Picking Manchester United's best four performances under the last four managers

None of the four Manchester United managers in the post-Ferguson era have been an unqualified success.

There have been tricky times since the Scotsman’s retirement in 2013 but there have also been good times too.

But just how good did it ever get under each of United’s past four managers?

In the absence of any proper football, we’ve looked at the best performance under every boss United have had since Ferguson.

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United 3-0 Olympiakos, 2014

David Moyes’ ill-fated reign didn’t even last a full season and the best performance he oversaw came in the aftermath of one of the worst.

United lost the first leg 2-0 in Greece having put in an abject display but the rescue mission was quite spectacular.

Robin van Persie took centre stage, netting a hat-trick in front of an Old Trafford crowd who roared the Scot’s side home.

On the night, United showed passion, composure and skill which was unfortunately sorely lacking for too much of Moyes’ reign.

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Liverpool 1-2 United, 2015

A trip to Anfield is typically the trickiest assignment for any United manager and even Ferguson frequently struggled there.

The Scot certainly seldom made winning at the home of Liverpool look as easy as Louis van Gaal did here.

Van Gaal got it absolutely spot on tactically, stopping Liverpool getting any momentum together. His United side comfortably dominated at the home of their biggest rivals.

Juan Mata’s sumptuous double sealed all three points, including an incredible overhead kick which is arguably United’s best goal of the post-Ferguson era.

Wayne Rooney’s late missed penalty meant that the scoreline didn’t truly reflect United’s superiority. Winning at Anfield isn’t supposed to be this simple.

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Ajax 0-2 United, 2017

Jose Mourinho was brought to Old Trafford to win trophies so perhaps it was inevitable that the best performance of his reign would come in a final.

Mourinho put all his eggs in the Europa League basket towards the end of his first season in charge and it paid off when United outclassed Ajax in the final.

United’s entire season came down to 90 minutes, given the importance of silverware and Champions League qualification at Old Trafford.

It was a Mourinho masterclass, with goals in each half from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – two of Mourinho’s four signings the previous summer – sealing the win.

Mourinho exposed Ajax’s youth and naivety with a ruthless performance on a night where it really mattered.

The game played out to an unfamiliar and disconcerting backdrop due to the Manchester terror attack which had taken place just days earlier, but United did the whole city proud on the night.

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United 2-0 Manchester City, 2020

Derby days have brought out United’s best performances under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer this season.

The 2-1 Premier League win at the Etihad in December was impressive but the 2-0 victory this month was a more complete performance.

United were resilient and lively, playing with a clear plan and dominated City in terms of possession during a crucial period late in the first half.

The match provided a blueprint going forward for Solskjaer and underlined once more the impact of Bruno Fernandes on this squad.

Anthony Martial’s opener was as clever as it was clinical and the celebrations after Scott McTominay’s late strike to seal it will live long in the memory.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.