Premier League On this Day: The difference a year made at Man United

Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

These are strange times indeed for any Manchester United supporter under the age of 30 — you know, not winning, or at least competing for, the Premier League title every season.

[ MORE: Lukaku: Many Inter players showed coronavirus symptoms months ago ]

Seven years ago today — April 22, 2013 — the Red Devils were busy clinching their record 20th first-division title (13th in the PL era, also a record) on the back of a 33-minute hat trick from Robin van Persie, who claimed the Golden Boot (26 goals) by a three-goal margin to cap off a spectacular first season at Old Trafford. Goal no. 2 from the Dutchman is one of the best the PL has ever seen.

Little did we know at the time that it would be the last title of Sir Alex Ferguson’s legendary career. Less than a month later, Ferguson announced that he would be retiring after 26 years at Man United. A day later, David Moyes was appointed the incoming manager to replace Ferguson, which ever so conveniently brings us to “On this Day” in 2014, a year later…

After less than 10 months in charge — with United sitting seventh in the table, 23 points back of the then-leaders Liverpool, with a record of 17W-6D-11L — Moyes was fired.

In retrospect, Moyes’ immediate struggles only served to highlight the genius that was Ferguson. He was the man who not only built United into a global powerhouse over two and a half decades, but also overcame every last obstacle which proved too great a hurdle for every United manager who followed him.