Denis Irwin had all onlookers purring, including Sky Blues boss Bobby Gould. “It was magnificent, a wonderful advertisement,” said the Coventry manager. “Some of the football was a delight to behold.”
29/12/1993: Oldham Athletic 2 United 5
Two years after United had hit the Latics for six at Boundary Park (with the hosts scoring three!), the Reds returned to bag another handful. “I wouldn’t have been surprised if we’d scored ten goals and Oldham could easily have scored five,” said Sir Alex of this goal-happy game. Andrei Kanchelskis began the scoring, Graeme Sharp equalised, then an Eric Cantona penalty was cancelled out by Rick Holden. That was the end of the resistance from the hosts though, as Steve Bruce and two goals from Ryan Giggs displayed United’s awesome firepower.
30/12/2009: United 5 Wigan 0
“It will probably take Sir Alex Ferguson longer to blow out the candles on today's 68th birthday cake than it took his side to snuff out Wigan,” wrote the Daily Telegraph’s Henry Winter, of a one-sided festive romp for the Reds. Once Wayne Rooney had flicked home Rafael’s cross, the outcome was never in doubt. Michael Carrick and Rafael struck before the break, before Dimitar Berbatov crowned a regal outing with a neat finish and former Latic Antonio Valencia capped a five-star show from the champions.