Manchester United Wins to Celebrate Ferguson’s 25th Anniversary

Manchester United marked Alex Ferguson’s 25th anniversary as manager with a 1-0 win over Sunderland in English soccer’s Premier League.

An own goal from former defender Wes Brown gave United the home victory. Prior to the match the club renamed one of the stands at Old Trafford in Ferguson’s honor.

“It was an anxious day for the players and I think they showed that today,” Ferguson told Sky Sports. “Sunderland threw everything into it and played very well.”

First-place Manchester City and Newcastle both won to remain the league’s only unbeaten teams.

Manchester City defeated Queen’s Park Rangers 3-2 and Newcastle beat Everton 2-1. Arsenal defeated West Brom 3-0, Aston Villa beat Norwich 3-2, Chelsea won 1-0 at Blackburn, while Liverpool and Swansea finished 0-0.

Ferguson, who was hired on Nov. 6, 1986, walked onto the field through a honor guard of both teams and Sunderland manager Steve Bruce, a former United defender. United then announced at a ceremony that Old Trafford’s North Stand, the biggest at the stadium, was renamed for the manager.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Ferguson said. “I didn’t expect that. I have to thank the club, it’s fantastic of them to do that.”

United got the only goal it needed in first-half stoppage time courtesy of Brown, who left the club for Sunderland in the summer. Nani sent in a corner kick which Brown, pressured by Danny Welbeck, headed into his own goal.

Manchester City remains five points ahead of United after rallying past QPR.

Yaya Toure’s goal in the 74th minute gave City the victory at Loftus Road in London. Jay Bothroyd put QPR in front before Edin Dzeko and David Silva scored for City.

Toure’s Game Winner

QPR tied the game in the 69th minute when Bothroyd’s header bounced in off the back of Heidar Helguson. Toure then won the game by heading in Aleksandar Kolarov’s cross with 16 minutes left.

Newcastle stayed a point behind Manchester United by beating Everton. The Magpies took the lead on own goal from John Heitinga and Ryan Taylor’s score before Jack Rodwell scored for Everton in first-half injury time.

Robin van Persie netted his league-leading 11th goal to help Arsenal past West Brom. Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta also scored as the Gunners won their fourth straight league match.

The victory moves Arsenal even with sixth-place Liverpool on 19 points. Liverpool settled for the home draw with Swansea after Dirk Kuyt scored in the 88th minute only to be ruled offside.

Darren Bent had two goals in Aston Villa’s home win over Norwich, while Frank Lampard scored as Chelsea beat Blackburn to end a two-match losing run in the league.

Wolverhampton hosts Wigan, Stoke visits Bolton and Tottenham is at Fulham in tomorrow’s games.

To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at bbensch@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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