Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 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)
Paul Scholes of Manchester United is substituted in his final game for the club 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)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Javier Hernandez of Manchester United reacts 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)
Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand celebrates scoring their second goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Paul Scholes of Manchester United in action 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)
Danny Welbeck of Manchester United hurdles the tackle of Leon Britton of Swansea City 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)
Manchester United's Phil Jones (right) and Nemanja Vidic (left) battle for the ball with Swansea City's Nathan Dyer during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea watches a shot from Swansea City's Wayne Routledge (left) go just wide of the post during the Barclays Premier League match
A banner is held by Manchester United fans in the stands honouring their manager Sir Alex Ferguson, before the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
A Paul Scholes banner prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City
A Manchester United fan shows off his pins prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City
Merchandise dedicated to outgoing manager Sir Alex Ferguson is on sale before the match
Manchester United fans wearing shirts to honour Sir Alex Ferguson
Miguel Michu of Swansea City scores his team's first goal to make the score 1-1 during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford
Javier Hernandez of Manchester United celebrates after scoring the opening goal
Javier Hernandez of Manchester United scores the opening goal
Javier Hernandez of Manchester United (l) is congratulated by team-mate Patrice Evra after scoring the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City
Sir Alex Ferguson looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and Swansea City at Old Trafford
Swansea City's Miguel Michu celebrates scoring their first goal of the game
A Manchester United fan shows off a banner to honour Manager Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United manager Sir Alex ferguson takes his seat for his last Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Manchester United manager Sir Alex ferguson applauds fans as he walks on to the pitch before taking his seat
Sir Alex Ferguson signs autographs
The players form a guard of honour as Manchester United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson walks out prior to 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)
Manchester United's Javier Hernandez scores their first goal of the game during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Swansea City's Jonathan de Guzman and Manchester United's Robin van Persie (right) battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match at Old Trafford, Manchester.
Swansea City's Wayne Routledge and Manchester United's Paul Scholes (centre right) battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match
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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