In Sir Alex Ferguson's last home match as manager of Manchester United, his club defeated Swansea by a score of 2-1.
The longtime manager is known as one of the best in the history of English football after winning the UEFA Champions League twice and earning 13 English Premier League titles, including this season. He recently announced his retirement at the end of the season, making Sunday's match his final one at Old Trafford after 27 years.
Unsurprisingly, there was a great reaction from the crowd cheering for both sides as Ferguson came onto the pitch (via @PremierLeague):
Here he comes: Sir Alex Ferguson emerges to a cacophony of noise at Old Trafford. The #MUFC manager looks a little overwhelmed— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2013
Here is a look at the manager coming out to a guard of honour (via Football Funnys):
Additionally, this was the final home match for Paul Scholes, who also announced his retirement at the end of the year. Altogether, this was an emotional day for the league champs.
As far as the match itself, there was plenty of excitement from beginning to end. Manchester United controlled the ball for much of the first half but was unable break through with a goal until shortly before intermission.
Finally, Javier Hernandez came through with a score in the 39th minute, as he was just able to get it past the goalkeeper to take a 1-0 lead.
In the second half, Swansea City was much more aggressive on the offensive end. The club earned a couple of corners and continued with a barrage of shots at the the net with Manchester United unable to clear.
Eventually, Michu knocked the ball into the goal after a cross from Nathan Dyer.
The score remained tied for a long time and seemed as though it would finish at 1-1. However, Rio Ferdinand came through on a strong finish off a corner kick in the 87th minute to give his side the advantage.
Despite a few chances late, the home squad held on to earn the impressive victory.
After the match, Ferguson came out and said a few words to the home crowd to cap a nice send-off for the legendary manager (via @PremierLeague):
Sir Alex Ferguson: "You've been the greatest experience of my life; & well done to the players for winning the title in fantastic fashion."— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson: "I had bad times here and the club stood by me, the players & fans did too. Your job now is to stand by our new manager."— Premier League (@premierleague) May 12, 2013
Manchester United already clinched first place in the league with a fantastic season, so the result was not that important. Still, the fans are more than happy to watch the club win in its final appearance at Old Trafford this year.
Swansea, however, is still trying to maintain a high standing in the table and can move up or down in the final week. Not earning a point will hurt the squad's chances, as it remains two points out of eighth place.
Javier Hernandez, Manchester United: A
Throughout the year, Javier Hernandez has had a trouble getting playing time due to the superb play of Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney up front. However, Chicharito got his opportunity on Sunday and made the most of it with a great score.
He was also very active throughout the match until he was eventually taken off for Ryan Giggs late.
Robin van Persie, Manchester United: B
Who was the Man of the Match?
It is impossible to expect any player to score every match, although the club certainly suffers when Robin van Persie does not get on to the board. Still, he made solid passes throughout the match and was a big reason for the strong play in both halves.
Michu, Swansea: A-
As he has all season long, Michu represented the offense for Swansea. The forward scored the club's only goal to keep his side competitive, even though it was not enough at the end.
The score was his 18th of the league season to put him in fifth place in the EPL. This is his first year playing in England, and the club cannot be disappointed with his production on the year.
Ashley Williams, Swansea: C
When Manchester United held possession for much of the first half, Swansea was fortunate to only be down one goal. Ashley Williams made few plays on the ball, and shots high and wide were the only reason it was close.
The defender did not contribute much in the second half either and could not help his squad keep the score tied late in the match.
Manchester United Grades
|G||David De Gea||B|
|M||Javier Hernández (Off 76')||A|
|M||Danny Welbeck (Off 66')||C+|
|M||Paul Scholes (Off 66')||B+|
|F||Robin van Persie||B|
|M||Antonio Valencia (On 66') ||B|
|M||Anderson (On 66') ||B+|
|M||Ryan Giggs (On 76')||B|
Swansea City Grades
|D||Neil Taylor (Off 66')||C+|
|D||Ashley Williams ||C|
|D||Dwight Tiendalli ||B|
|M||Leon Britton ||B|
|M||Pablo (Off 87') ||B+|
|M||Nathan Dyer ||A-|
|M||Jonathan De Guzman||B-|
|F||Michu (Off 74')||A-|
|M||Ben Davies (On 66') ||B|
|D||Angel Rangel (On 74') ||B|
|M||Kemy Agustien (On 87') ||B-|
Manchester United has nothing left to play for except pride after clinching first place in the EPL, but the club will look to end the year on a strong note on the road against West Bromwich Albion. The final match of Sir Alex Ferguson's career will likely be just as emotional as his home finale.
Swansea City is still jockeying for position in the middle of the league table. It has one match remaining on Sunday at home against Fulham as the club looks to finish as high as eighth in a solid year for the club.