Sunday 07 July 2013
Premierleague.com profiles all 20 Premier League venues, continuing with Manchester United's home ground, Old Trafford.
Year built: 1910
First League match: Manchester United 3-4 Liverpool, 19 February 1910
Old Trafford, the home of the 13-time Barclays Premier League champions, is the largest League ground in England and is one of the most iconic football venues in the world.
The stadium was built next to the Bridgewater Canal 103 years ago and, apart from an eight-year gap because of bomb damage sustained during the Second World War, it has been Man Utd's home ever since.
Originally the ground had three uncovered sides and a capacity of around 80,000 and there has been plenty of development since. Second tiers have been added to the Stretford End, Sir Alex Ferguson and East stands and the capacity now is close to the record attendance of 76,962 who watched the FA Cup semi-final between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Grimsby Town in March 1939. The Sir Alex Ferguson Stand was renamed in 2011 to mark his 25 years as manager of the club.
There are plenty of nods to the club's illustrious past at the ground with statues of Sir Matt Busby, Ferguson and the 'Holy Trinity' of Denis Law, Sir Bobby Charlton and George Best located at various points around the stadium that has become known as the 'Theatre of Dreams'.
Old Trafford has been used for a host of high-profile events, such as for matches during the 1966 FIFA World Cup finals and UEFA Euro 1996 as well as the 2003 UEFA Champions League final. Rugby League's Grand Final is held at the ground every year while it has also hosted England rugby union internationals.
10 April 1993: Manchester United 2-1 Sheffield Wednesday
It was the win that set Manchester United on the road to victory in the inaugural Barclays Premier League. United were trailing title rivals Aston Villa by one point with six matches to go and it looked as if their championship hopes were going to be extinguished by Sheffield Wednesday as they entered the final four minutes 1-0 down after John Sheridan's 65th-minute goal. But the hosts displayed their famous never-say-die attitude as they hit back with two goals from defender Steve Bruce. He headed home to equalise on 86 minutes before scoring the memorable winner in injury time when he headed in after Gary Pallister's cross was deflected off a Wednesday defender. The goal sparked jubilant scenes at Old Trafford and led to Sir Alex Ferguson and Brian Kidd's famous on-pitch celebrations.
19 September 2010: Manchester United 3-2 Liverpool
Dimitar Berbatov produced a striking masterclass as Manchester United downed their rivals. The Bulgarian forward put United ahead with a header from a Ryan Giggs corner and he doubled the lead with a stunning overhead kick. Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard levelled the match, however, with two goals from set pieces. The first came from the penalty spot after Jonny Evans had fouled Fernando Torres, the second was a free-kick on the edge of the area. Berbatov was not to be denied, though, and with six minutes to go he towered over the Liverpool defence to power home the winning header.
28 August 2011: Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal
A day that left Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger in shock and counterpart Sir Alex Ferguson in raptures as Manchester United ran riot at Old Trafford. Danny Welbeck opened the scoring on 22 minutes with Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney adding two more before the break. Theo Walcott gave the Gunners a glimmer of hope with a goal in first-half injury time but the floodgates opened in the second half. Rooney completed his hat-trick while Nani and Ji-Sung Park also got on the scoresheet. Arsenal, who had Carl Jenkinson dismissed with 12 minutes to go, did grab a consolation through Robin van Persie but the rout was completed when Young added his second, and Man Utd's eighth, in stoppage time.
“Old Trafford is wonderful, very big, and the best thing is when it is packed and the crowd is cheering. Our fans are truly unbelievable. They sing the whole time and cheer for the team, and for us that is very important. My debut was an unforgettable moment and I enjoyed everything about it – the atmosphere, the stadium and the game, as well as keeping a clean sheet, which is important for the team., and I’m very happy that we made it two wins from two against Arsenal.”
Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, after United’s 8-2 rout of Arsenal (August 2011)