Man Utd: Top Eleven Shocking League Defeats

In light of Manchester United’s embarrassing defeat to noisy neighbours and title rivals Manchester City last Sunday, let's have a look at the other Premier League defeats that Sir Alex Ferguson would rather forget. Manchester United fans, please look away now…

Southampton 6-3 Manchester United: 26th October 1996
Just a week after Newcastle had battered them at St James Park, United were humbled once again. Southampton, inspired by a tubby Matt Le Tissier and an Egil Ostenstad hattrick, won the game 6-3, less than six months after beating the same opposition 3-1 at the Dell during the infamous half time shirt change. After Eyal Berkovic had given the Saints an early lead, Roy Keane was sent off, and the game descended into an attacking goal fest that saw four goals plundered in the last ten minutes.

Newcastle United 5-0 Manchester United: 20th October 1996
Kevin Keegan’s side had come agonisingly close to winning the league the season before yet threw away an eleven point lead at the top of the table. Always easy on the eye, an Alan Shearer inspired Newcastle condemned Alex Ferguson to one his biggest league defeat. Manchester United had beaten their rivals 4-0 in the Community Shield earlier on in the season, and although Newcastle fielded exactly the same side, the result was anything but. Goals from Darren Peacock, David Ginola, Les Ferdinand and Shearer had put the Toon Army in seventh heaven, but the real icing on the cake came on 83 minutes, when Newcastle centre back Philip Albert lobbed Peter Schmeichel with a delightful lofted finish. Keegan still maintains this was his best day in football management.

Manchester United 1-4 Liverpool: 14th March 2009
With Manchester United leading 2nd placed Liverpool by 7 points, Benitez and his Liverpool side needed a win to keep their hopes of the winning title alive. Eleven consecutive Premier League wins for United and unbeaten at home suggested they faced the impossible. Liverpool buoyed by their destruction of Real Madrid earlier in the same week, secured a 4-1 away win with Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard rampant throughout. Nemanja Vidic during an otherwise faultless season had a torrid day culminating in a straight red card 15 minutes from time.

Wolves 1-0 Manchester United: 17th January 2004
Top faced bottom of the league in this away win banker yet Scotsmen Kenny Miller wrapped up a miserable day for United. With Rio Ferdinand playing his last game before an eight month suspension for missing a drugs test, Ferguson’s charges pulverised a meek looking Wolves side at Molineux doing all but score. In the 66th minute, Miller picked up the ball from a lose United throw in, before sliding a cool finish past a despairing Tim Howard. Despite having a late goal by David Bellion ruled out for offside, Wolves were worthy victors although they would later be relegated.

Manchester City 4-1 Man Utd: 14th March, 2004
A week after United had been dumped out of the Champions League they were humbled by bitter rivals City. The damning defeat left Ferguson’s men 12 points adrift of league leaders Arsenal with just ten games remaining. The nail in the coffin, and an illustration of City’s dominance, was Shaun Wright-Phillips’s sublime finish to make it 4-1. Two ghosts from United’s past orchestrated City’s win, with former Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler scoring, and City manager and former Newcastle boss Kevin Keegan in the dugout, which all added to a miserable afternoon for Manchester United fans.

Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United: October 3rd, 1999
Chelsea ended United’s 29 game unbeaten run, when once again a Massimo Tailbi error gifted Chelsea a welcome lead in side the first minute. Nicky Butt was then sent off and United capitulated in front of an exuberant Stamford Bridge. Further goals from Chris Sutton and Jody Morris condemned United to their biggest Premier league defeat to date. In only his fourth game, Taibi had already conceded 10 goals which effectively put an end to his miserable time at Old Trafford.

Aston Villa 3-1 Manchester United, 19th August 1995
During the summer Alex Ferguson had jettisoned club legends Paul Ince and Andrei Kanchelskis instead placing his faith in a crop of youngsters that had been making waves in youth team football. At first his conviction seemed misplaced with Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and David Beckham all featuring during a Dwight Yorke inspired defeat which led Alan Hansen to utter those immortal words “You’ll never win anything with kids”. United later went onto win the league and cup Double.

Manchester United 0-1 West Ham, 15th May 2007
The recently crowned Champions of England hosted a West Ham United side that needed a win to stay in the division. Carlos Tevez whose ownership would later be called into question, scored a brilliant goal that led to a dramatic last day which eventually saw Sheffield United relegated at their expense. Just a few months later, the diminutive Argentine would join United on loan.

Tottenham Hotspurs 4-1 Manchester United, 1st January 1996
Gerry Francis’s team received a boost before kickoff with the news that Paul Scholes had been taken ill over night, then during the warm-up Peter Schmeichel pulled a hamstring injury forcing him off at the interval. Teddy Sheringham and a young Chris Armstrong tour into a laboured Manchester United side with the latter grabbing a double. The loss enabled Newcastle United to move 7 points clear at the top of the league, but Keegan’s men would later squander it and eventually succumb to Ferguson’s young squad.

Manchester United 2-3 Derby County, 5th April 1997
A game best remembered for a brilliant solo goal by the unknown debutant Paulo Wanchope. The gangly Costa Rican picked the ball up in his own half and ran at a bewildered United defence, before calmly slotting it passed goalkeeping great Peter Schmeichel. After Cantona had got United back in the game with typically assured finish, an uncharacteristic mistake from Schmeichel later put pay to a United comeback.

Source: Wikipedia, YouTube, Premier League, Guardian

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