26 years, 38 trophies. Sir Alex Ferguson is without a doubt one of the greatest managers of all time. He motivated his players to be at their best, especially when their best was needed. Here we highlight Sir Alex’s best wins of his career.
Manchester United 2 Arsenal 1, 1999 FA Cup
In a semi-final replay between Manchester United and Arsenal in the 1999 FA Cup, Sir Alex’s team defeated the Gunners 2-1. Tied 1-1 with eleven minutes left in extra time, substitute Ryan Giggs came into the game and scored a wonder goal to score the clincher for the Red Devils. All could’ve been for naught though as Peter Schmeichel saved a Dennis Bergkamp penalty just minutes before the end of regular time. Buttressed by the victory over the Gunners, Manchester United went on to win the FA Cup over Newcastle United and then beat out Arsenal by one point to the Premier League title.
Manchester United 1 Nottingham Forest 0, 1989/90 FA Cup
With United sitting on the brink of the relegation zone during the 1989/90 season and Sir Alex’s job on the line, Manchester United pulled an upset over Nottingham Forest in the third round of the FA Cup. A late Mark Robins goal sealed the deal for the Red Devils gave Fergie’s job a lifeline, as Manchester United went on to win the FA Cup and every other major trophy there afterward.
Manchester United 3 Aston Villa 2, 2009 Premier League
Manchester United secured a pivotal injury-time winner against Aston Villa in a 2008/09 league match that propelled the club over Liverpool to the top of the table. Full of confidence and vim, Manchester United retained the lead and won the Premiership title that same year.
Manchester United 4 Everton 2, 2006 Premier League
Down two-nil midway through the second half, Manchester United’s slim lead atop the Premier League table looked to be in danger. But with four goals in the second half and a victory, the Red Devils continued to distance themselves between second place Chelsea. Winning the Premier League during the 2006/07 teed up Manchester’s dominant subsequent season where they won the Double of Premiership and Champions League.
Manchester United 2 Sheffield Wednesday 1, 2003 Premier League
Trailing one nil to Sheffield Wednesday near season’s end, United’s first Premier League title in 26 years at risk looked in peril. That is until center-back Steve Bruce stepped up to notch the equalizer and the late goal in Fergie time to seal the victory. Ferguson won his first of eleven more league titles to come.
Manchester 3 Juventus 2, Champions League Semi-final 1999
Down two nil eleven minutes into the match (3-1 on aggregate), Manchester United needed a miracle to continue their journey to the finals. In a remarkable 3-2 comeback in Turin, the Red Devils defeated Zidane and Juventus to advance to the Champions League finals.
Manchester United 2 Bayern Munich 1, 1999 Champions League Final
Scoring two goals in injury time, Manchester United defeated Bayern Munich 2-1 in the Champions League finals. The win capped off a treble of trophies for the Red Devils which included the Premier League and the FA Cup.
1995/1996 Premier League Season
After Ferguson coached United to its first Premier League title in 26 years, he repeated the feat in the 1995/96 season with so-called “kids”: David Beckham, Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, and Ryan Giggs. After shocking the league, these players became more properly known as “Fergie’s Fledglings”.
Manchester United 6 Chelsea 5, Champions League Final (Penalties)
In an all English final, Ferguson’s team defeated Chelsea six to five on penalties after a 1-1 draw in extra time. Edwin Van Der Sar saved Nicolas Anelka’s sudden-death effort to give the Red Devils the team’s third European championship.
1992/93 Premier League season
Sir Alex led the Red Devils to the team’s first domestic title in 1993, it’s first since the 1967 season. With the sly £1.2 million transfer of French striker Eric Cantona from Leeds, Ferguson retained the title the following year in addition to winning the FA Cup.
2012/2013 Premier League season
In Ferguson’s last season as head coach, not only did he coach his 1000th game, he’d also go on to win his 13th Premier League title with the Red Devils beating out Man City by thirteen points.