Manchester United 2 Swansea 1 match report: Late goal from Rio Ferdinand insures Sir Alex Ferguson bows out at Old Trafford with victory

Not quite Fergie time, but 87th minute Rio Ferdinand winner sees Ferguson bow out at Theatre of Dreams with victory

There have been goals scored later than this at Old Trafford in the last 26 years, there have been much more significant wins than this, but Rio Ferdinand’s goal in the 87th minute is unique in being the last late winner of Sir Alex Ferguson’s Old Trafford years.

There were times when the sheer magnitude of the occasion seemed to inhibit this United team - as it had when they lost Manchester City on the 50th anniversary of the Munich air disaster - but eventually they found an extra gear to win the game as they have done so often over the years. For much of it, Swansea were the better team but that alone is not enough to win games at Old Trafford.

To do that, you have to take your chances, and there was a key moment on 53 minutes when Swansea almost did. Michu, who had scored an excellent equaliser earlier, played in Wayne Routledge who held off Ferdinand and just put his shot wide of David De Gea’s post. There was also a chance for Pablo Hernandez that De Gea saved well.

With three minutes remaining, the ball bounced to Ferdinand at the back post and his half-volley was struck so hard, the base of the goal was lifted off the ground. In the first half, Javier Hernandez had seized on Ashley Williams’ mistake to score the first.

For Swansea, ninth place is assured and they could finish as high as eighth on Sunday if they beat Fulham and West Brom lose to United. That is some achievement for Michael Laudrup’s first season, put alongside the League Cup victory, although he warned later that the clubs below Swansea would be spending big in the summer.

It was also the last Old Trafford outing for Scholes, this time for good, who was given a start by Ferguson. A goal would have been the perfect send-off but there had only been one previously all season. In the end, the attention was all elsewhere, which is exactly as Scholes would have liked it.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before