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Sir Alex Ferguson era ends with wacky draw

FBL-ENG-PR-WEST BROM-MAN UTD

Manchester United’s Scottish manager Alex Ferguson (C) stands amid his players at the end of the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Manchester United, his last game before retirement, at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on May 19, 2013. English football witnessed the end of an era as Alex Ferguson signed off as Manchester United manager with an extraordinary 5-5 draw at West Bromwich Albion in his 1,500th and final game. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Sir Alex Ferguson managed the final match of his career away from Old Trafford, and it looked set to complete on a high note, until the opposition had other ideas.

Having already secured his 13th Premier League title, Ferguson’s squad squandered a 3-goal lead for just the third time under his command (and twice in the match) as they played West Brom to a crazy 5-5 draw. It was exactly Ferguson’s 1,500th match in charge of Manchester United.

It was the first 5-5 draw in the Barclays Premier League, and the first in the English top flight since 1984 when Queens Park Rangers drew Newcastle. It was also the second-highest scoring match in Premier League history with the 10 combined goals.

Here’s a few snippets to give an idea of how odd this match was: loanee Romelu Lukaku, on possibly his last appearance with West Brom before he could return to Chelsea, grabbed a hat trick...as a halftime substitute. The two teams combined for 37 shots, just 12 on target, meaning only 2 shots on target failed to hit the back of the net. Finally, with United defenders Patrice Evra, Nemanja Vidic, and Rio Ferdinand all on the bench, the Red Devils conceded 3 goals in the final 10 minutes as West Brom stunned the visitors and shared the points.

It wasn’t just the end for Sir Alex either. Paul Scholes came on in the 69th minute to replace Shinji Kagawa in the final showing of the Englishman’s illustrious career. At 38 years of age, it was the 498th appearance in the Premier League for the man who Zinedine Zidane once called “the best midfielder of his generation.”

Sir Alex didn’t go out without another attempt at continuing the Manchester United youth assembly line. He handed Belgian teen and United youth product Adnan Junzaj his first appearance on the team sheet, albeit as an unused sub.

The point, combined with Swansea’s 3-0 home defeat to Fulham, gave West Brom an 8th place finish in the table.