Our five best Old Trafford finales
Manchester United sign off the 2018/19 campaign this weekend when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's former club Cardiff City provide the opposition at Old Trafford.
Ahead of the visit of Neil Warnock’s relegated Bluebirds on Sunday (kick-off 15:00 BST), we’ve picked out five memorable occasions when the Reds have ended a Premier League campaign at the Theatre of Dreams…
United 2 Crystal Palace 0 (2017)
A youthful Reds side signed off our 2016/17 league campaign with a dominant victory over Sam Allardyce’s Eagles two years ago. With the game coming just three days before the Europa League final against Ajax in Stockholm, we fielded our youngest line-up in Premier League history – consisting of an average age of 22 years and 284 days. One of four players given their top-flight debuts was 21-year-old Josh Harrop, who marked the occasion in some style with a superb finish from inside the box to open the scoring in the first half. Paul Pogba doubled the advantage with a low strike before Angel Gomes replaced Wayne Rooney late on, becoming the club’s youngest-ever Premier League player at 16 years and 263 days old.
United 4 Blackpool 2 (2011)
It was a final day of celebration for the Reds, as we had already clinched our 19th league title before the Seasiders arrived at the Theatre of Dreams. Ian Holloway’s team needed a positive result to avoid relegation on the final day but Sir Alex Ferguson’s men had other ideas in an entertaining encounter. Ji-sung Park gave us the lead before Charlie Adam’s free-kick and Gary Taylor-Fletcher’s close-range finish turned it around for the visitors. Anderson levelled matters with a curling effort before an own goal by Ian Evatt and Michael Owen’s late strike sealed victory for the Reds, who lifted the Premier League trophy after the game. It was also a final league outing for legendary Dutch keeper Edwin van der Sar before his retirement.
United 4 Stoke City 0 (2010)
The Reds eased past the Potters in our final league assignment nine years ago. Darren Fletcher opened the scoring in the 31st minute and Ryan Giggs doubled our lead before the interval. Former United defender Danny Higginbotham diverted a low Wayne Rooney cross into his own net to increase our advantage early in the second half, before substitute Park headed in a fourth with six minutes remaining. Unfortunately, despite our comfortable win, Chelsea’s 8-0 victory over Wigan Athletic meant the Premier League title headed to Stamford Bridge.
United 4 Charlton Athletic 0 (2006)
Sir Alex’s men also hit four without reply in game no.38 back in 2006, as the Addicks were well beaten at Old Trafford in Alan Curbishley’s final match as manager. Louis Saha broke the deadlock with a header from a Giggs corner before Cristiano Ronaldo tapped home from close range to make it 2-0. An own goal by Jason Euell and a superb long-range strike from Kieran Richardson added further gloss to the impressive scoreline as the Reds finished in second place ahead of arch-rivals Liverpool.
United 2 Tottenham 1 (1999)
It was a nerve-shredding final day 20 years ago as the Reds came from behind to beat Spurs and secure the first part of our unprecedented Treble. The visitors from north London took a shock lead through Les Ferdinand, but superb goals from David Beckham and half-time substitute Andy Cole sealed the three points required to claim a fifth league title in seven seasons, as second-placed Arsenal beat Aston Villa 1-0 at Highbury. There were jubilant scenes after the final whistle at the Theatre of Dreams, as we clinched the title on home soil for the first time since the days of Sir Matt Busby.