The 2008–09 season was Manchester United’s 17th season in the Premier League, and their 34th consecutive season in the top division of English football. After winning a third consecutive Premier League title for the second time to equal Liverpool’s record of 18 league titles, the team aimed to become the first team to retain the European Cup since Milan in 1990. However, they were beaten 2–0 by Barcelona in the final at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome on 27 May 2009.

United started their season in August 2008 by winning the Community Shield. In December 2008, the club became the first English side to win the FIFA Club World Cup when they beat LDU Quito1–0 in the final. Two months later, on 1 March 2009, the club added the 2008–09 League Cup to their trophy cabinet with a 4–1 penalty shootout win over Tottenham Hotspur after a goalless 120 minutes in the final.

United secured a third consecutive Premier League with a goalless draw at home to Arsenal on 16 May 2009. This made them the first team ever to win three consecutive English top flight titles on two separate occasions, having previously done so between 1999 and 2001.

 

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
12 July 2008 Aberdeen A 2–0 Carrick 45′ (pen.), Rooney 70′ 22,192
19 July 2008 Kaizer Chiefs N 1–1 Eagles 60′
22 July 2008 Orlando Pirates N 1–0 Martin 23′ 50,000
26 July 2008 Kaizer Chiefs N 4–0 Giggs 40′, Rooney 57′, Cleverley 62′, Campbell 86′
27 July 2008 Portsmouth N 2–1 Eagles 50′, Tevez 65′
2 August 2008 Espanyol H 1–0 Campbell 82′ 68,868
4 August 2008 Peterborough United A 2–0 R. Martin 38′ (o.g.), Gibson 68′ 13,042
6 August 2008 Juventus H 0–0 69,872

FA Community Shield

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
10 August 2008 Portsmouth N 0–0
(3–1p)
84,808

UEFA Super Cup

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
29 August 2008 Zenit Saint Petersburg N 1–2 Vidić 73′ 18,064

Premier League

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance League
position
17 August 2008 Newcastle United H 1–1 Fletcher 24′ 75,512 10th
25 August 2008 Portsmouth A 1–0 Fletcher 32′ 20,540 5th
13 September 2008 Liverpool A 1–2 Tevez 3′ 44,192 9th
21 September 2008 Chelsea A 1–1 Park 18′ 41,760 15th
27 September 2008 Bolton Wanderers H 2–0 Ronaldo 60′ (pen.), Rooney 77′ 75,484 8th
4 October 2008 Blackburn Rovers A 2–0 Brown 31′, Rooney 64′ 27,321 6th
18 October 2008 West Bromwich Albion H 4–0 Rooney 56′, Ronaldo 69′, Berbatov 72′, Nani 90′ 75,451 4th
25 October 2008 Everton A 1–1 Fletcher 22′ 36,069 5th
29 October 2008 West Ham United H 2–0 Ronaldo (2) 14′, 30′ 75,397 6th
1 November 2008 Hull City H 4–3 Ronaldo (2) 3′, 44′, Carrick 29′, Vidić 57′ 75,398 3rd
8 November 2008 Arsenal A 1–2 Rafael 90′ 60,106 4th
15 November 2008 Stoke City H 5–0 Ronaldo (2) 3′, 89′, Carrick 45+1′, Berbatov 49′, Welbeck 84′ 75,369 3rd
22 November 2008 Aston Villa A 0–0 42,585 3rd
30 November 2008 Manchester City A 1–0 Rooney 42′ 47,320 3rd
6 December 2008 Sunderland H 1–0 Vidić 90+1′ 75,400 3rd
13 December 2008 Tottenham Hotspur A 0–0 35,882 3rd
26 December 2008 Stoke City A 1–0 Tevez 83′ 27,500 3rd
29 December 2008 Middlesbrough H 1–0 Berbatov 69′ 75,294 3rd
11 January 2009 Chelsea H 3–0 Vidić 45′, Rooney 63′, Berbatov 86′ 75,455 3rd
14 January 2009 Wigan Athletic H 1–0 Rooney 1′ 73,917 2nd
17 January 2009 Bolton Wanderers A 1–0 Berbatov 90′ 26,021 1st
27 January 2009 West Bromwich Albion A 5–0 Berbatov 22′, Tevez 44′, Vidić 60′, Ronaldo (2) 65′, 73′ 26,105 1st
31 January 2009 Everton H 1–0 Ronaldo 44′ (pen.) 75,399 1st
8 February 2009 West Ham United A 1–0 Giggs 62′ 34,958 1st
18 February 2009 Fulham H 3–0 Scholes 12′, Berbatov 29′, Rooney 62′ 75,437 1st
21 February 2009 Blackburn Rovers H 2–1 Rooney 23′, Ronaldo 60′ 75,000 1st
4 March 2009 Newcastle United A 2–1 Rooney 20′, Berbatov 56′ 51,636 1st
14 March 2009 Liverpool H 1–4 Ronaldo 23′ (pen.) 75,569 1st
21 March 2009 Fulham A 0–2 25,652 1st
5 April 2009 Aston Villa H 3–2 Ronaldo (2) 13′, 81′, Macheda 90+3′ 75,409 1st
11 April 2009 Sunderland A 2–1 Scholes 19′, Macheda 75′ 45,408 1st
22 April 2009 Portsmouth H 2–0 Rooney 9′, Carrick 82′ 74,895 1st
25 April 2009 Tottenham Hotspur H 5–2 Ronaldo (2) 56′ (pen.), 68′, Rooney (2) 67′, 71′, Berbatov 79′ 75,458 1st
2 May 2009 Middlesbrough A 2–0 Giggs 25′, Park 51′ 33,767 1st
10 May 2009 Manchester City H 2–0 Ronaldo 17′, Tevez 45′ 75,464 1st
13 May 2009 Wigan Athletic A 2–1 Tevez 61′, Carrick 86′ 21,286 1st
16 May 2009 Arsenal H 0–0 75,468 1st
24 May 2009 Hull City A 1–0 Gibson 24′ 24,945 1st
Pos Club Pld W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester United 38 28 6 4 68 24 +44 90
2 Liverpool 38 25 11 2 77 27 +50 86
3 Chelsea 38 25 8 5 68 24 +44 83

Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

FA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
4 January 2009 Round 3 Southampton A 3–0 Welbeck 20′, Nani 47′ (pen.), Gibson 81′ 31,901
24 January 2009 Round 4 Tottenham Hotspur H 2–1 Scholes 35′, Berbatov 36′ 75,014
15 February 2009 Round 5 Derby County A 4–1 Nani 29′, Gibson 43′, Ronaldo 48′, Welbeck 81′ 32,103
7 March 2009 Round 6 Fulham A 4–0 Tevez (2) 20′, 35′, Rooney 50′, Park 81′ 24,662
19 April 2009 Semi-final Everton N 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(2–4p)
88,141

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
23 September 2008 Round 3 Middlesbrough H 3–1 Ronaldo 25′, Giggs 79′, Nani 90+5′ 53,729
11 November 2008 Round 4 Queens Park Rangers H 1–0 Tevez 76′ (pen.) 62,539
3 December 2008 Round 5 Blackburn Rovers H 5–3 Tevez (4) 35′, 50′ (pen.), 54′, 90+4′, Nani 40′ 53,997
7 January 2009 Semi-final
First leg
Derby County A 0–1 30,194
20 January 2009 Semi-final
Second leg
Derby County H 4–2 Nani 16′, O’Shea 22′, Tevez 34′, Ronaldo 87′ (pen.) 73,374
1 March 2009 Final Tottenham Hotspur N 0–0 (a.e.t.)
(4–1p)
88,217

Champions League

Group stage

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance Group
position
17 September 2008 Villarreal H 0–0 74,944 1st
30 September 2008 Aalborg BK A 3–0 Rooney 22′, Berbatov (2) 55′, 79′ 10,346 1st
21 October 2008 Celtic H 3–0 Berbatov (2) 30′, 51′, Rooney 76′ 74,655 1st
5 November 2008 Celtic A 1–1 Giggs 84′ 58,903 1st
25 November 2008 Villarreal A 0–0 22,529 1st
10 December 2008 Aalborg BK H 2–2 Tevez 3′, Rooney 52′ 74,382 1st
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England Manchester United 6 2 4 0 9 3 +6 10
Spain Villarreal 6 2 3 1 9 7 +2 9
Denmark Aalborg BK 6 1 3 2 9 14 −5 6
Scotland Celtic 6 1 2 3 4 7 −3 5

Knockout phase

 

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
24 February 2009 Round of 16
First leg
Internazionale A 0–0 80,018
11 March 2009 Round of 16
Second leg
Internazionale H 2–0 Vidić 4′, Ronaldo 49′ 74,769
7 April 2009 Quarter-final
First leg
Porto H 2–2 Rooney 15′, Tevez 85′ 74,517
15 April 2009 Quarter-final
Second leg
Porto A 1–0 Ronaldo 6′ 50,010
29 April 2009 Semi-final
First leg
Arsenal H 1–0 O’Shea 17′ 74,733
5 May 2009 Semi-final
Second leg
Arsenal A 3–1 Park 8′, Ronaldo (2) 11′, 61′ 59,867
27 May 2009 Final Barcelona N 0–2 62,467

Club World Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
18 December 2008 Semi-final Gamba Osaka N 5–3 Vidić 28′, Ronaldo 45+1′, Rooney (2) 75′, 79′, Fletcher 78′ 67,618
21 December 2008 Final LDU Quito N 1–0 Rooney 73′ 68,682

Squad statistics

No. Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total Discipline
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Yellow card.svg Red card.svg
1 GK Netherlands Edwin van der Sar 33 0 2 0 0 0 10 0 4 0 49 0 1 0
2 DF England Gary Neville (c) 13(3) 0 2 0 3 0 3(1) 0 3(1) 0 24(5) 0 3 0
3 DF France Patrice Evra 28 0 2(1) 0 1(1) 0 10(1) 0 4 0 45(3) 0 7 0
4 MF England Owen Hargreaves 1(1) 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2(1) 0 0 0
5 DF England Rio Ferdinand 24 0 3 0 1 0 11 0 4 0 43 0 3 0
6 DF England Wes Brown 6(2) 1 0 0 1 0 0(2) 0 0(2) 0 7(6) 1 3 0
7 MF Portugal Cristiano Ronaldo 31(2) 18 2 1 2(2) 2 11(1) 4 2 1 48(5) 26 9 1
8 MF Brazil Anderson 11(6) 0 3 0 5(1) 0 7(2) 0 3 0 29(9) 0 1 0
9 FW France Louis Saha 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
9 FW Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov 29(2) 9 2(1) 1 0 0 5(4) 4 0 0 36(7) 14 2 0
10 FW England Wayne Rooney 25(5) 12 1(1) 1 0(1) 0 11(2) 4 2(1) 3 39(10) 20 9 1
11 MF Wales Ryan Giggs (vc) 15(13) 2 2 0 3(1) 1 6(5) 1 2 0 28(19) 4 0 0
12 GK England Ben Foster 2 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 9 0 0 0
13 MF South Korea Park Ji-sung 21(4) 2 3 1 1 0 5(4) 1 1(1) 0 31(9) 4 5 0
14 MF Serbia Zoran Tošić 0(2) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(3) 0 0 0
15 DF Serbia Nemanja Vidić 33(1) 4 4 0 2(2) 0 9 1 4 2 52(3) 7 9 2
16 MF England Michael Carrick 24(4) 4 3 0 0(1) 0 9 0 1(1) 0 37(6) 4 3 0
17 MF Portugal Nani 7(6) 1 2 2 6 3 6(1) 0 3 0 24(7) 6 2 0
18 MF England Paul Scholes 14(7) 2 1(1) 1 2(1) 0 3(3) 0 3 0 23(12) 3 6 2
19 FW England Danny Welbeck 1(2) 1 3(2) 2 4(1) 0 0 0 0 0 8(5) 3 0 0
20 DF Brazil Fábio 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0
21 DF Brazil Rafael 12(4) 1 2 0 5 0 2(2) 0 1 0 22(6) 1 5 0
22 DF Republic of Ireland John O’Shea 20(10) 0 3(1) 0 6 1 12 1 1(1) 0 42(12) 2 3 0
23 DF Northern Ireland Jonny Evans 16(1) 0 2(1) 0 5 0 6(1) 0 0(2) 0 29(5) 0 4 0
24 MF Scotland Darren Fletcher 25(1) 3 2(1) 0 0(1) 0 8 0 2(2) 1 37(5) 4 6 1
25 DF England Danny Simpson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
26 FW Angola Manucho 0(1) 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0(3) 0 0 0
27 DF France Mikaël Silvestre 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
28 MF Republic of Ireland Darron Gibson 1(2) 1 2(1) 2 5(1) 0 1(1) 0 0 0 9(5) 3 1 0
29 GK Poland Tomasz Kuszczak 3(1) 0 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 7(1) 0 0 0
30 MF England Lee Martin 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
31 FW England Fraizer Campbell 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 1(1) 0 1 0
32 FW Argentina Carlos Tevez 18(11) 5 3 2 5(1) 6 4(5) 2 4 0 34(17) 15 7 0
33 MF England Sam Hewson 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 MF Brazil Rodrigo Possebon 0(3) 0 0(2) 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3(5) 0 0 0
35 MF England Tom Cleverley 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 DF Scotland David Gray 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
37 DF Northern Ireland Craig Cathcart 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
38 GK Germany Ron-Robert Zieler 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
39 DF England James Chester 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
40 GK England Ben Amos 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
41 FW Italy Federico Macheda 2(2) 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3(2) 2 2 0
42 DF England Richard Eckersley 0(2) 0 0(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(4) 0 0 0
43 MF Italy Davide Petrucci 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
44 DF Belgium Ritchie De Laet 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
45 MF Northern Ireland Corry Evans 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
46 MF England Danny Drinkwater 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
47 MF England Matty James 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0