Last weekend’s game against Watford was Manchester United’s 1,000th in the Premier League and, to mark this significant milestone, we ran a series of special polls.
Looking back at the Reds’ greatest moments and players in the competition over the last quarter of a century, we asked you to vote on the following five categories: Best Goal, Best Game, Best Save, Best Player and finally, the Greatest XI, enabling you to pick an ultimate line-up from the entire era.
You voted in your thousands and we can now reveal the results of the first four of those polls, with the identity of our Greatest XI to follow soon…
Given the plethora of greats to choose from, this was always going to be an intriguing contest. And it was Ronny who came out on top, with 24 per cent of fans recognising the Portuguese forward’s ascent to superstardom during his six seasons at Old Trafford. Ryan Giggs, who made 632 appearances in the competition, was a close runner-up with 21 per cent, with his fellow Treble-winner and Class of ’92 graduate Paul Scholes third (17 per cent).
No real surprises here… Rooney’s astonishing overhead kick in the derby gleaned a huge 53 per cent of the vote, ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible free-kick against Portsmouth (nine per cent) and Robin van Persie’s title-clinching volley against Aston Villa (eight per cent). Interestingly, all three goals were scored at the East Stand end of Old Trafford.
This one was closer – much closer. Only 87 votes separated 2009’s dramatic derby win from the faintly ludicrous 8-2 thrashing of Arsenal a couple of years later. The Reds’ superb second-half comeback to win 5-3 at Tottenham Hotspur in 2002 completed the top three.
Our current no.1 claimed the top two places in this category, with his flying stop from Juan Mata’s free-kick at Stamford Bridge a comfortable winner on 28 per cent, followed by his breathtaking 2014/15 effort to tip over a shot from Everton’s Bryan Oviedo (18 per cent). Peter Schmeichel’s brilliant thwarting of John Barnes at Newcastle United in 1997/98 came third (13 per cent).