Alex Ferguson’s worst defeats as a manager

Sir Alex Ferguson has said that the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City was his worst day in football. But is is it his biggest defeat as a manager?

It turns out that this is only the third time (in 2,061 games spread over 37 years) that a team managed by Ferguson has conceded six goals in a game. The others came in 1974, when East Stirlingshire lost 6-2 at Albion Rovers, and 1996, when Manchester United were thumped 6-3 by Southampton.

Here’s a list of Ferguson’s 16 managerial defeats by four goals or more, ordered by margin of defeat, goals conceded and then date.

1. Manchester United 1-6 Manchester City, Premier League, 23 October 2011

2. East Stirlingshire 5-0 St Mirren, Scottish Division Two, 26 April 1975

3. Partick Thistle 5-0 St Mirren, Scottish Premier Division, 26 April 1978

4. Newcastle 5-0 Manchester United, Premier League, 20 October 1996

5. Chelsea 5-0 Manchester United, Premier League, 3 October 1999

6. Albion Rovers 6-2 East Stirlingshire, Scottish Second Division, 17 September 1974

7. Hibernian 5-1 St Mirren, Scottish Premier Division, 11 March 1978

8. Manchester City 5-1 Manchester United, First Division, 23 September 1989

9. Aberdeen 4-0 St Mirren, Scottish League Cup, 25 August 1976

10. St Mirren 0-4 Aberdeen, Scottish Premier Division, 8 October 1977

11. Tottenham Hotspur 4-0 Manchester United, First Division, 4 May 1987

12. Nottingham Forest 4-0 Manchester United, First Division, 2 May 1990

13. Liverpool 4-0 Manchester United, First Division, 16 September 1990

14. Barcelona 4-0 Manchester United, European Cup, 2 November 1994

15. Arsenal 4-0 Manchester United, League Cup, 5 November 2001

16. West Ham 4-0 Manchester United, 30 November 2010

The City defeat was not the worst of Ferguson’s entire football career – he was in the Falkirk side that lost 7-1 to Airdrie on 26 April 1971.

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