5 of Manchester United's Greatest Partnerships

Rob Dawson@@RobDawsonMENManchester United CorrespondentNovember 4, 2013

5 of Manchester United's Greatest Partnerships

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    After Manchester United's win over Fulham on Saturday, David Moyes praised his centre-forward pairing.

    Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie were both on the scoresheet at Craven Cottage. It was the fourth time they've scored in the same game this season.

    At the beginning of their second season together, Moyes believes they're showing signs of developing a devastating understanding.

    The pair combined for United's third goal against Fulham, with Van Persie running on to Tom Cleverley's pass and crossing for Rooney to tap in.

    It's not the first time United have benefitted from partnerships. Here, in no particular order, are five of the best combinations that have graced Old Trafford. 

Roy Keane and Paul Scholes

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    Had things been different, Roy Keane and Paul Scholes would never have played in midfield together.

    Scholes came through United's youth system as a centre-forward, only playing deeper as he became more established in the first team.

    Scholes' goals and range of passing were the perfect complement to Keane's imposing physicality. If Scholes was the brains, Keane was the muscle.

    There was plenty of competition in midfield with Nicky Butt, Juan Sebastian Veron and Darren Fletcher to name three, but Keane and Scholes were the standout midfield pairing for almost 10 years under Sir Alex Ferguson.

    Suspension ruled them both out of the 1999 Champions League final against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp, although Keane's performance in the semi-final second leg against Juventus was one of his greatest individual displays in a United shirt.

Steve Bruce and Gary Pallister

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    Steve Bruce had been at United for nearly two years before Ferguson paid a record £2.3 million to bring Gary Pallister to Old Trafford from Middlesbrough in 1989.

    Together, they formed a formidable partnership at the back, which helped United win their first league championship for 26 years in 1993, the league and FA Cup double in 1994 and the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup.

    Altogether, they won three Premier League titles, three FA Cups, the League Cup and the Super Cup before Bruce left for Birmingham in 1996.

    Pallister won 22 caps for England but Bruce remains one of the most decorated English players never to represent his country. 

Gary Neville and David Beckham

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    When you're forming partnerships on the pitch, it can only help if there's a good relationship off it.

    Gary Neville and David Beckham grew up together in United's youth academy, winning the FA Youth Cup in 1992 and breaking into the first team at almost the same time. Neville was even Beckham's best man at his wedding.

    Partnerships between full-backs and wide midfielders aren't as celebrated as strike partnerships, but they can be just as beneficial.

    The sight of Neville racing past Beckham to overlap down the right flank became one of the features of United's treble-winning season. Beckham's departure to Real Madrid in 2003 broke up the partnership, at least at club level. 

Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke

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    When Dwight Yorke arrived from Aston Villa for £12.6 million in 1998, there was speculation that it could end Andy Cole's United career.

    It was assumed they were too similar to play together, but by the end of their first season together, they had helped United win the treble and proved all their doubters wrong.

    During the 1998-99 season, they combined to score 53 goals. However, it was one scored by Cole in a 3-3 draw with Barcelona at the Nou Camp in the Champions League group stages that was evidence of the understanding they developed.

    Yorke dummied Roy Keane's pass for Cole, who bounced a pass off his strike partner and calmly slotted the ball past Ruud Hesp. In a matter of seconds, Barcelona's defence had been torn to pieces. 

Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best

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    As good as all the other partnerships were, there's only one which has a statue outside Old Trafford dedicated to it.

    Bobby Charlton, Denis Law and George Best were known as United's Holy Trinity. Together, they won the First Division title in 1965 and 1967 and they would have lifted the European Cup together in 1968 if injury hadn't ruled Law out of the final against Benfica at Wembley.

    Law was named European Footballer of the Year in 1964, Charlton in 1966 and Best in 1968.