Nov. 5 (Bloomberg) -- 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.
“I never expected, it was a real surprise,” Ferguson told Sky Sports. “I’m so proud and honored and want to thank Manchester United.”
Newcastle beat Everton 2-1 to remain unbeaten, 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. Queen’s Park Rangers hosts first-place Manchester City in today’s late game.
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.
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.
The victory moves United within two points of rival Manchester City and keeps the 19-time English champion a point ahead of third-place Newcastle.
Newcastle stayed undefeated by beating Everton on an own goal from John Heitinga and Ryan Taylor’s score. 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.
--Editors: Robert Valpuesta, Dick Schumacher.
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