Sir Alex Ferguson's final game at Old Trafford inevitably ended in a win for Manchester United, but the Premier League champions were made to fight for victory against a gutsy Swansea City.

It was an emotional afternoon in Manchester as fans and players alike face up to the prospect of life without Ferguson at the helm following the announcement that he would retire at the end of the season.

The 71-year-old was given a guard of honour by players and officials of each team as he walked from the Old Trafford for the final time; taking in the applause of an appreciative crowd before moving to his customary position in the dugout.

Paul Scholes, himself featuring in his final game for Manchester United, was awarded with a place in the starting XI on a day of celebration, during which the Red Devils went in front courtesy of Javier Hernandez.

Michu, however, gave the Swans a route back into the encounter shortly after half-time as the Spaniard netted the 21st goal of an impressive maiden campaingn in English football.

With Scholes taken off in order to receiving a standing ovation from both sets of fans, the only thing left was for Manchester United to crown the day with a late winner.

It, of course, did come but through a rather unlikely source as Rio Ferdinand slammed in a powerful half-volley with just three minutes remaining.

Ferguson took to the microphone in the centre of the pitch following the win to address a packed house and millions watching across the globe, and used the opportunity to thank everyone who has been involved during his illustrious 26-year tenure with Manchester United.

"I have no script in my mind. I'm just going to ramble and hope I get to the core of what this football club has meant to me," he said.

"Thank you to Manchester United, not just the directors, medics, staff, players, supporters, all of you. Thank you. You have been the most fantastic experience of my life."

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