That's Entertainment

Posted by Mark Payne

Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson seemingly had nothing left to do in the Premier League. After 13 championships and 11 Manager of the Year awards in 20 seasons, Fergie had ticked most of the boxes. Except for a 5-5 draw. That was one result nobody had managed before. They have now.

"There's no point trying to analyse a game like that," West Brom manager and fellow Scot Steve Clarke said Sunday. "It's a great finale and a memorable way to bow out."

-Moyes reports for duty
-Brewin: Ferguson, United prove critics wrong
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Ferguson declined the opportunity to speak with the press after the game; perhaps it was too preposterous a result to explain. He was on the record as saying he would like to win his final match -- who wouldn’t? At the very least, this was incredibly entertaining.

It was also a completely unique occasion. A game with nothing more at stake than to be a tribute to one man is one that was always likely to contain the improbable.

It was only the fifth time in Premier League history that United conceded five or more goals, two coming at the end of a bleak October in 1996. They finished champions that season too.

Earlier in the season, United's attack dug the defence out of trouble on many occasions. Sunday was almost the reverse, as defensive lapses plunged the side into peril and undid the forward line's good work.

"We're ready to move on and there are new challenges for all of us,” said captain for the day Michael Carrick. By the looks of things, most of the defence had started to move on at half-time.

Anders Lindegaard was less than energetic in the United goal. It is possible that he has had a bad week, but equally, he could be unhappy about his place in the pecking order. If he wants to be at United next year, he will need to play a lot better than he did at the Hawthorns.

The match began in sublime fashion with United clicking into a 3-0 lead with only 30 minutes gone. But the ridiculousness was only just around the corner and few could have predicted what was to happen next.

The unexpected was a recurring theme during Ferguson’s tenure. When all hope was lost, his teams delivered from the heavens in moments of desperate brilliance. It was an incredible ride.

David Moyes arrived at Old Trafford on Monday morning to check in with the back-room staff and get his feet under the table. The Premier League trophy rests on a shelf down the corridor and the musk of Ferguson’s 26 years still hang in the air.

Nobody knows what is going to happen next.

Follow Mark on twitter @markjpayne

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