Barclays Premier League
22.01.06, Old Trafford
United: Van der Sar; Neville, Ferdinand, Brown, Evra; Richardson, Fletcher, O'Shea (Saha 45), Giggs; Rooney, van Nistelrooy.
Subs not used: Howard, Vidic, Silvestre, Rossi.
The centre-back moved forward to get on the end of a Ryan Giggs free-kick and beat Pepe Reina, who got a hand to the header, to snatch a precious late victory after a pretty dull 90 minutes.
Djibril Cisse squandered one clear opening for the visitors after Ferdinand's dramatic goalline clearance while it took United 87 minutes to win a first corner of the afternoon.
However, there was unconfined joy when Ferdinand came up trumps. So unconfined in Gary Neville's case, that his celebration led him to being disciplined and financially penalised by the Football Association.