Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

In Pictures: Alex Ferguson given perfect send off from Old Trafford - Manchester United 2-1 Swansea

Manchester United fans show their support at Old Trafford
Manchester United fans show their support at Old Trafford
Wayne Routledge of Swansea City tangles with Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Wayne Routledge of Swansea City tangles with Rio Ferdinand of Manchester United during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2013 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Sir Alex Ferguson looks lost in thought as he emerges from a guard of honour, before his last home match in charge of the club at Old Trafford
Sir Alex Ferguson looks lost in thought as he emerges from a guard of honour, before his last home match in charge of the club at Old Trafford

Sir Alex Ferguson has bid farewell to Manchester United at Old Trafford, telling fans to back David Moyes: "Your job now is to stand by the new manager".

Rio Ferdinand crashed home the winning goal three minutes from time to ensure Sir Alex Ferguson left Old Trafford a winner, as Manchester United beat Swansea 2-1 before being presented with the Premier League trophy.

In his final team selection at the ground where he has presided over an incredible 405 Premier League fixtures, Ferguson did not change the habit of a lifetime and opt for the easy route.

Wayne Rooney was dropped but his replacement Javier Hernandez put the hosts ahead after Ashley Williams had made a hash of trying to clear Van Persie's free-kick.

Michu turned home his 21st goal of an incredible debut campaign just after the break to equalise but Ferdinand's late strike allowed Ferguson to leave Old Trafford in the most appropriate manner possible.

After the victory, he addressed the crowd and told them to get behind his replacement.

"I would like to remind you this club stood by me in bad times, the players and the staff," he said.

"Your job now is to stand by the new manager."

Ferguson paid personal tribute to Paul Scholes, who started today's game and will also retire in the summer, and Darren Fletcher, who continues his recovery from a chronic bowel condition.

And he insisted he would still be a regular presence at Old Trafford.

"I will be able to go along and watch them rather than suffer with them," he said.

"Those last minute goals, the comebacks and even the defeats are part of this great football club. It has been an unbelievable experience."

The home win was met with a party atmosphere in Manchester.

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