The 2011–12 season was Manchester United’s 20th season in the Premier League, and their 37th consecutive season in the top-flight of English football. United were defending Premier League champions, and aimed for an unprecedented 20th league title this season. Furthermore, they were competing in the Champions League for a 16th successive season. In addition, they were competing in the domestic tournaments, the FA Cup and the League Cup.

Manchester United began the season with a 3–2 win over local rivals Manchester City in the Community Shield at Wembley on 7 August 2011.

They were, however, knocked out of the League Cup at the Fifth Round stage for the second successive season after losing 2–1 to Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on 30 November 2011.

On 7 December 2011, United lost 2–1 away to Basel, a result which saw them finish third in their Champions League group. This meant that they competed in the UEFA Europa League (formerly the UEFA Cup) for the first time since the 1995–96 season. However, they only made it as far as the Round of 16, falling to Athletic Bilbao 5–3 on aggregate.

On 4 January 2012 against Newcastle United, Ryan Giggs broke Sir Bobby Charlton’s record for the most starts, the match being Giggs’ 757th start.

On 28 January 2012, United were knocked out of the FA Cup in the Fourth Round after losing 2–1 against Liverpool at Anfield.

Going into the last match of the season, on 13 May 2012, United and Manchester City were locked together on 86 points at the top the table, but City led with an eight-goal advantage in goal difference. United therefore needed to better City’s result to win the title. They were on course to do this, winning 1–0 at Sunderland, whilst City trailed 2–1 at home to Queens Park Rangers. However, two stoppage time goals from Edin Džeko and Sergio Agüero gave City a 3–2 win and edged United out on goal difference. It was the first time in 23 years that the champions and the runners-up had finished level on points.

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
13 July 2011 New England Revolution A 4–1 Owen 51′, Macheda (2) 54′, 60′, Park 80′ 51,523
20 July 2011 Seattle Sounders A 7–0 Owen 15′, Diouf 49′, Rooney (3) 51′, 69′, 72′, Park 71′, Obertan 88′ 67,052
23 July 2011 Chicago Fire N 3–1 Rooney 66′, Rafael 76′, Nani 82′ 61,308
27 July 2011 MLS All-Stars N 4–0 Anderson 20′, Park 45′, Berbatov 52′, Welbeck 68′ 26,760
30 July 2011 Barcelona N 2–1 Nani 22′, Owen 76′ 81,807
5 August 2011 New York Cosmos H 6–0 Scholes 9′, Rooney 28′ (pen.), Anderson 50′, Welbeck 59′, Diouf (2) 69′, 74′ 74,731
15 May 2012 Irish League XI N 4–1 Evra 20′, Young (2) 58′, 87′, Rooney 64′ (pen.) 14,098

FA Community Shield

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
7 August 2011 Manchester City N 3–2 Smalling 52′, Nani (2) 58′, 90+4′ 77,169

Premier League

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance League
position
14 August 2011 West Bromwich Albion A 2–1 Rooney 13′, Reid 81′ (o.g.) 25,360 3rd
22 August 2011 Tottenham Hotspur H 3–0 Welbeck 61′, Anderson 76′, Rooney 87′ 75,498 2nd
28 August 2011 Arsenal H 8–2 Welbeck 22′, Young (2) 28′, 90+1′, Rooney (3) 41′, 64′, 82′ (pen.), Nani 67′, Park 70′ 75,448 1st
10 September 2011 Bolton Wanderers A 5–0 Hernández (2) 5′, 58′, Rooney (3) 20′, 25′, 68′ 25,944 1st
18 September 2011 Chelsea H 3–1 Smalling 8′, Nani 37′, Rooney 45′ 75,455 1st
24 September 2011 Stoke City A 1–1 Nani 27′ 27,582 1st
1 October 2011 Norwich City H 2–0 Anderson 68′, Welbeck 87′ 75,514 1st
15 October 2011 Liverpool A 1–1 Hernández 81′ 45,065 2nd
23 October 2011 Manchester City H 1–6 Fletcher 81′ 75,487 2nd
29 October 2011 Everton A 1–0 Hernández 19′ 35,494 2nd
5 November 2011 Sunderland H 1–0 Brown 45+1′ (o.g.) 75,570 2nd
19 November 2011 Swansea City A 1–0 Hernández 11′ 20,295 2nd
26 November 2011 Newcastle United H 1–1 Hernández 49′ 75,594 2nd
3 December 2011 Aston Villa A 1–0 Jones 20′ 40,053 2nd
10 December 2011 Wolverhampton Wanderers H 4–1 Nani (2) 17′, 56′, Rooney (2) 27′, 62′ 75,627 2nd
18 December 2011 Queens Park Rangers A 2–0 Rooney 1′, Carrick 56′ 18,033 2nd
21 December 2011 Fulham A 5–0 Welbeck 5′, Nani 28′, Giggs 43′, Rooney 88′, Berbatov 90′ 25,700 2nd
26 December 2011 Wigan Athletic H 5–0 Park 8′, Berbatov (3) 41′, 58′, 78′ (pen.), Valencia 75′ 75,183 2nd
31 December 2011 Blackburn Rovers H 2–3 Berbatov (2) 52′, 62′ 75,146 2nd
4 January 2012 Newcastle United A 0–3 52,299 2nd
14 January 2012 Bolton Wanderers H 3–0 Scholes 45+1′, Welbeck 74′, Carrick 83′ 75,444 2nd
22 January 2012 Arsenal A 2–1 Valencia 45+1′, Welbeck 81′ 60,093 2nd
31 January 2012 Stoke City H 2–0 Hernández 38′ (pen.), Berbatov 53′ (pen.) 74,719 2nd
5 February 2012 Chelsea A 3–3 Rooney (2) 58′ (pen.), 69′ (pen.), Hernández 84′ 41,668 2nd
11 February 2012 Liverpool H 2–1 Rooney (2) 47′, 50′ 74,844 1st
26 February 2012 Norwich City A 2–1 Scholes 7′, Giggs 90+2′ 26,811 2nd
4 March 2012 Tottenham Hotspur A 3–1 Rooney 45′, Young (2) 60′, 69′ 36,034 2nd
11 March 2012 West Bromwich Albion H 2–0 Rooney (2) 35′, 71′ (pen.) 75,598 1st
18 March 2012 Wolverhampton Wanderers A 5–0 Evans 21′, Valencia 43′, Welbeck 45+1′, Hernández (2) 56′, 61′ 27,494 1st
26 March 2012 Fulham H 1–0 Rooney 42′ 75,570 1st
2 April 2012 Blackburn Rovers A 2–0 Valencia 81′, Young 86′ 26,532 1st
8 April 2012 Queens Park Rangers H 2–0 Rooney 15′ (pen.), Scholes 68′ 75,505 1st
11 April 2012 Wigan Athletic A 0–1 18,115 1st
15 April 2012 Aston Villa H 4–0 Rooney (2) 7′ (pen.), 73′, Welbeck 43′, Nani 90+3′ 75,138 1st
22 April 2012 Everton H 4–4 Rooney (2) 41′, 69′, Welbeck 57′, Nani 60′ 75,522 1st
30 April 2012 Manchester City A 0–1 47,259 2nd
6 May 2012 Swansea City H 2–0 Scholes 28′, Young 41′ 75,496 2nd
13 May 2012 Sunderland A 1–0 Rooney 20′ 46,452 2nd
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 38 28 5 5 93 29 +64 89
2 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 89 33 +56 89
3 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 74 49 +25 70

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

FA Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
8 January 2012 Round 3 Manchester City A 3–2 Rooney (2) 10′, 40′, Welbeck 30′ 46,808
28 January 2012 Round 4 Liverpool A 1–2 Park 39′ 43,952

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
20 September 2011 Round 3 Leeds United A 3–0 Owen (2) 15′, 32′, Giggs 45+1′ 31,031
25 October 2011 Round 4 Aldershot Town A 3–0 Berbatov 15′, Owen 41′, Valencia 48′ 7,044
30 November 2011 Round 5 Crystal Palace H 1–2 (a.e.t.) Macheda 69′ (pen.) 52,624

UEFA Champions League

Group stage

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance Group
position
14 September 2011 Benfica A 1–1 Giggs 42′ 63,822 2nd
27 September 2011 Basel H 3–3 Welbeck (2) 16′, 17′, Young 90′ 73,115 3rd
18 October 2011 Oțelul Galați A 2–0 Rooney (2) 64′ (pen.), 90+2′ (pen.) 28,047 2nd
2 November 2011 Oțelul Galați H 2–0 Valencia 8′, Sârghi 87′ (o.g.) 74,847 1st
22 November 2011 Benfica H 2–2 Berbatov 30′, Fletcher 59′ 74,873 2nd
7 December 2011 Basel A 1–2 Jones 89′ 36,894 3rd
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Portugal Benfica 6 3 3 0 8 4 +4 12
Switzerland Basel 6 3 2 1 11 10 +1 11
England Manchester United 6 2 3 1 11 8 +3 9
Romania Oțelul Galați 6 0 0 6 3 11 −8 0

UEFA Europa League

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
16 February 2012 Round of 32
First leg
Ajax A 2–0 Young 59′, Hernández 85′ 48,866
23 February 2012 Round of 32
Second leg
Ajax H 1–2 Hernández 6′ 67,328
8 March 2012 Round of 16
First leg
Athletic Bilbao H 2–3 Rooney (2) 22′, 90+2′ (pen.) 59,265
15 March 2012 Round of 16
Second leg
Athletic Bilbao A 1–2 Rooney 80′ 40,000

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 Spain David de Gea 29 0 1 0 0 0 8 0 1 0 39 0 0 0
3 DF France Patrice Evra 37 0 2 0 0 0 7 0 1 0 47 0 9 0
4 DF England Phil Jones 25(4) 1 1 0 1 0 7(2) 1 0(1) 0 34(7) 2 6 0
5 DF England Rio Ferdinand 29(1) 0 1 0 0 0 6 0 1 0 37(1) 0 5 0
6 DF Northern Ireland Jonny Evans 28(1) 1 1 0 1 0 5(3) 0 0(1) 0 35(5) 1 8 1
7 FW England Michael Owen 0(1) 0 0 0 2 3 1 0 0 0 3(1) 3 0 0
8 MF Brazil Anderson 8(2) 2 0(1) 0 0 0 3(1) 0 1 0 12(4) 2 2 0
9 FW Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov 5(7) 7 0(1) 0 3 1 3(1) 1 0(1) 0 11(10) 9 0 0
10 FW England Wayne Rooney 32(2) 27 1 2 0 0 7 5 1 0 41(2) 34 3 0
11 MF Wales Ryan Giggs 14(11) 2 2 0 1 1 5 1 0 0 22(11) 4 3 0
12 DF England Chris Smalling 14(5) 1 2 0 1 0 5(2) 0 1 1 23(7) 2 1 0
13 MF South Korea Park Ji-sung 10(7) 2 1 1 3 0 5(2) 0 0 0 19(9) 3 0 0
14 FW Mexico Javier Hernández 18(10) 10 0(1) 0 0 0 4(3) 2 0 0 22(14) 12 0 0
15 DF Serbia Nemanja Vidić 6 0 0 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 10 0 1 1
16 MF England Michael Carrick 27(3) 2 2 0 1 0 6(1) 0 1 0 37(4) 2 7 0
17 MF Portugal Nani 24(5) 8 1 0 0 0 6(3) 0 1 2 32(8) 10 3 0
18 MF England Ashley Young 19(6) 6 0 0 0 0 7 2 1 0 27(6) 8 4 0
19 FW England Danny Welbeck 23(7) 9 2 1 0(1) 0 1(4) 2 1 0 27(12) 12 2 0
20 DF Brazil Fábio 2(3) 0 0 0 3 0 7 0 0 0 12(3) 0 4 0
21 DF Brazil Rafael 10(2) 0 1 0 1 0 3 0 0(1) 0 15(3) 0 5 0
22 MF England Paul Scholes 14(3) 4 1(1) 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0 15(6) 4 3 0
23 MF England Tom Cleverley 5(5) 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0(1) 0 9(6) 0 0 0
24 MF Scotland Darren Fletcher 7(1) 1 0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 9(1) 2 2 0
25 MF Ecuador Antonio Valencia 22(5) 4 2 0 3 1 5(1) 1 0 0 32(6) 6 3 0
26 MF France Gabriel Obertan 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
27 FW Italy Federico Macheda 0(3) 0 0 0 2 1 0(1) 0 0 0 2(4) 1 0 0
28 MF Republic of Ireland Darron Gibson 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
29 GK Poland Tomasz Kuszczak 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
30 DF Belgium Ritchie De Laet 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
32 FW Senegal Mame Biram Diouf 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 1 0
33 FW Portugal Bebé 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 GK Denmark Anders Lindegaard 8 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 11 0 0 0
35 DF England Reece Brown 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 DF Belgium Marnick Vermijl 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
37 MF Republic of Ireland Robbie Brady 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
38 DF Republic of Ireland Michael Keane 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
39 DF England Tom Thorpe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
40 GK England Ben Amos 1 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0
41 FW Norway Joshua King 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
42 MF France Paul Pogba 0(3) 0 0 0 0(3) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0(7) 0 1 0
43 MF England Matty James 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
44 DF Republic of Ireland Sean McGinty 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
45 MF Italy Davide Petrucci 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
46 MF England Ryan Tunnicliffe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
47 MF Northern Ireland Oliver Norwood 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
48 FW England Will Keane 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
49 MF England Ravel Morrison 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0
50 GK England Sam Johnstone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
51 DF England Zeki Fryers 0(2) 0 0 0 2(1) 0 0(1) 0 0 0 2(4) 0 0 0
52 MF England Larnell Cole 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
53 MF England Jesse Lingard 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Own goals 2 0 0 1 0 3