Manchester United’s new interim boss Ralf Rangnick steered his new side to victory on his first match in charge, the Red Devils running out 1-0 winners over Crystal Palace on Sunday courtesy of a second-half stunner from Fred.
The German has been brought in on a temporary basis to try and steady the ship between now and the end of the season, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure having come to a dismal end last month following a disastrous string of results.
The Norwegian’s departure – and Rangnick’s arrival – means yet another managerial change at the Theatre of Dreams, the club having now had a succession of coaches at the helm since the retirement of the great Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013.
With that in mind – and in the wake of the recent win over Palace – we’ve decided to take a look at who scored the first goal under each manager since the Scotsman’s reign.
Sir Alex Ferguson – John Sivebaek
Despite eventually building a dynasty that would dominate English football for over 20 years, Ferguson endured a far from smooth start to life as Manchester United manager, epitomised by the failure to win in his first two games in charge.
After a loss to Oxford United and a draw with Norwich City, the Red Devils eventually secured the first win of the Ferguson era against Queens Park Rangers in November 1986 through Danish defender John Sivebaek’s goal.
The former Aberdeen boss would finish 11th in his debut campaign in the job, with it taking just under four years to eventually win a trophy, United famously winning the 1990 FA Cup final to set the wheels in motion for the dominance that would follow.
David Moyes – Robin van Persie
Most are well aware of how it ended for David Moyes at Old Trafford – the former Everton boss having been cherry-picked by his compatriot to succeed him at the club – although it actually began on a positive note, Robin van Persie netting a brace as United clinched the Community Shield.
An opening day 4-1 thumping over Swansea – in which the forward again scored twice – sparked hope that more silverware would follow, although seven months on and Moyes was out of a job, having seen his side fall out of contention for the top four and having failed to inspire with his drab style of play.
In his defence, the Scotsman was handed a side that, despite having been reigning champions, were in desperate need of bolstering with a number of senior players coming towards the end, although after a summer full of transfer gossip, the only acquisition came on deadline day in the form of Marouane Fellaini.
Ryan Giggs – Wayne Rooney
The United hierarchy turned to club legend Ryan Giggs to lift the mood for the final few games of that 2013/14 season in the wake of Moyes’ brisk departure, the Welshman getting off to the perfect start with a 4-0 win over Norwich City at Old Trafford – Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata both netting a brace.
The long-serving winger would, however, stumble through the remaining three games of his caretaker tenure, losing to Sunderland and drawing with Southampton, albeit while securing a 3-1 home win over Hull City.
The end of the campaign also brought with it his retirement as a player after winning 13 Premier League titles and two Champions League’s, among others, although he had little hope of securing the managerial role on a permanent basis, eventually staying on as assistant to Louis Van Gaal.
Louis Van Gaal – Wayne Rooney
Speaking of the Dutchman, Van Gaal’s appointment was met with much enthusiasm following his impressive display as Netherlands boss at the 2014 World Cup, although despite a star-studded summer spending spree, he struggled revive the club’s fortunes.
His first game in charge ended in defeat to Swansea, despite a second-half Rooney strike, while it would take until the fourth league game of the season for United to eventually register a win, having also been dumped out of the League Cup by MK Dons in a 4-0 thrashing.
He would go on to guide his side to a fourth-placed finish in his debut campaign, although despite an FA Cup win the year after, failure to qualify for the Champions League ultimately proved his undoing, as the wacky veteran was sacked a matter of hours after his 2016 Wembley triumph.
Jose Mourinho – Juan Mata
After clinching the Community Shield in his first outing as United boss, Jose Mourinho’s first league game in charge saw the Red Devils surge to a 3-1 win over Bournemouth at the Vitality Stadium courtesy of goals from Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
The enigmatic, serial-winning Portuguese arrived amid high expectations, although could only conjure a sixth-placed finish in his first season in charge, albeit while finishing with the ‘poor man’s treble’ of the League Cup, FA Cup and the Community Shield.
He would follow that up with a second-placed finish in the 2017/18 campaign, although the mood had begun to sour following an early European exit and due to his underwhelming, pragmatic style of play, with it all coming to ahead the year after as results took a turn for the worse.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – Marcus Rashford
After three successive failed managerial appointments, the club turned to Champions League hero Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to take the reigns on an interim basis following Mourinho’s sacking in December 2018, the smiling Norwegian instantly lifting the mood and results in a blistering start to life in the hotseat.
An early Marcus Rashford free-kick in an eventual 5-1 drubbing of Cardiff City in his first game in charge set the tone for what would be a wild ride over the next few months, culminating in that win in Paris which ultimately handed him the job permanently.
The former Molde boss oversaw steady progress and some notable victories over the next few seasons despite continued suggestions he was perhaps out of his depth, with those fears eventually realised in a dreadful start to the current campaign.
Drubbings at the hands of Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester City and Watford spelled an inevitable end for the 48-year-old as he bid an emotional farewell to the club, having undoubtedly got them back on track, albeit while failing to get his side anywhere near the Premier League title.
Michael Carrick – Cristiano Ronaldo
United’s hierarchy turned to Solskjaer’s assistant Michael Carrick to take the reigns in the wake of his departure, the former club captain getting off to a fine start with a vital 2-0 win away at Villarreal, with Cristiano Ronaldo netting the opener.
The former England international then notably omitted the Portuguese from his starting lineup for the subsequent trip to Stamford Bridge, albeit with the bold decision largely paying off as the visitors stopped the recent rot with a solid 1-1 draw against the European champions.
He maintained his unbeaten stint in charge against Arsenal on Thursday night, overseeing a 3-2 win with incoming interim boss Ralf Rangnick watching on from the stands, before the ever-humble Carrick quietly announced his departure from the club with immediate effect after the match.
Ralf Rangnick – Fred
Just a few days later, Rangnick ensured that it would be back-to-back league wins for the Red Devils as his new side ran out 1-0 winners over Crystal Palace, courtesy of a late stunner from unlikely scorer, Fred.
While the scoreline would suggest otherwise, it was a largely comfortable and impressive start to the new Rangick era, United already showing early signs of the high press approach that the German is keen to implement over the coming months.
The veteran visionary will hope to try and ensure that it isn’t a wasted season for the Old Trafford outfit despite the title seemingly being out of reach, with the permanent job potentially up for grabs should he impress between now and the end of May.