2001/02 - Manchester United | Manchester United News
2001/02 – Manchester United

Ruud van Nistelrooy signs for Man Utd

The 2001–02 season was Manchester United‘s tenth season in the Premier League and their 27th consecutive season in the top division of English football.

The second full season of the new millennium was rather dismal for the Red Devils in comparison to the previous three years. The club finished in third place in the Premier League, their lowest finish in the history of the Premier League, and they were knocked out of the FA Cup in the fourth round. League Cup success was not expected, and the club duly obliged by playing what was effectively a reserve team against a strong Arsenal side in the third round.

United’s best success in the 2001–02 season came in the UEFA Champions League, in which they reached the semi-finals before being knocked out by Bayer Leverkusen on away goals. Ultimately, United’s failure to win anything boiled down a dismal run of form in November and early December when they suffered five defeats in seven league games, including three defeats in a row against Arsenal, Chelsea and West Ham United in December. They also lost six home games in the Premier League, their worst home record since the 1977–78 season. They only lost three more league games all season, but that terrible form earlier in the campaign counted against United for the rest of the campaign and they finished 10 points behind champions Arsenal (who sealed their crown by beating United 1–0 at Old Trafford in the penultimate game of the season) and three points behind runners-up Liverpool.

Before the season began, Sir Alex Ferguson had announced his intention to retire from football at the end of the season, and the club began the process of trying to find a successor for the most successful manager in their history. However, Fergie went back on his decision to retire, many people citing his failure to win the Champions League in his home town of Glasgow as the reason for this reversal.

Assistant manager Steve McClaren left the club before the start of the season to become the manager of Middlesbrough. Youth team coach and former player Mike Phelan was promoted to first-team coach and took over some of the assistant manager’s responsibilities, but McClaren was not replaced until the summer of 2002, when Carlos Queiroz was appointed the new assistant manager.

Winger Ryan Giggs was honoured with a testimonial match against Celtic, having now been at United for more than a decade.

£19 million striker Ruud van Nistelrooy did what was expected of him by scoring 36 goals in all competitions and collecting the PFA Player of the Year award, but £28.1 million national record signing Juan Sebastián Verón was a major disappointment in midfield, though it was in defence where United were at their weakest following the shock departure ofJaap Stam to Lazio just after the start of the season, and the surprise acquisition of 35-year-old Frenchman Laurent Blancas his successor.

2001–02 was the final season at Old Trafford for veteran players Denis Irwin and Ronny Johnsen after 12 and six years at the club respectively. Also on the way out of the club were goalkeeper Raimond van der Gouw and striker Dwight Yorke. Striker Andy Cole left United after seven years when he sealed a transfer to Blackburn Rovers at the end of December.

Pre-season and friendlies

Date Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance
22 July 2001 Malaysia All-Stars N 6–0 Van Nistelrooy (2) 7′, 36′, Beckham 29′, Cole (2) 46′, 78′, Chadwick71′ 68,000
24 July 2001 Team Singapore A 8–1 Solskjær (2) 30′, 45′, P. Neville 40′, Beckham 52′, Yorke (2) 65′, 71′,Van Nistelrooy 73′, Giggs 90′ 44,000
29 July 2001 Thailand A 2–1 Giggs 29′, Yorke 78′ 65,000
1 August 2001 Celtic H 3–4 Van Nistelrooy (2) 24′, 84′, Verón 64′ 66,957
4 August 2001 Wrexham A 2–2 Solskjær 31′, Verón 58′ 7,614
4 August 2001 Hereford United A 6–0 Butt 23′, Fortune 45′, 65′, Yorke 69′, Cole 78′, 87′ 4,625
8 August 2001 Bury A 3–0 P. Neville 49′, Yorke 62′, Solskjær 69′ 9,929

On 4 August 2001, United played two friendly matches simultaneously, against Wrexham (Brian Flynn‘s testimonial) and Hereford United. The first-team squad was split in two, with Jimmy Ryan taking charge at Edgar Street.

FA Charity Shield

Date Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance
12 August 2001 Liverpool N 1–2 Van Nistelrooy 51′ 70,227

Premier League

Screen Shot 2014-09-24 at 09.58.40

Date Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance League

position

19 August 2001 Fulham H 3–2 Beckham 36′, Van Nistelrooy (2) 51′, 53′ 67,534 4th
22 August 2001 Blackburn Rovers A 2–2 Giggs 20′, Beckham 78′ 29,836 3rd
26 August 2001 Aston Villa A 1–1 Alpay 90′ (o.g.) 42,632 5th
8 September 2001 Everton H 4–1 Verón 4′, Cole 40′, Fortune 46′, Beckham 90′ 67,534 2nd
15 September 2001 Newcastle United A 3–4 Van Nistelrooy 29′, Giggs 62′, Verón 64′ 52,056 4th
22 September 2001 Ipswich Town H 4–0 Johnsen 13′, Solskjær (2) 20′, 90′, Cole 89′ 67,551 3rd
29 September 2001 Tottenham Hotspur A 5–3 Cole 46′, Blanc 58′, Van Nistelrooy 72′, Verón 76′,Beckham 87′ 36,038 2nd
13 October 2001 Sunderland A 3–1 Varga 35′ (o.g.), Giggs 59′, Cole 66′ 48,305 3rd
20 October 2001 Bolton Wanderers H 1–2 Verón 25′ 67,559 3rd
27 October 2001 Leeds United H 1–1 Solskjær 89′ 67,555 5th
4 November 2001 Liverpool A 1–3 Beckham 50′ 44,361 6th
17 November 2001 Leicester City H 2–0 Van Nistelrooy 21′, Yorke 50′ 67,651 4th
25 November 2001 Arsenal A 1–3 Scholes 14′ 38,174 6th
1 December 2001 Chelsea H 0–3 67,544 7th
8 December 2001 West Ham United H 0–1 67,582 9th
12 December 2001 Derby County H 5–0 Solskjær (2) 6′, 58′, Keane 10′, Van Nistelrooy 63′,Scholes 89′ 67,577 5th
15 December 2001 Middlesbrough A 1–0 Van Nistelrooy 76′ 34,358 5th
22 December 2001 Southampton H 6–1 Van Nistelrooy (3) 1′, 34′, 54′, Solskjær 41′, Keane72′, Neville 78′ 67,638 4th
26 December 2001 Everton A 2–0 Giggs 78′, Van Nistelrooy 85′ 39,948 5th
30 December 2001 Fulham A 3–2 Giggs (2) 5′, 47′, Van Nistelrooy 45′ 21,159 5th
2 January 2002 Newcastle United H 3–1 Van Nistelrooy 24′, Scholes (2) 50′, 62′ 67,646 2nd
13 January 2002 Southampton A 3–1 Van Nistelrooy 9′, Beckham 45′, Solskjær 63′ 31,858 1st
19 January 2002 Blackburn Rovers H 2–1 Van Nistelrooy 45′ (pen.), Keane 81′ 67,552 1st
22 January 2002 Liverpool H 0–1 67,599 1st
29 January 2002 Bolton Wanderers A 4–0 Solskjær (3) 15′, 39′, 64′, Van Nistelrooy 83′ 27,350 1st
2 February 2002 Sunderland H 4–1 P. Neville 6′, Beckham 25′, Van Nistelrooy (2) 28′, 44′ (pen.) 67,587 1st
10 February 2002 Charlton Athletic A 2–0 Solskjær (2) 33′, 74′ 26,475 1st
23 February 2002 Aston Villa H 1–0 Van Nistelrooy 50′ 67,592 1st
3 March 2002 Derby County A 2–2 Scholes 41′, Verón 60′ 33,041 1st
6 March 2002 Tottenham Hotspur H 4–0 Beckham (2) 15′, 64′, Van Nistelrooy (2) 43′ (pen.), 76′ 67,599 1st
16 March 2002 West Ham United A 5–3 Beckham (2) 17′, 89′ (pen.), Butt 22′, Scholes 55′,Solskjær 64′ 35,281 1st
23 March 2002 Middlesbrough H 0–1 67,683 1st
30 March 2002 Leeds United A 4–3 Scholes 9′, Solskjær (2) 37′, 39′, Giggs 54′ 40,058 2nd
6 April 2002 Leicester City A 1–0 Solskjær 61′ 21,447 2nd
20 April 2002 Chelsea A 3–0 Scholes 15′, Van Nistelrooy 41′, Solskjær 86′ 41,725 2nd
27 April 2002 Ipswich Town A 1–0 Van Nistelrooy 45′ (pen.) 28,433 2nd
8 May 2002 Arsenal H 0–1 67,580 3rd
11 May 2002 Charlton Athletic H 0–0 67,571 3rd
Pos Club Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
2 Liverpool 38 24 8 6 67 30 +37 80
3 Manchester United 38 24 5 9 87 45 +42 77
4 Newcastle United 38 21 8 9 74 52 +22 71

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
6 January 2002 Round 3 Aston Villa A 3–2 Solskjær 77′, Van Nistelrooy (2) 80′, 82′ 38,444
26 January 2002 Round 4 Middlesbrough A 0–2 17,624

League Cup

Date Round Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance
5 November 2001 Round 3 Arsenal A 0–4 30,693

UEFA Champions League

Group stage

Date Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance Group

position

18 September 2001 Lille H 1–0 Beckham 90′ 64,827 1st
25 September 2001 Deportivo La Coruña A 1–2 Scholes 40′ 33,108 2nd
10 October 2001 Olympiacos A 2–0 Beckham 66′, Cole 82′ 73,537 1st
17 October 2001 Deportivo La Coruña H 2–3 Van Nistelrooy (2) 7′, 40′ 65,585 2nd
23 October 2001 Olympiacos H 3–0 Solskjær 80′, Giggs 88′, Van Nistelrooy 90′ 66,769 2nd
31 October 2001 Lille A 1–1 Solskjær 6′ 37,400 2nd
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Deportivo La Coruña 6 2 4 0 10 8 +2 10
Manchester United 6 3 1 2 10 6 +4 10
Lille 6 1 3 2 7 7 0 6
Olympiacos 6 1 2 3 6 12 −6 5

Second group stage

Date Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance Group

position

20 November 2001 Bayern Munich A 1–1 Van Nistelrooy 74′ 59,000 2nd
5 December 2001 Boavista H 3–0 Van Nistelrooy (2) 31′, 62′, Blanc 55′ 66,274 1st
20 February 2002 Nantes A 1–1 Van Nistelrooy 90′ (pen.) 38,285 1st
26 February 2002 Nantes H 5–1 Beckham 18′, Solskjær (2) 31′, 78′, Silvestre 38′, Van Nistelrooy 64′ (pen.) 66,492 1st
13 March 2002 Bayern Munich H 0–0 66,818 1st
19 March 2002 Boavista A 3–0 Blanc 14′, Solskjær 29′, Beckham 51′ (pen.) 13,223 1st
Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
Manchester United 6 3 3 0 13 3 +10 12
Bayern Munich 6 3 3 0 5 2 +3 12
Boavista 6 1 2 3 2 8 −6 5
Nantes 6 0 2 4 4 11 −7 2

Knockout phase

Date Round Opponents H/A Result

F–A

Scorers Attendance
2 April 2002 Quarter-final

First leg

Deportivo La Coruña A 2–0 Beckham 15′, Van Nistelrooy 41′ 32,351
10 April 2002 Quarter-final

Second leg

Deportivo La Coruña H 3–2 Solskjær (2) 23′, 56′, Giggs 69′ 65,875
24 April 2002 Semi-final

First leg

Bayer Leverkusen H 2–2 Živković 29′ (o.g.), Van Nistelrooy 67′ (pen.) 66,534
30 April 2002 Semi-final

Second leg

Bayer Leverkusen A 1–1 Keane 28′ 22,500

Squad statistics

Manchester United squad picture 2001/2002

No. Pos. Name League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
1 GK Fabien Barthez 32 0 1 0 0 0 15 0 1 0 49 0
2 DF Gary Neville 31(3) 0 2 0 0 0 14 0 1 0 48(3) 0
3 DF Denis Irwin 10(2) 0 0 0 0 0 8(2) 0 1 0 19(4) 0
4 MF Juan Sebastián Verón 24(2) 5 1 0 0 0 13 0 0 0 38(2) 5
5 DF Ronny Johnsen 9(1) 1 0 0 0 0 8(1) 0 0 0 17(2) 1
6 DF Laurent Blanc 29 1 2 0 0 0 15 2 0 0 46 3
6 DF Jaap Stam 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
7 MF David Beckham 23(5) 11 1 0 0 0 13 5 1 0 38(5) 16
8 MF Nicky Butt 20(5) 1 2 0 0 0 8(1) 0 1 0 31(6) 1
9 FW Andy Cole 7(4) 4 0 0 0 0 1(3) 1 0 0 8(7) 5
10 FW Ruud van Nistelrooy 29(3) 23 0(2) 2 0 0 14 10 1 1 44(5) 36
11 MF Ryan Giggs 18(7) 7 0(1) 0 0 0 13 2 1 0 32(8) 9
12 DF Phil Neville 21(7) 2 2 0 1 0 3(4) 0 0 0 27(11) 2
13 GK Roy Carroll 6(1) 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 9(1) 0
14 DF David May 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 3 0
15 MF Luke Chadwick 5(3) 0 1(1) 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 7(4) 0
16 MF Roy Keane (c) 28 3 2 0 0 0 11(1) 1 1 0 42(1) 4
17 GK Raimond van der Gouw 0(1) 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(2) 0
18 MF Paul Scholes 30(5) 8 2 0 0 0 13 1 1 0 46(5) 9
19 FW Dwight Yorke 4(6) 1 0(1) 0 1 0 1(2) 0 0(1) 0 6(10) 1
20 FW Ole Gunnar Solskjær 23(7) 17 2 1 0 0 5(10) 7 0 0 30(17) 25
21 FW Diego Forlán 6(7) 0 0 0 0 0 1(4) 0 0 0 7(11) 0
22 DF Ronnie Wallwork 0(1) 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2(1) 0
23 DF Michael Clegg 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
24 DF Wes Brown 15(2) 0 0 0 0 0 5(2) 0 0 0 20(4) 0
25 MF Quinton Fortune 8(6) 1 0 0 0 0 3(2) 0 0 0 11(8) 1
27 DF Mikaël Silvestre 31(4) 0 2 0 0 0 10(3) 1 1 0 44(7) 1
28 MF Michael Stewart 2(1) 0 0 0 1 0 0(1) 0 0 0 3(2) 0
30 DF John O’Shea 4(5) 0 0 0 1 0 0(3) 0 0 0 5(8) 0
32 MF Bojan Djordjic 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
34 DF Lee Roche 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
36 FW Jimmy Davis 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
37 FW Danny Webber 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
40 FW Daniel Nardiello 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0 0 0 0 0 0(1) 0
Own goals 2 0 0 1 0 3
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