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West Ham United
May 12, 2013
• Old Trafford, Manchester
Referee: J. Moss
• Attendance: 75572
J. Hernández 39'
R. Ferdinand 87'
It seems disrespectful towards Sir Alex and the incredible feats of his reign to postulate on Swansea's performance, so I'll draw to a close here. Thanks for following today's proceedings with me, Sam Wells. Be sure to follow any post-match reaction on Goal.com and, until next time, farewell.
The match wasn't anything particularly memorable but that has been rendered irrelevant by the magnitude of the occasion; Sir Alex will be glad to bow out with a win and it seemed fitting that Rio Ferdinand, one of his longest-serving players, was the man to top off today with the winning goal. Emotions will be running high at Old Trafford as the supporters bid farewell to two club legends in Paul Scholes and their most successful manager of all time in Sir Alex Ferguson.
90' + 3'
And the referee draws an end to proceedings and, in doing so, to Sir Alex's last ever appearance at Old Trafford!
90' + 2'
The home support are in fine voice as Sir Alex's time at Old Trafford is a minute away from its conclusion. There appears to be little chance of the Swans spoiling the party with a late goal.
There are three minutes of added time remaining; three minutes left for United to find another goal and round off Sir Alex's Old Trafford reign in style? Van Persie certainly seems to think so as he drives a cross across the goalmouth. No one is there to convert though.
That seems like an apt way for Sir Alex to bow out; one of his longest-serving players rounding off a typically professional, albeit occasionally complacent, performance. Anderson almost sweetens the day further but his strike finds its way well over the bar.
Goal Rio Ferdinand
GOAL! And it's Rio Ferdinand! Van Persie whips the cross in, Vidic gets a flick on the ball and it falls to his defensive partner at the back post. The centre-back is left unmarked and duly slams the volley home to get his first goal in five years. He took that well and certainly celebrated in some style!
Manchester United go up the other end and Van Persie, cutting inside, fires at goal once again. The shot is deflected behind by Davies and it's another corner for the home side.
Routledge pulls out some lovely tricks as he beats Ferdinand down the left before producing a rabona cross that, though unable to find a Swansea striker, looked very nice nonetheless.
Swansea work their way down the other end through the continually lively Hernandez, who earns a throw-in off the feet of Vidic. The Swans have been impressive in this second half.
Van Persie is fouled in practically the same position as five minutes prior, by the same player no less. Chico brings him down again but Giggs' cross is cleared by Ben Davies.
The Swans continue to threaten to spoil the party even further as Dyer's cross almost finds its way to Routledge at the far post. Evra is there though and gets a vital touch on the ball, diverting it away from the winger's path.
Ten minutes remain as United continue to search for the goal that would give Sir Alex the perfect send-off. They continue to stroke the ball around at the back as they look for a way to work through the midfield.
Vidic is there to meet the corner but he doesn't make the necessary connection, the presence of Chico putting him off as he heads into the ground and behind for a goal kick.
Giggs whips the ensuing corner in but Rangel is there to clear behind for a corner. Van Persie prepares to whip in the subsequent set-piece.
Evra, who really has done well today, forays forward once again down the left, before feeding Van Persie infield. The Dutchman outsmarts Chico, drawing the foul as he works his way past the centre-back.
Giggs comes on to replace Hernandez; wouldn't it be befitting if one club legend bid another farewell with a winning goal?
The game has definitely opened up since that pretty dismal first half. It's end-to-end stuff and could end up going either way. The chances of it going the away team's way appear somewhat diminished now though, as Swansea's goalscorer Michu departs, with Angel Rangel replacing him.
An excellent last-ditch challenge from Jones prevents Dyer getting in on goal! After a pass somehow found its way past Ferdinand, not having the best of days today, the winger would've been through on goal were it not for Jones' top-notch sliding challenge.
As another Manchester United legend appears primed to come on in Ryan Giggs, Tremmel once again claims a cross, this time from the feet of Valencia and in spite of the rapidly advancing Phil Jones.
Anderson is inches away from a goal! After Evra did really well down the left, his cross was batted away to the edge of area by Tremmel. The Brazilian took it first time on the volley but could only fire just wide of the far post. An excellent effort and the home side are beginning to assert themselves on this second half.
Anderson, just on for Scholes, whips a ball into the backpost with his first touches of the half. Kagawa is there to head back across the face of goal but he can only find Williams, who duly thumps the ball behind his own goal.
Scholes is taken off to a predictably rapturous response from the Old Trafford support. Characteristically, he gets off the pitch as quickly as possible, perfunctorily applauding the home fans as he takes his seat on the United bench.
Manchester United go down the other end and almost go ahead once again! Welbeck charges down the left and is inches away from finding Chicharito with a driven ball in. The cross just eludes him though and the chance goes begging.
Swansea want a penalty! Chico fires goalwards in the area and it hits Jones, the right-back sprawled out in front of his own goal. The claims are in vain though as the replays reveal that it actually hit the United defender in the chest.
Swansea win the ball and counter really well, Dyer eventually feeding the ball to Hernandez in the United area. The winger ties Vidic into knots before eventually firing at goal, De Gea gets a fist to it though, turning behind for a corner.
This match has settled into the fairly languid pace that permeated the first; Manchester United now have the majority of possession but are doing little with it.
As Van Persie prepares to whip in a corner, the referee reprimands Chicharito for some kind of offence. The corner is eventually delivered and Tremmel duly claims with ease.
Regardless of their impotent display following the break, the Manchester United support remain in fine voice, even moreso after they feel that Van Persie should have been awarded a penalty as he claims a shove from Taylor in the area. Again, there is little in that.
The Red Devils continue to show very little as there has definitely been a shift in momentum after the half-time break. Swansea are now controlling possession as the home side have yet to really threaten in this second half.
The game is finally resumed, Welbeck kicking the ball to Tremmel sportingly as Dyer returns to the field of play.
The game is on pause as Dyer receives treatment for an injury after clashing with the formidable frame of Nemanja Vidic.
Routledge misses a golden opportunity! The winger plays a one-two with Michu and comprehensively outpaces Ferdinand, beating him to the ball in the box with ease. His finish can't quite find its way inside the far post though as he pokes the ball just wide.
Swansea have improved to no end after the break and that goal should liven up this tie; the Red Devils will no doubt want to end Sir Alex's Old Trafford reign with a win.
Assist Nathan Dyer
GOAL! And it's Michu who spoils the script, grabbing a well-taken equaliser! After a corner finds its way to Dyer on the right wing, the winger whipped a dangerous cross in and, just as Vidic appeared primed to head away, the Spaniard nipped in first, volleying it home. A really nice finish!
Swansea show more signs of life than in the first as they work a nice counter-attack after a Manchester United move breaks down. Pablo Hernandez eventually fails to get a cross in though, and the danger is averted.
Manchester United get us underway in the second half; let's see if Swansea can find a way back into this game. Based on their showing in the first half, it's difficult to envisage, in all honesty.
Swansea, meanwhile, will be disappointed with their first-half showing. Not all that disappointed though as, honestly, this game means little for Laudrup's men and, in the opening period, it has showed. They have showed little sign of causing any upsets today, let's see if they can buck up their ideas in the second period.
Manchester United will be pleased with that half; they dominated proceedings and got what they deserved with Chicharito's well-taken finish. Sir Alex will be pleased if they can maintain that level of performance as, so far at least, it has all been fairly routine for the home side.
45' + 1'
The referee calls time on what has, in all honesty, been a fairly languid first half.
As Routledge is denied by an excellent challenge from Phil Jones down the left, one minute added time is called.
Van Persie has another strike - his second in as many minutes - but this effort isn't as impressive as his first. He shifts the ball onto his right this time, attempting to curl it into the far corner but finding his shot flying well over the bar.
Van Persie stings the gloves of Tremmel! After being fed the ball on the edge of the area by Carrick, the Dutchman shifts the ball onto his left before firing an effort goalwards. An excellent strike but the goalkeeper is equal to it, tipping behind for a corner.
Manchester United continue where they left off before the goal, retaining possession well and putting Swansea under as much pressure as before. This looks like it could be a suitably professional job to round off an unerringly professional career.
Goal Javier Hernández
GOAL! Chicharito finally takes one of his chances to open the scoring! Van Persie whips a free kick in and it bounces off Williams shins invitingly into the path of the Mexican. This time, the striker makes no mistake, tucking the ball beyond Tremmel and into the back of the net. A well-taken goal and nothing less than the home side deserve.
Taylor and Welbeck are both injured after coming together in a full-blooded collision. The foul is given against the latter but there was no real intent there.
Manchester United manufacture another nice move, eventually playing the ball out right to Jones. The right-back's cross is dismal though, finding the arms of Tremmel instead the head of any of his advancing team-mates.
Chicharito spurns another opportunity! After being fed once again by Van Persie, the Mexican takes the pass first time, attempting to swivel and volley it home. He gets the effort just wrong though, catching the ball almost too well as he fired his shot over the bar.
Kagawa claims a penalty after going down under the challenge of Tiendalli, a challenge that prevented him from picking up a return pass from Van Persie. That would have been soft.
The Red Devils resume their strangehold over possession, though they don't appear as if they are on the verge of breaking down Swansea.
Manchester United have the opportunity to counter from a Swansea corner but the referee incites the (admittedly, half-hearted) ire of the home support by calling an end to the attack, instead drawing attention to the injured Ashley Williams. Williams caught a knock off Vidic but appears to be fine.
Routledge gets forward well down the right and attempts a cutback to Michu on the edge of the area; Ferdinand is there though, duly volleying the ball clear to put an emphatic end to the attack.
Ignoring the occasion, this game really has been a turgid affair. Hernandez's crossbar-troubling effort aside, there has been little to excite the crowd, never mind the neutral.
Scholes, urged to shoot whenever he gets the ball, finally does have a pop at goal but, unfortunately, he shirks his effort, striking tamely into Tremmel's grateful arms. A difficult chance, to be fair to the veteran.
The home side continue to stroke the ball around in relaxed fashion; this game really does have the feel of a testimonial at the moment.
It seems a matter of time before United break down a Swansea side that, frankly, look disinterested out there today. Van Persie almost finds the magic ball, trying to find the onrushing Kagawa but just overcooking the pass.
Evra has a shot on goal after he found some space in the area following a Van Persie pass. The left-back shrugged off Dyer all too easily but his effort was fairly tame and Tremmel claimed with consummate ease.
Van Persie almost livens up what is becoming an increasingly lifeless affair with another whipped cross into the area. Williams is there to head away though and the home side exert their vice-like grip on possession once more.
Hernandez is fouled by De Guzman on the left, though Manchester United forgo the opportunity to whip it into the area, instead playing it short to Scholes.
Scholes almost gets an opportunity to shoot as he attempts to play a one-two with Hernandez, driving into the Swansea box. The return pass from Chicharito goes just awry though and Chico duly clears.
Dyer almost manages to, perhaps unintentionally, work himself an opening as some miscontrol almost gets him in behind Vidic. The centre-back uses his body well though, shepherding the ball back to De Gea adeptly.
United's pressure persists as Van Persie forces another corner with some nice play in the box, whipping the ball in only for the cross to be turned behind, again by Williams.
Another chance for Hernandez and this time it is created by the lively Kagawa. The Japanese midfielder curled a ball onto the head of the striker but his header rebounded off Williams and behind for a corner.
Scholes pings a typically fine ball out right to Jones but the right-back (for the day, at least) fails to take the pass under control as it rebounds off his shins for a Swansea throw.
De Gea kicks a clearance straight out of play; in all honesty, the game hasn't matched up to the occasion as of yet. Though, in all fairness, that's a fairly tall order given the mammoth nature of the occasion.
The home side are looking the more threatening of the two; Swansea look as if they're fairly open at the back, though the Red Devils have yet to forge a shooting opportunity aside from that Hernandez miss.
United are linking up well in the early stages here, they're playing some nice flowing football and Van Persie and Kagawa almost force another opening with some lovely interplay. The former gets the final pass just wrong though and the opportunity goes begging.
That would have been the ideal way to kick off Sir Alex's last home game but it wasn't to be; a decent start from the Red Devils nonetheless as they have the best chance of a reasonably uneventful opening.
Chicharito hits the bar! Van Persie feeds his strike partner with a lovely through ball and the Mexican takes a touch before firing his strike goalwards. It beats Tremmel but rattles the crossbar and rebounds out - unlucky.
Scholes almost forges an opportunity for the advancing Evra in the first few minutes; the veteran almost fed the left-back through on goal but the pass held up in the area and the chance came to nothing.
The crowd are still in fine voice in the opening couple of minutes here - you suspect they might well be all game long - but the game has yet to really get going. It's Manchester United's turn to stroke the ball around nicely now.
Michu and Routledge get proceedings underway today as Swansea enjoy a spell of possession from the off.
Anyway, there's a game to get on with now! Both teams are out on the pitch as Sir Alex looks to finish signing a mammoth set of autographs. We're a minute or two away from kick-off now.
Sir Alex is now signing autographs after being given an appropriately amazing reception upon his entrance onto the pitch; a truly stirring sight and the veteran boss did look touched.
Both teams have made a guard of honour as they give Sir Alex Ferguson a hero's welcome upon his departure from the tunnel. This really is something special.
Old Trafford is roaring as we approach kick-off time here today; the whole stadium has been given flags and the crowd is raucous as they eagerly await the team's (and the manager's) arrival onto the pitch.
Swansea, meanwhile, welcome the surprisingly early return of Michu from a hamstring injury as they attempt to spoil the home side's party, though goalkeeper Michel Vorm is ruled out through injury, meaning that Gerhard Tremmel starts in goal for the Swans.
Wayne Rooney is nowhere to be seen in Sir Alex Ferguson's last ever home squad, while Paul Scholes is given his final run-out at Old Trafford following the announcement of his retirement last night. Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie all also start in what appears to be an attacking line-up.
Swansea: Tremmel; Tiendalli, Chico, Williams, Taylor; Britton, de Guzman; Routledge, Hernandez, Dyer; Michu. Subs: Cornell, Monk, Rangel, Davies, Agustien, Shechter, Lamah.
Manchester United: De Gea; Jones, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Carrick, Scholes; Welbeck, Kagawa; Van Persie, Hernandez. Subs: Lindegaard, Evans, Buttner, Anderson, Valencia, Cleverley, Giggs.
And here come the team line-ups...
This is guaranteed to be an emotional afternoon as Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to takes charge of his last ever game at Old Trafford. Though this encounter, with the Premier League title long since wrapped up, means little in terms of the league, it will undoubtedly hold significant sentimental value as Sir Alex bids the Red Devils support adieu after a 27 year reign that saw him become synonymous with the club and its immense success. Swansea will be looking to spoil the party but today will be all about farewells as, with yesterday's announcement regarding Paul Scholes' impending retirement still fresh in the mind, Manchester United say goodbye to two legends of the club.
Good afternoon and welcome to Goal.com's live coverage of today's Premier League clash between Manchester United and Swansea, I'm Sam Wells and I'll be guiding you through today's proceedings.
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