiderlin headed over Blind's corner, but otherwise United offered little at the beginning of the second period.

Van Gaal took Depay and Bastian Schweinsteiger off and replaced them with Ashley Young and Marouane Fellaini.

Still there was little sign of a United goal, and PSV remained a threat. Davy Propper juggled the ball before letting fly with a half-volley which De Gea saved.

A mistake from Rooney allowed PSV to go on the break. For a moment they had three on three, but Jurgen Locadia dragged his shot wide.

The first rumbles of "Attack! Attack! Attack!" were heard from the disgruntled supporters in the Stretford End with 20 minutes left.

Young pierced the PSV box and pulled the ball back to Lingard, but he cleared the bar from eight yards. The England Under-21 international thumped the turf. He knew he should have scored. None of his team-mates could either and United were left sweating on their place in the Champions League.

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph