Sir Alex Ferguson’s career is the kind which is unlikely to ever be replicated in English football, either in success or longevity.

Across more than a quarter of a century in charge of Manchester United, the Scot racked up countless Premier League titles, adding two Champions League titles and a slew of other trophies before walking away at the top.

Picking out his 10 best games is a thankless task, with plenty which would have represented the pinnacle of other managers’ careers but which don’t even make the list on this occasion.

Mirror Football’s top 10 is a combination of iconic moments and entertaining games, all of which represent the manager Ferguson was during his United tenure.

Hopefully you’ll at least agree with our number one.

What is your favourite Man Utd game from Sir Alex Ferguson’s time in charge? Let us know in the comments section

Ferguson retired in 2012 after winning more or less everything there was to win



West Bromwich Albion 5-5 Manchester United, May 2013

Ferguson’s success at Manchester United was built on attacking football, occasionally to the detriment of the goals against column, so his last game was never going to be boring.

Thanking the fans in his retirement announcement on May 8, 2013, he said “It has been an honour and an enormous privilege to have had the opportunity to lead your club and I have treasured my time as manager of Manchester United.”

Less than a fortnight later, the manager chose a blend of youth and experience for a game at the Hawthorns which was chaotic at times but never not entertaining.

United led 3-0 and 5-2, only to be pegged back in the final 10 minutes as future Old Trafford goalscorer Romelu Lukaku completed a second-half hat-trick.

It was certainly a case of the manager leaving those present with one last thing to remember him by.

Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa, April 2013

After United’s first few titles under Ferguson, rival fans had come to accept his ability to will success into existence, but they didn’t realise the skill was transferable to his players.

After a heartbreaking failure in 2012, with Manchester City pipping United to the title with moments of the season left, Ferguson brought in Robin van Persie with a clear objective, and one which the Dutchman clearly shared.

“I took the No.20 shirt because I’m here to win a 20th title with United.,” Van Persie said upon signing from Arsenal.

Not only did he achieve the feat at the first time of asking, allowing Ferguson to retire as a winner, but he sealed the title himself with arguably his best goal in a United shirt.

Ferguson knew what he needed to do to get one over on City right away, and the man he signed did so too.

Manchester United 9-0 Ipswich Town, March 1995

At their best, Ferguson’s Man Utd could blow teams away at ease, and victories such as a 7-1 win against Roma and an 8-2 against Arsenal could have easily found their way onto this list.

Instead, though, this place on the list goes to a record victory and one which few thought would ever be matched… and indeed it wasn’t equalled until 2019.

Unlike Southampton’s defeats to Leicester and United under Ralph Hasenhuttl, where early red cards shaped the result, this game was 11 v 11 for its entirety. United were just that decisive.

While fans will speak of different incarnations or phases of United under Ferguson, an ability to score at will was common to all of them, with Andy Cole’s five-goal haul against the Tractor Boys still standing as a joint record for a player in one Premier League game.

The remarkable thing is that, despite finishing the season with 77 goals and 88 points, it was a rare season where Ferguson’s team missed out on the Premier League title.

Andy Cole scored five of United’s nine against Ipswich



Tottenham Hotspur 3-5 Manchester United, September 2001

There are Premier League comebacks, and then there are Ferguson-style Premier League comebacks.

Rarely was the “attack, attack, attack attack attack” mantra truer than in the second half against Spurs some 20 years ago, when United overturned a 3-0 half-time deficit.

Goals from Dean Richards, Les Ferdinand and Christian Ziege had given the hosts what might have been an insurmountable lead against most opponents, but not against these ones.

Even a three-goal lead wasn’t enough for Spurs


Getty Images)

Ferguson’s men had already come from behind to beat Spurs when it mattered on the final day of the 1998-99 Premier League season, and the larger deficit simply meant they’d need to score their first goal sooner.

After Laurent Blanc pulled one back within a minute of the restart, it almost felt like a foregone conclusion. Half an hour later, Ferguson’s side were in front, and there was still time for David Beckham to add gloss to the scoreline for the simple reason that he could.

Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday, April 1993

A run of trophies wouldn’t be a run of trophies without the first one, and United’s maiden Premier League title set the tone for the subsequent 20 years.

The myth-making here was two-fold, with the concept of Fergusons team as born winners being married with a classic example of Fergie-time.

With six games left of the 1992-93 season, United were a point off the summit and trailing at home to Sheffield Wednesday with just five minutes of regular time remaining.

Ferguson’s teams had a knack for finding unlikely heroes (more on that later), and on this occasion it was centre-back Steve Bruce – never the most prolific scorer, but that didn’t matter.

The equaliser came in the 86th minute. The winner, after a heap of stoppage time, arrived in the 96th. It felt like a decisive moment, and that’s because it was.

United didn’t look back, either that season or in the 20 which followed.

Manchester United 2-1 Arsenal (aet), April 1999

Giggs’ sensational extra-time winner sent United into the 1999 FA Cup final

As iconic as the 1998-99 treble was, there were so many ways in which it could have fallen apart.

However, it may well be the peril – the feeling that United could just as easily have ended the season with nothing – that makes it so significant.

In the FA Cup, the fine margins came to the fore in the semi-final. First there was the big hand from Peter Schmeichel to keep out Dennis Bergkamp’s penalty and keep United alive, and then there was the phenomenal solo run and finish from Ryan Giggs to break Arsenal hearts.

It was typical of a Ferguson side, reaping the benefits of an incomparable youth setup and a vital Fergie signing, and it wouldn’t be the last time that happened.

More than 20 years later, former United captain Gary Neville described the goal as “the one that to this day still gives me goosebumps”.

Manchester United 3-2 Aston Villa, April 2009

Macheda will remember his debut goal forever



On the subject of United’s academy, it was never just the British players who carried them forward.

After pledging to knock Liverpool off their perch, Ferguson was well on the way to doing just that but was at risk of losing ground in the 2008-09 season.

A dramatic title race had seen both teams look certain winners at various points in the season, but it looked as open as ever when Liverpool won at Old Trafford in March and Fulham beat United the following week.

More dropped points could have been decisive, and United went into the final 15 minutes against Aston Villa facing a 2-1 home deficit.

The first goalscorer was no huge surprise, with Cristiano Ronaldo bringing United level, but being able to coax a winning goal out of teenage debutant Federico Macheda – and a winning goal of that quality – felt like magic.

Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, 1999

There have been plenty of famous European away days, both during Ferguson’s reign and in the years since.

A 2010 win at the San Siro was one prime example, with Park Ji-sung keeping tabs on Andrea Pirlo, while victory over Paris Saint-Germain at the Parc des Prince in 2019 is a recent favourite of many fans.

For others, though, the pinnacle came in 1999, in a semi-final clash with Juventus.

A late Giggs equaliser had kept United in the tie, only for Pippo Inzaghi to strike twice inside 15 minutes at the Stadio Delle Alpi to leave the English side on the verge of an exit.

The only way back was to attack and leave nothing out there on the pitch, and Roy Keane did just that, pulling one back but then earning a booking which would keep him out of the final.

It wasn’t over, though, and if anything it made Ferguson’s team even more determined.

Dwight Yorke picked the ideal time to score his first goal in more than a month, putting United ahead on away goals, before Cole – who created the equaliser for his strike partner – made the game safe late on.

Little did they know there was an even more dramatic comeback to come.

Manchester United 1-1 Chelsea (6-5 pens), May 2008

Ferguson won the Champions League twice, nine years apart



While United’s 1999 vintage took the immortality of a treble win, many will claim the 2007-08 team was even better.

Indeed, were it not for a narrow FA Cup elimination at the hands of Portsmouth, when Rio Ferdinand finished the game in goal, it could have been treble number two.

The performance in the 2008 final in Moscow was far from United’s best under Ferguson, but the result was the important thing.

The run to the final couldn’t have been much further from its 1999 counterpart, with Lyon’s Karim Benzema the only player to score a knockout goal against them before Frank Lampard struck at the Luzhniki.

This was a United team which made itself almost impossible to beat, conceding just 22 times in the entire Premier League season, and if you slipped up against them you were unlikely to get a second chance.

So it proved, with John Terry squandering a golden opportunity in the penalty shootout and Ferguson’s men making Chelsea pay.

Manchester United 2-1 Bayern Munich, May 1999

Solskjaer came off the bench to deliver a famous win



What else was it really going to be?

A late comeback. A stoppage-time winner. A hero emerging from the bench. A top-tier opponent put to the sword by a combination of missed chances and United’s sheer willpower. This had it all.

Bayern led for more than 80 minutes at Camp Nou, hitting the bar and the post as they sought to make the game safe, but the lead stayed at one. And while it stayed at one, United always had a chance.

“I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it,” Ferguson said after the victory. “Football. Bloody hell.”

Ferguson’s most famous victory didn’t have to be the one most representative of his qualities as a manager, but it’s hard to see a timeline in which that isn’t the cas.e

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