West Bromwich Albion vs. Manchester United: Romelu Lukaku ruins Fergie's retirement party in crazy game

Paul Gilham

Alex Ferguson's last game in charge of Manchester United was an absolutely bonkers game of football at the Hawthorns, where West Brom came from three goals behind to ruin the party courtesy of a Romelu Lukaku hat-trick.

Manchester United took just six minutes to get themselves ahead and make a bright start to Sir Alex Ferguson's final game in charge. Shinji Kagawa was the scorer, uncharacteristically scoring a header after getting on the end of a cross from Javier Hernandez and taking advantage of some pretty woeful marking from the West Bromwich Albion defenders.

West Brom were continuing to look uninterested, and after nine minutes United had scored again, Jonas Olsson deflecting the ball past Ben Foster when Antonio Valencia powered in a low cross after beating Liam Ridgewell down the right flank.

United were threatening to run riot and celebrate in style, but the goals appeared to dry up for a period shortly afterwards, but despite West Brom seeing more of the ball, they could do little of use or interest with it. With the game becoming more even, United were still able to make the most of their possession, and made it three-nil on the half-hour mark, Alexander Buttner doubling his tally for the season with a powerful and precise finish after being played in by Hernandez.

Yet as United fans partied, letting off flares in the stands and singing a new ditty to welcome the arrival of David Moyes, West Brom pulled a goal back out of nothing, their two Scots combining as Graham Dorrans teed up James Morrison to put a fine finish past Anders Lindegaard and give West Brom a glimmer of hope before half-time.

The Baggies soon had more than just a glimmer after coming out for the second half. Just four minutes into the young Belgian's introduction, Romelu Lukaku made it 3-2 with a fine finish from 20 yards out. His curling effort perhaps could've been stopped by Lindegaard, but although the Dane got a hand to it, he couldn't keep it out.

Not that it mattered too much to United - their two-goal lead was restored almost instantly afterwards courtesy of Robin van Persie, getting a glancing finish into the top corner and away from Foster after Valencia showed some rare form to produce a low cross after some classic wing play.

Shortly afterwards, Ryan Giggs' introduction brought an immediate assist from the veteran, teeing up the energetic Hernandez for a deserved tap-in from three yards out and appearing to wrap up the game. Yet remarkably, West Brom still weren't done.

As the game entered the final ten minutes, Lukaku used his pace to burst through the middle and produced a composed finish to set United back to just a two-goal lead. With the Red Devils already looking mentally on their holidays, it was 5-4 just minutes later. Some woeful marking from the visitors allowed a routine ball into the area from Jones to find the onrushing Youssef Mulumbu, who powered his finish in low to set up a frantic finale.

And it was to live up to it, as the game got even crazier. Lukaku managed to complete his hat-trick after increasing pressure from the hosts led to scuffed finish from the Belgian coming back and allowing him to bundle it over the line at the second attempt and ruin Ferguson's retirement party. United pressed hard to find a winner to what had become a ludicrous spectacle, yet despite some late pressure, a traditional injury-time goal was not forthcoming.

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