The 2012–13 season was Manchester United’s 21st season in the Premier League, and their 38th consecutive season in the top flight of English football.

United’s season began on 20 August 2012 with the first game of the Premier League campaign. After narrowly missing out on goal difference the previous season, they won an unprecedented 20th English top-flight title on 22 April 2013 with a win over Aston Villa at Old Trafford, in which top scorer Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick, finishing the season with 26 league goals and 30 goals in all competitions.

United competed in the two domestic cups, the FA Cup and the League Cup, where they entered both tournaments in the Third Round courtesy of their league position. Chelsea proved to be United’s nemesis in both competitions, first beating them 5–4 in the Fourth Round of the League Cup on 31 October 2012, followed by a 1–0 win in the FA Cup Sixth Round Replay on 1 April 2013.

In Europe, United were knocked out of the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage after losing 3–2 on aggregate to Real Madrid.

On 8 May 2013, United’s long time manager, Sir Alex Ferguson announced that he would retire from his position as manager of Manchester United after 26 and a half years in charge, making him the longest-serving manager of any English club by this stage. He had won 38 trophies during that time — more than any other manager in the history of football, and at 71 was the oldest serving manager currently in the Premier League or Football League.

The next day, Manchester United announced that David Moyes of Everton would take over from Ferguson at the beginning of the 2013–14 season.

 

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
18 July 2012 AmaZulu A 1–0 Macheda 20′
21 July 2012 Ajax Cape Town A 1–1 Bebé 90+2′
25 July 2012 Shanghai Shenhua N 1–0 Kagawa 68′ 42,725
5 August 2012 Vålerenga A 0–0
8 August 2012 Barcelona N 0–0
(0–2p)
47,141
11 August 2012 Hannover 96 A 4–3 Hernández 31′, Rooney (2) 69′, 82′, Kagawa 85′ 35,800

Premier League

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance League
position
20 August 2012 Everton A 0–1 38,415 16th
25 August 2012 Fulham H 3–2 Van Persie 10′, Kagawa 35′, Rafael 41′ 75,352 7th
2 September 2012 Southampton A 3–2 Van Persie (3) 23′, 87′, 90+2′ 31,609 5th
15 September 2012 Wigan Athletic H 4–0 Scholes 51′, Hernández 63′, Büttner 66′, Powell 82′ 75,142 2nd
23 September 2012 Liverpool A 2–1 Rafael 51′, Van Persie 81′ (pen.) 44,263 2nd
29 September 2012 Tottenham Hotspur H 2–3 Nani 51′, Kagawa 53′ 75,566 3rd
7 October 2012 Newcastle United A 3–0 Evans 8′, Evra 15′, Cleverley 71′ 52,203 2nd
20 October 2012 Stoke City H 4–2 Rooney (2) 27′, 65′, Van Persie 44′, Welbeck 46′ 75,585 2nd
28 October 2012 Chelsea A 3–2 Luiz 4′ (o.g.), Van Persie 12′, Hernández 75′ 41,644 2nd
3 November 2012 Arsenal H 2–1 Van Persie 3′, Evra 67′ 75,492 1st
10 November 2012 Aston Villa A 3–2 Hernández (2) 58′, 87′, Vlaar 63′ (o.g.) 40,538 1st
17 November 2012 Norwich City A 0–1 26,840 2nd
24 November 2012 Queens Park Rangers H 3–1 Evans 64′, Fletcher 68′, Hernández 72′ 75,603 1st
28 November 2012 West Ham United H 1–0 Van Persie 1′ 75,572 1st
1 December 2012 Reading A 4–3 Anderson 13′, Rooney (2) 16′ (pen.), 30′, Van Persie 34′ 24,095 1st
9 December 2012 Manchester City A 3–2 Rooney (2) 16′, 29′, Van Persie 90+2′ 47,166 1st
15 December 2012 Sunderland H 3–1 Van Persie 16′, Cleverley 19′, Rooney 59′ 75,582 1st
23 December 2012 Swansea City A 1–1 Evra 16′ 20,650 1st
26 December 2012 Newcastle United H 4–3 Evans 25′, Evra 58′, Van Persie 71′, Hernández 90′ 75,596 1st
29 December 2012 West Bromwich Albion H 2–0 McAuley 9′ (o.g.), Van Persie 90′ 75,595 1st
1 January 2013 Wigan Athletic A 4–0 Hernández (2) 35′, 63′, Van Persie (2) 43′, 88′ 20,342 1st
13 January 2013 Liverpool H 2–1 Van Persie 19′, Vidić 54′ 75,501 1st
20 January 2013 Tottenham Hotspur A 1–1 Van Persie 25′ 35,956 1st
30 January 2013 Southampton H 2–1 Rooney (2) 8′, 27′ 75,600 1st
2 February 2013 Fulham A 1–0 Rooney 79′ 25,670 1st
10 February 2013 Everton H 2–0 Giggs 13′, Van Persie 45+1′ 75,525 1st
23 February 2013 Queens Park Rangers A 2–0 Rafael 23′, Giggs 80′ 18,337 1st
2 March 2013 Norwich City H 4–0 Kagawa (3) 45+1′, 76′, 87′, Rooney 90′ 75,586 1st
16 March 2013 Reading H 1–0 Rooney 21′ 75,605 1st
30 March 2013 Sunderland A 1–0 Bramble 27′ (o.g.) 43,760 1st
8 April 2013 Manchester City H 1–2 Kompany 59′ (o.g.) 75,498 1st
14 April 2013 Stoke City A 2–0 Carrick 4′, Van Persie 66′ (pen.) 27,191 1st
17 April 2013 West Ham United A 2–2 Valencia 31′, Van Persie 77′ 34,692 1st
22 April 2013 Aston Villa H 3–0 Van Persie (3) 2′, 13′, 33′ 75,591 1st
28 April 2013 Arsenal A 1–1 Van Persie 44′ (pen.) 60,112 1st
5 May 2013 Chelsea H 0–1 75,500 1st
12 May 2013 Swansea H 2–1 Hernández 39′, Ferdinand 87′ 75,572 1st
19 May 2013 West Bromwich Albion A 5–5 Kagawa 6′, Olsson 9′ (o.g.), Büttner 30′, Van Persie 53′, Hernández 63′ 26,438 1st
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester United 38 28 5 5 86 43 +43 89
2 Manchester City 38 23 9 6 66 34 +32 78
3 Chelsea 38 22 9 7 75 39 +36 75

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
5 January 2013 Round 3 West Ham United A 2–2 Cleverley 23′, Van Persie 90+1′ 32,922
16 January 2013 Round 3
Replay
West Ham United H 1–0 Rooney 9′ 71,081
26 January 2013 Round 4 Fulham H 4–1 Giggs 3′ (pen.), Rooney 50′, Hernández (2) 52′, 66′ 72,596
18 February 2013 Round 5 Reading H 2–1 Nani 69′, Hernández 72′ 75,213
10 March 2013 Round 6 Chelsea H 2–2 Hernández 5′, Rooney 11′ 75,196
1 April 2013 Round 6
Replay
Chelsea A 0–1 40,704

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
26 September 2012 Round 3 Newcastle United H 2–1 Anderson 44′, Cleverley 58′ 46,358
31 October 2012 Round 4 Chelsea A 4–5 (a.e.t.) Giggs (2) 22′, 120′ (pen.), Hernández 43′, Nani 59′ 41,126

UEFA Champions League

Group stage

Date Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance Group
position
19 September 2012 Galatasaray H 1–0 Carrick 7′ 74,653 2nd
2 October 2012 CFR Cluj A 2–1 Van Persie (2) 29′, 49′ 16,259 1st
23 October 2012 Braga H 3–2 Hernández (2) 25′, 75′, Evans 62′ 73,195 1st
7 November 2012 Braga A 3–1 Van Persie 80′, Rooney 85′ (pen.), Hernández 90+2′ 15,388 1st
20 November 2012 Galatasaray A 0–1 50,278 1st
5 December 2012 CFR Cluj H 0–1 71,521 1st
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
England Manchester United 6 4 0 2 9 6 +3 12
Turkey Galatasaray 6 3 1 2 7 6 +1 10
Romania CFR Cluj 6 3 1 2 9 7 +2 10
Portugal Braga 6 1 0 5 6 11 −6 3

Knockout phase

Date Round Opponents H / A Result
F–A
Scorers Attendance
13 February 2013 Round of 16
First leg
Real Madrid A 1–1 Welbeck 20′ 85,454
5 March 2013 Round of 16
Second leg
Real Madrid H 1–2 Ramos 48′ (o.g.) 74,959

Squad statistics

No. Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total Discipline
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Yellow card.svg Red card.svg
1 GK Spain David de Gea 28 0 5 0 1 0 7 0 41 0 0 0
2 DF Brazil Rafael 27(1) 3 4 0 1 0 6(1) 0 38(2) 3 8 1
3 DF France Patrice Evra 34 4 3 0 0 0 5 0 42 4 5 0
4 DF England Phil Jones 13(4) 0 4 0 0 0 3 0 20(4) 0 4 0
5 DF England Rio Ferdinand 26(2) 1 2 0 0 0 3(1) 0 31(3) 1 3 0
6 DF Northern Ireland Jonny Evans 21(2) 3 2 0 0 0 5 1 28(2) 4 2 0
7 MF Ecuador Antonio Valencia 24(6) 1 3(3) 0 0 0 2(2) 0 29(11) 1 7 0
8 MF Brazil Anderson 9(8) 1 3 0 2 1 3(1) 0 17(9) 2 1 0
9 FW Bulgaria Dimitar Berbatov 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
10 FW England Wayne Rooney 22(5) 12 3 3 1 0 5(1) 1 31(6) 16 7 0
11 MF Wales Ryan Giggs 12(10) 2 2(2) 1 1 2 3(2) 0 18(14) 5 1 0
12 DF England Chris Smalling 10(5) 0 5 0 0 0 2 0 17(5) 0 2 0
13 GK Denmark Anders Lindegaard 10 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 13 0 0 0
14 FW Mexico Javier Hernández 9(13) 10 6 4 2 1 5(1) 3 22(14) 18 1 0
15 DF Serbia Nemanja Vidić 18(1) 1 2 0 0 0 2 0 22(1) 1 4 0
16 MF England Michael Carrick 34(2) 1 3(2) 0 0 0 5 1 42(4) 2 4 0
17 MF Portugal Nani 7(4) 1 4(1) 1 1 1 3(1) 0 15(6) 3 1 1
18 MF England Ashley Young 17(2) 0 1(1) 0 0 0 0(2) 0 18(5) 0 1 0
19 FW England Danny Welbeck 13(14) 1 3(1) 0 2 0 5(2) 1 23(17) 2 1 0
20 FW Netherlands Robin van Persie 35(3) 26 0(4) 1 0 0 5(1) 3 40(8) 30 7 0
21 FW Chile Ángelo Henríquez 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
22 MF England Paul Scholes 8(8) 1 1(2) 0 0 0 1(1) 0 10(11) 1 10 0
23 MF England Tom Cleverley 18(4) 2 4 1 1 1 5 0 28(4) 4 2 0
24 MF Scotland Darren Fletcher 2(1) 1 0 0 2 0 3(2) 0 7(3) 1 0 0
25 MF England Nick Powell 0(2) 1 0 0 0(2) 0 2 0 2(4) 1 0 0
26 MF Japan Shinji Kagawa 17(3) 6 2(1) 0 0 0 3 0 22(4) 6 1 0
27 FW Italy Federico Macheda 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(2) 0 0(3) 0 0 0
28 DF Netherlands Alexander Büttner 4(1) 2 3 0 2 0 3 0 12(1) 2 1 0
31 DF England Scott Wootton 0 0 0 0 2 0 1(1) 0 3(1) 0 1 0
33 FW Portugal Bebé 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
34 MF England Larnell Cole 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
35 MF England Jesse Lingard 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
36 DF Belgium Marnick Vermijl 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
37 MF Republic of Ireland Robbie Brady 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0
38 DF England Michael Keane 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 2 0 1 0
39 DF England Tom Thorpe 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
40 GK England Ben Amos 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
41 FW Norway Joshua King 0 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0(1) 0 0 0
42 DF England Tyler Blackett 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
44 MF Belgium Adnan Januzaj 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
46 MF England Ryan Tunnicliffe 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0 0(2) 0 0 0
48 FW England Will Keane 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
49 DF Switzerland Freddie Veseli 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
50 GK England Sam Johnstone 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
DF Brazil Fábio 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
FW England Wilfried Zaha 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Own goals 6 0 0 1 7