Goal of the Day: Welbeck's debut to remember

Friday 15 November 2019 02:00

Date: 15 November 2008, Old Trafford, Premier League

Background: United’s title defence had stuttered the previous week with a 2-1 defeat at Arsenal and Sir Alex Ferguson, celebrating 50 years in professional football, was missing the injured Rio Ferdinand, Ryan Giggs and Wayne Rooney. However, that was no problem as the Reds put newly promoted Stoke City to the sword. Cristiano Ronaldo’s 100th goal for the club was followed up by first-half efforts from Michael Carrick and Dimitar Berbatov, giving the boss breathing space to mix things up after the break.

The goal: Seventeen-year-old local lad Danny Welbeck made his Premier League bow just after the hour mark and within 21 minutes he’d fulfilled a lifelong ambition. After a one-two with fellow debutant Manucho, Welbeck struck a rising drive straight into the top right-hand corner of Thomas Sorensen’s goal, before running to the touchline to salute the crowd.

What happened next: Never one to be outshone, Ronaldo added a fifth to complete the job he’d started. Meanwhile, at the other end, Edwin van der Sar celebrated the first of what would be an incredible 14 consecutive clean sheets in the league, which stands as a world record to this day.

The reaction: "It was lovely," said Welbeck. "Especially coming from Manchester, especially in front of the Stretford End. I wouldn't say I've dreamt about it but I've thought about it every minute of my life."