1986-87: Sir Alex takes over; 2-0 loss at Oxford is his first game
1987-88: Brian McClair and Viv Anderson are his first signings
1987-88: McClair becomes the first player to break the 20-league goal barrier since Best
1987-88: United finish runners-up to Liverpool and exit the FA Cup at Arsenal
1988-89: A 5-1 derby defeat to City is a real low point
1988-89: United can only manage 11th place in Division One
1989-90: A spending spree brings in the likes of Paul Ince and Gary Pallister
1989-90: United win the FA Cup, Sir Alex's first trophy as boss
1990-91: An on-field brawl with Arsenal leads to United being docked 1 point
1990-91: Ron Atkinson beats his successor in the League Cup final
1990-91: On a glorious night in Rotterdam, United win the European Cup-Winners' Cup
Rome wasn't built in a day and, when Sir Alex took over in 1986, he inherited a team that was struggling near the foot of the old First Division.
Keen to give the existing staff a chance to prove themselves, the boss took his time to assess the players and waited before stamping his authority on the club. Nonetheless, small signs of progress were evident with a Boxing Day victory against Liverpool in front of the largest league attendance of the season an obvious highlight. A disappointing FA Cup defeat to eventual winners Coventry, however, provided proof that an overhaul was needed at Old Trafford. Ron Atkinson's team may have lifted the famous trophy only a year earlier but a culture of success was required and a shake-up would take time to deliver. A 4-0 thumping at Tottenham was a harsh lesson and the reality was United only won once away from home all season in the league and finished 11th behind the likes of Norwich, Wimbledon, Luton and Watford.
Sir Alex's first full season in charge left him with "mixed emotions" although Viv Anderson and Brian McClair, in particular, proved shrewd acquisitions. Liverpool were worthy