Ferguson finishes with wine, not win

Sir Alex Ferguson ended his magnificent managerial career just the way he would want - with a nice glass of red wine.

A giant of the English game retires

The Manchester United manager declared himself satisfied with the 2003 Chateau Pontet Canet, bought especially for the occasion, with Steve Clarke delighted it did Ferguson justice.

"He knew what it was," said Clarke proudly. "He said it was a good year."

The post-match drink followed a staggering game, as United cruised into a 3-0 lead, and then 5-2, before being pegged back by a dogged West Brom side, who salvaged a 5-5 draw.

It was the first time a United team had drawn by such a score since Newton Heath were held by Lincoln in 1895. It was also the highest scoring draw in Premier League history.

"I am not sure Sir Alex enjoyed it that much," said Clarke.

"There is no point analysing the game. We had a great Plan A, which went out of the window after 10 minutes.

"It was a great occasion. That game will be remembered for a long time.

"He was quite complimentary about our season and I wish him all the best."

Ferguson opted not to speak with the media afterwards.

His thoughts would have been fascinating though, for at any other point in his career the hairdryer would surely have been turned up full volume given how the match unfolded, even though it wasn't, as he told Clarke, the first time under his charge United had thrown away a three-goal lead.

Shinji Kagawa and a Jonas Olsson own goal had United cruising after just 10 minutes and when Alexander Buttner drove home a third midway through the first-half, it seemed Ferguson would enjoy a victory cruise on his final day.

Even after James Morrison and Romelu Lukaku cut the gap either side of the interval, United quickly restored their three-goal cushion through Golden Boot winner Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez.

Yet it proved to be the prelude for the most astonishing of comebacks as Lukaku and Youssuf Mulumbu netted amid chaotic scenes.

Olsson blazed over from three yards before Lukaku completed his hat-trick, with both sides failing to take chances to win it late on.



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