United 02/03

The 2002–03 season was Manchester United’s 11th season in the Premier League, and their 28th consecutive season in the top division of English football. This season saw the club finish at the top of the Premier League table, after their lowest finish in the history of the Premier League the previous season, when they came third. In order to win the title, the team had to pull Arsenal back from an eight-point lead at the beginning of March. United also finished as runners-up in the League Cup, with Liverpool eventually taking the prize. The club also broke the English transfer record for the third time in just over a year as they paid £29.1 million for Leeds United defender Rio Ferdinand.
At the end of the season, United midfielder David Beckham decided to move to Real Madrid in a £25 million deal, having spent 12 years at United (eight of them as a first-team regular). Meanwhile, 37-year-old centre-back Laurent Blanc announced his retirement from playing. Fellow centre-back David May was finally given a free transfer after nine years at the club, the last five of which had seen his first team opportunities limited to a handful of appearances.
 

Pre-season and friendlies

DateOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendance
20 July 2002ShelbourneA5–0Van Nistelrooy (3) 17′, 20′, 63′, Forlán 22′, Yorke 60′10,000
27 July 2002ChesterfieldA5–0Blanc 19′, Van Nistelrooy 54′, Forlán 80′, Keane 83′, Richardson 86′6,583
27 July 2002BournemouthA3–2Verón 33′, Muirhead 61′, Stewart 66′8,104
30 July 2002VålerengaA2–1Solskjær 26′ (pen.), Keane 84′25,572
2 August 2002AjaxA1–2Scholes 78′48,000
4 August 2002ParmaN3–0Giggs 23′, Verón 50′, Solskjær 55′48,000
6 August 2002Aarhus XIA5–0Van Nistelrooy (2) 44′, 80′, Solskjær 71′, Giggs 81′, Forlán 87′20,500
10 August 2002Boca JuniorsH2–0Van Nistelrooy (2) 23′, 40′56,724

Premier League

DateOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendanceLeague
position
17 August 2002West Bromwich AlbionH1–0Solskjær 78′67,6457th
23 August 2002ChelseaA2–2Beckham 26′, Giggs 66′41,5417th
31 August 2002SunderlandA1–1Giggs 7′47,5868th
3 September 2002MiddlesbroughH1–0Van Nistelrooy 28′ (pen.)67,4644th
11 September 2002Bolton WanderersH0–167,6237th
14 September 2002Leeds UnitedA0–139,62210th
21 September 2002Tottenham HotspurH1–0Van Nistelrooy 62′ (pen.)67,6118th
28 September 2002Charlton AthleticA3–1Scholes 54′, Giggs 82′, Van Nistelrooy 90′26,6304th
7 October 2002EvertonH3–0Scholes (2) 86′, 90′, Van Nistelrooy 90′ (pen.)67,6294th
19 October 2002FulhamA1–1Solskjær 62′18,1034th
26 October 2002Aston VillaH1–1Forlán 77′67,6194th
2 November 2002SouthamptonH2–1P. Neville 15′, Forlán 85′67,6913rd
9 November 2002Manchester CityA1–3Solskjær 7′34,6495th
17 November 2002West Ham UnitedA1–1Van Nistelrooy 38′35,0495th
23 November 2002Newcastle UnitedH5–3Scholes 25′, Van Nistelrooy (3) 38′, 45′, 53′, Solskjær 55′67,6255th
1 December 2002LiverpoolA2–1Forlán (2) 63′, 66′44,2504th
7 December 2002ArsenalH2–0Verón 20′, Scholes 72′67,6503rd
14 December 2002West Ham UnitedH3–0Solskjær 15′, Verón 17′, Schemmel 61′ (o.g.)67,5552nd
22 December 2002BlackburnA0–130,4753rd
26 December 2002MiddlesbroughA1–3Giggs 60′34,6733rd
28 December 2002Birmingham CityH2–0Forlán 37′, Beckham 73′67,6403rd
1 January 2003SunderlandH2–1Beckham 81′, Scholes 90′67,6092nd
11 January 2003West Bromwich AlbionA3–1Van Nistelrooy 8′, Scholes 22′, Solskjær 55′27,1292nd
18 January 2003ChelseaH2–1Scholes 39′, Forlán 90′67,6062nd
1 February 2003SouthamptonA2–0Van Nistelrooy 15′, Giggs 22′32,0852nd
4 February 2003Birmingham CityA1–0Van Nistelrooy 56′29,4752nd
9 February 2003Manchester CityH1–1Van Nistelrooy 18′67,6462nd
22 February 2003Bolton WanderersA1–1Solskjær 90′27,4092nd
5 March 2003Leeds UnitedH2–1Radebe 20′ (o.g.), Silvestre 79′67,1352nd
15 March 2003Aston VillaA1–0Beckham 12′42,6022nd
22 March 2003FulhamH3–0Van Nistelrooy (3) 44′, 68′, 90′67,7062nd
5 April 2003LiverpoolH4–0Van Nistelrooy (2) 5′ (pen.), 65′ (pen.), Giggs 78′, Solskjær 90′67,6392nd
12 April 2003Newcastle UnitedA6–2Solskjær 32′, Scholes (3) 34′, 38′, 52′, Giggs 44′, Van Nistelrooy 58′ (pen.)52,1641st
16 April 2003ArsenalA2–2Van Nistelrooy 24′, Giggs 63′38,1641st
19 April 2003Blackburn RoversH3–1Van Nistelrooy 20′, Scholes (2) 42′, 61′67,6261st
26 April 2003Tottenham HotspurA2–0Scholes 69′, Van Nistelrooy 90′36,0731st
3 May 2003Charlton AthleticH4–1Beckham 11′, Van Nistelrooy (3) 32′, 37′, 52′67,7211st
11 May 2003EvertonA2–1Beckham 45′, Van Nistelrooy 79′(pen.)40,1681st
PosClubPldWDLGFGAGDPts
1Manchester United3825857434+4083
2Arsenal3823968542+4378
3Newcastle United38216116348+1569

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

DateRoundOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendance
4 January 2003Round 3PortsmouthH4–1Van Nistelrooy (2) 5′ (pen.), 82′ (pen.), Beckham 16′, Scholes 89′67,222
26 January 2003Round 4West Ham UnitedH6–0Giggs (2) 8′, 29′, Van Nistelrooy (2) 49′, 58′, P. Neville 50′, Solskjær 69′67,181
15 February 2003Round 5ArsenalH0–267,209

League Cup

DateRoundOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendance
5 November 2002Round 3Leicester CityH2–0Beckham 80′ (pen.), Richardson 90′47,848
3 December 2002Round 4BurnleyA2–0Forlán 35′, Solskjær 65′22,034
17 December 2002Round 5ChelseaH1–0Forlán 80′57,985
7 January 2003Semi-final
First leg
Blackburn RoversH1–1Scholes 58′62,740
22 January 2003Semi-final
Second leg
Blackburn RoversA3–1Scholes (2) 30′, 42′, Van Nistelrooy 77′ (pen.)29,048
2 March 2003FinalLiverpoolN0–274,500

UEFA Champions League

Third qualifying round

DateRoundOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendance
14 August 2002Third qualifying round
First leg
ZalaegerszegA0–140,000
27 August 2002Third qualifying round
Second leg
ZalaegerszegH5–0Van Nistelrooy (2) 6′, 76′ (pen.), Beckham 15′, Scholes 21′, Solskjær 84′66,814

Group stage

DateOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendanceGroup
position
18 September 2002Maccabi HaifaH5–2Giggs 10′, Solskjær 35′, Verón 46′, Van Nistelrooy 54′, Forlán 89′ (pen.)63,4392nd
24 September 2002Bayer LeverkusenA2–1Van Nistelrooy (2) 31′, 44′22,5001st
1 October 2002OlympiacosH4–0Giggs 19′, Verón 26′, Anatolakis 66′ (o.g.), Solskjær 77′66,9021st
23 October 2002OlympiacosA3–2Blanc 21′, Verón 59′, Scholes 84′13,2201st
29 October 2002Maccabi HaifaA0–322,0001st
13 November 2002Bayer LeverkusenH2–0Verón 42′, Van Nistelrooy 69′66,1851st
TeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
Manchester United6501168+815
Bayer Leverkusen6303911−29
Maccabi Haifa6213121207
Olympiacos61141117−64

Second group stage

DateOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendanceGroup
position
26 November 2002BaselA3–1Van Nistelrooy (2) 62′, 63′, Solskjær 68′29,5011st
11 December 2002Deportivo La CoruñaH2–0Van Nistelrooy (2) 7′, 55′67,0141st
19 February 2003JuventusH2–1Brown 4′, Van Nistelrooy 85′66,7031st
25 February 2003JuventusA3–0Giggs (2) 15′, 41′, Van Nistelrooy 63′59,1111st
12 March 2003BaselH1–1G. Neville 53′66,8701st
18 March 2003Deportivo La CoruñaA0–225,0001st
TeamPldWDLGFGAGDPts
Manchester United6411115+613
Juventus6213111107
Basel6213510−57
Deportivo La Coruña621378−17

Knockout phase

DateRoundOpponentsH/AResult
F–A
ScorersAttendance
8 April 2003Quarter-final
First leg
Real MadridA1–3Van Nistelrooy 52′75,000
23 April 2003Quarter-final
Second leg
Real MadridH4–3Van Nistelrooy 43′, Helguera 52′ (o.g.), Beckham (2) 71′, 85′66,708

Squad statistics

No.Pos.NameLeagueFA CupLeague CupEuropeTotal
AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
1GK Fabien Barthez3002040100460
2DF Gary Neville19(7)030508(2)135(9)1
3DF Phil Neville19(6)1214010(2)035(8)2
4MF Juan Sebastián Verón21(4)2104(1)011437(5)6
5DF Laurent Blanc15(4)010009125(4)1
6DF Rio Ferdinand27(1)0304011045(1)0
7MF David Beckham27(4)6315110(3)345(7)11
8MF Nicky Butt14(4)00(2)00(1)08022(7)0
10FW Ruud van Nistelrooy33(1)25344110(1)1450(2)44
11MF Ryan Giggs32(4)8324(1)013(2)452(7)14
13GK Roy Carroll8(2)010203014(2)0
14DF David May0(1)000200(1)02(2)0
15MF Luke Chadwick0(1)000100(3)01(4)0
16MF Roy Keane (c)19(2)030206030(2)0
17MF Michael Stewart0(1)00(1)0100(1)01(3)0
18MF Paul Scholes31(2)142(1)14(2)39(1)246(6)20
19GK Ricardo0(1)000003(1)03(2)0
20FW Ole Gunnar Solskjær29(8)91(1)11(3)19(5)440(17)15
21FW Diego Forlán7(18)60(2)03(2)25(8)115(30)9
22DF John O’Shea26(6)0103012(4)042(10)0
24DF Wes Brown2201(1)0506134(1)1
25MF Quinton Fortune5(4)000103(3)09(7)0
26MF Danny Pugh0(1)000101(2)02(3)0
27DF Mikaël Silvestre3412050130541
31MF Darren Fletcher0000002020
34DF Lee Roche0(1)00000101(1)0
37FW Danny Webber0000000(1)00(1)0
38DF Mark Lynch0000001010
40FW Daniel Nardiello0000100(1)01(1)0
42MF Kieran Richardson0(2)0100(1)12(3)03(6)1
43FW Mads Timm0000000(1)00(1)0