MX23RW : Thursday, October 22 15:02:38| >> :60:2004:2004:
May 19, 2013 at 4pm UK at The Hawthorns
West BromWest Bromwich Albion
Man UtdManchester United
Morrison (40'), Mulumbu (81'), Lukaku (50', 80', 86')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Olsson (9' og.), Büttner (30'), Hernández (63'), Kagawa (6'), Van Persie (53')

Match Analysis: West Bromwich Albion 5-5 Manchester United

Match Analysis: West Brom 5-5 United
© PA Photos
Sports Mole attempts to make sense of Sir Alex Ferguson's 1500th and final game in charge of Manchester United - a 5-5 draw at West Brom.

The curtain came down on Sir Alex Ferguson's career with a first-ever 5-5 scoreline in the Premier League era this afternoon.

Ferguson's 1500th and final game in charge of Manchester United was a crazy affair at West Bromwich Albion, where United twice held a three-goal lead before the Baggies clawed their way back for a remarkable draw.

Below, Sports Mole tries to make sense of an astonishing end to Ferguson's 26-year stint as United manager.

Match statistics:

West Brom:
Shots 15
On target 8
Possession 49%
Corners 3
Fouls 10

Shots 12
On target 8
Possession 51%
Corners 5
Fouls 6

Was the result fair?

No idea. Neither side had anything to play for but instead of being a drab affair, the defences decided not to turn up leading to a goalfest like none other the Premier League has ever seen. United raced into a 3-0 lead thanks to goals from Shinji Kagawa, Alexander Buttner and an own goal from Jonas Olsson. Ferguson would have expected his side to see out the match but the Baggies pulled one back before the break through James Morrison to give themselves a bit of momentum. Romelu Lukaku was brought on at half time and the Belgian's performance will make people wonder why he didn't start. The striker scored just five minutes after coming on to cut the lead to one but soon after United had regained their three-goal lead thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Javier Hernandez. West Brom didn't give up and a pair of Lukaku goals, either side of Youssuf Mulumbu's tidy finish, meant that Ferguson's career ended in spectacular fashion. Was the result fair? Who knows and, quite frankly, who cares!

West Brom's performance

Their defending in the first half an hour was shoddy to say the least. Kagawa wasn't tracked for the opener and soon after an own goal followed before Buttner was also allowed an unchallenged shot at goal. With nothing much to play for, it was surprising just how well West Brom responded. The goal before half time was vital and after the break Lukaku made his mark.

United's performance

A blistering start from the Premier League champions and it looked as if it would be awfully comfortably for Ferguson on his last day as a manager. However, the game just kept unravelling and unravelling and no-one could have predicted what would happen in the second half. I'm sure Ferguson won't be pleased with his side's performance but I doubt he'll have got the hairdryer out in the dressing room afterwards. Much more likely to be a glass of wine.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Romelu Lukaku: The frontman, who has been a revelation at the Baggies since his loan move from Chelsea, only played 45 minutes but managed to score three goals against United, becoming only the third in Premier League history to achieve that against the Red Devils. The other two? David Bentley and Dirk Kuyt.

Biggest gaffe

A clear winner for this award today and it's West Brom defender Jonas Olsson. He had already scored an own goal in the first half but was offered the perfect chance of redemption when the ball was presented to him in almost exactly the same position after the break. All the Swedish defender had to do was volley it home but he skied it over the crossbar.

Referee performance

Michael Oliver has probably never refereed a game like it but fortunately his name won't be in the headlines tomorrow as he had a sound game with the whistle.

What next?

West Brom: An excellent season for the Baggies as they register their best top-flight finish since 1980-81. They finished eighth with 49 points and Clarke will be hoping to finish in the top half again next season. It's unlucky they'll be able to get Lukaku again as he should return to Chelsea.

United: What a task David Moyes has on his hands to replace Ferguson! Retaining the Premier League title will be his number one goal but an improved performance in the Champions League is also need next season.

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Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson salutes the fans prior the the match against West Brom on May 19, 2013
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