Wimbledon 0 Man United 3
Wimbledon 0 Manchester United 3, Selhurst Park, English Premier League, August 17, 1996. Manchester United beat Wimbledon 3-0 at their adopted Selhurst Park on the opening weekend of the 1996-97 Premiership season courtesy of goals by Eric Cantona, Denis Irwin, and David Beckham in the 25th, 38th and 90th minutes of the tussle respectively.
Alex Ferguson´s Manchester United side played in a 4-4-2 formation, with a starting eleven containing Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, David May, Roy Keane, Gary Pallister, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, David Beckham, Jordi Cruyff, and Eric Cantona, while Brian McClair, Raimond van der Gouw, Ronny Johnsen, Gary Neville and Karel Poborsky were on the substitutes´s bench. Eric Cantona gave Manchester United the lead in the 25th minute of the fixture before Denis Irwin made it 2-0 to the visitors seven minutes before the break. Peter Schmeichel was put to the test on several occasions after the restart, but the massive shot stopper proved to be a bit too much even for The Crazy Gang. Then in the very last minute of the game, David Beckham powered an amazing shot from his own half over Wimbledon netminder Neil Sullivan and into the goal to make the final scoreline 3-0 in favour of Manchester United. After appearing in almost 400 first team matches for The Reds, the charismatic and lavishly gifted central playmaker proceeded to provide sterling service to La Liga giants Real Madrid, Major Soccer League team Los Angeles Galaxy, Italian Serie A club AC Milan, and French Premier League outift Paris Saint-Germain where he finally finished his playing career at the end of the 2012–13 campaign at the age of 38. Alex Ferguson. “I have never seen it done before. Pele is the only one who came close to doing the same. Nayim? That was a miskick. But Beckham? It was marvellous. A truly tremendous strike. When you have a shot like he has, it will always be worth a try.” Wimbledon Team: Neil Sullivan, Kenny Cunningham, Brian McAllister, Chris Perry, Ben Thatcher, Robbie Earle, Vinnie Jones, Oyvind Leonhardsen, Andy Clarke, Marcus Gayle, Dean Holdsworth. Substitutes: Paul Heald, Mick Harford, Neal Ardley, Dean Blackwell, Efan Ekoku. Manchester United Team: Peter Schmeichel, Denis Irwin, Phil Neville, David May, Roy Keane, Gary Pallister, Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Eric Cantona, David Beckham, Jordi Cruyff. Substitutes: Raimond van der Gouw, Gary Neville, Ronny Johnsen, Brian McClair, Karel Poborsky.
Sir Alex Ferguson Quickfacts
Under Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United never finished lower than third position in the English Premier League standings. Sir Alex led United to the Premiership title in 1992-93, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1996-97, 1998-99, 1999-2000, 2000-01, 2002-03, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2010-11, and 2012-13.