Wimbledon 0 Man United 3

Sir Alex Ferguson

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.


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