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A fond farewell to the fantastic Fergie

ESPN staff
May 12, 2013
Sir Alex Ferguson was rightfully lauded at Old Trafford on Sunday © PA Photos
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A long goodbye, part I

Sir Alex Ferguson waved goodbye to Old Trafford - and, by extension, Manchester United - in perfect fashion on Sunday, seeing his team win with a characteristic late goal before helping accept the 13th Premier League title of his incredible managerial career.

His likes will never be seen again, so we will leave the words to him. As he said in his address to the crowd after the match:

"My retirement doesn't mean the end of my life with the club. I will be able to now enjoy watching them, rather than suffer with them. But if you think about the last-minute goals, the comebacks, even the defeats, are all about this great club of ours.

"I have been able to manage some of the greatest players in the country,. All of these players today have represented the club in the proper way. They have won the championship in fantastic fashion.

"It's been an unbelievable experience for all of us. So thank you for that."

The Old Trafford record

Sunday was Ferguson's 405th home Premier League game in charge of Manchester United, and it did (eventually) produce his 305th victory.

In the end a 75 per cent win ratio is pretty good. Pretty, pretty good.

A long goodbye, part II

David Moyes, Ferguson's successor, also enjoyed his final home game as Everton manager on Sunday - seeing his side put on an expansive attacking display as they threatened to rip West Ham limp from limp.

In the end, his side created 28 shots during the 90 minutes - but that only resulted in two goals, Kevin Mirallas nabbing both of them with right-footed efforts.

"I think this is the best team I've ever had," Moyes said afterwards. Which, all things told, isn't a bad way to leave a club (although, admittedly, not quite as good as Fergie).

'Can we sing a song for you?'

A couple of chants heard at Old Trafford on Sunday, for your amusement:

Reflecting on Man City's FA Cup final defeat and Premier League demise:"Mancini, (wooah), he gave the trophy back, and now he's got the sack..."

After Swansea's equaliser: [Sarcastically, to Ferguson] "You're getting sacked in the morning!"

You do the maths

Working out the permutations at the bottom of the Premier League took some time on Sunday, but the upshot is this: It does NOT look good for Wigan.

The Latics, currently on 35 points, realistically need to win both of their remaining league encounters to take them to 41 points and safety (a win and a draw will not be good enough, unless Sunderland concede a bucketful of goals on the final day).

If they achieve that aim, then Aston Villa - who they play on the final day of the season - will thus be stranded where they are, somewhat precariously on 40. But it will actually send Sunderland down, unless they get at least a point against Spurs.

If Paolo Di Canio's men do, then Villa will suddenly be back on the chopping block by virtue of their terrible goal difference. They will have the same number of points as Sunderland (if they draw), Southampton and Fulham (even if those latter teams lose) but - unless one of those teams concede roughly 15 goals - Paul Lambert's men will be in the Championship next season after all.

All that of course, is meaningless if Wigan lose to Arsenal on Tuesday - a result that will send them down and allow all those armchair mathematicians to put their calculators to onside until this time next season. Which might be nice, in a way.

Goal drought

Daniel Sturridge's hat-trick against Fulham was his first in senior football, a landmark that he celebrated in fitting fashion.

But it was - perhaps interestingly, perhaps not - just the 11th hat-trick of this Premier League season, a long way short of last season's record haul of 19. Who knows, maybe we'll see eight of them on the final day of the season?

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