This was truly the last day all football fans around the world have seen Sir Alex in the managerial role of Manchester United, as the enigmatic manager took a last bow at The Hawthorns on his 1500th match at the head of Manchester United, but it was a thorny sending off for him, as United twice gave away a 3-goal cushion to finally end up drawing 5-5 with West Brom, but still this result had no direct impact on the career of this man, knowing that he had reached the greatest heights possible with his team since he took over from 1986 up to now, and having seen so many generations of world class players plying their trade under his guidance, and having kept his word of knocking Liverpool off their perch when at one point in time the latter had more league titles than United.
The day looked like a bright one for SAF however, as he even took a fresh packet of chewing gum offered by West Brom’s mascot to him before the game. United were the ones to strike first, as Kagawa opened the score on the 6th minute, but SAF’s reaction was not the usual one, as he kept on sitting but clapping. Olsson then had the misfortune to score an own goal on the 9th minute, which triggered very little emotions from the gaffer yet again. It seemed he was already starting to cut ties with the usual routine and focusing on his retirement instead. Buttner added a third on the 30th minute, but West Brom responded with one back before half time through Morrison.
Then came the second half of madness, as Lukaku came on to gatecrash the farewell party! He score on the 50th minute to bring the deficit to one goal, before RvP struck 3 minutes later to restore a 2-goal cushion. Chicharito brightened the atmosphere for United on the 63rd minute as he added another one to restore the 3-goal cushion. However Lukaku was proving to be too much to handle at the back, and he added his second on the 80th minute, then Mulumbu followed suit one minute later as United’s backline crumbled completely. Lukaku was not finished yet however, and on the 86th minute levelled the game, completing his hat-trick, and leaving United hanging on a thread, as they were barely being able to cope with West Brom’s forward raids led by this man. Luckily, SAF did not end his career in similar manner as when he managed his first United game, where they lost 2-0 to Oxford, and this time was relieved enough to hang on to the draw, and bow out gracefully, as he prepares himself for his new roles in the club. It was also the final game for Scholes, as he follows his master in retirement, but to remain in the club as a coaching staff instead.
With Wayne Rooney reportedly handing an official transfer request, I’m tempted to think if he goes to Chelsea (since Bayern have clearly said they are not interested, and other big clubs are yet to rise up in a bid for him), whether it will not be wise for United to try tempt them to send Lukaku the other way instead, as the man is powerful, full of technique, and is lethal in front of goal, and could fit well in United’s squad.
Farewell to Sir Alex Ferguson, and wishing him all the best for his future duties, and let’s hope Moyes does live up to the expectations…