28th February, 2012
Alex Ferguson insists Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes are the best players in Manchester United’s history.
The veteran midfielders defied the ageing process by scoring at Norwich.
Scholes, 37, headed the first and Giggs, 38, grabbed a last-gasp winner on his 900th appearance for the club.
Boss Fergie said: “Scholes and Giggs are the best players this club have ever had. Given the career Ryan has had, to score the winning goal with the last kick of the game.I think he deserved that.
“We could have played him against Ajax last Thursday but this game was more important and I knew we would need all our experienced players and Ryan and Scholes in particular.That experience is really going to help us in the next couple of months.We won’t get nervous, that’s for sure. We’re used to being in this situation.
“You saw that when we conceded an equaliser. How did we react? We started playing again and got the winner.”
Giggs will celebrate the 21st anniversary of his United debut this Friday.The Welshman said: “It’s a great day for me personally. 900 games for United is a real honour and to score the winner as well.,it doesn’t get any better than that.
“I first scored at Norwich in the first season of the Premier League but this one feels even better.
“It’s always great to score the winning goal and I have to make sure I savour days like this.”
Ferguson was far from happy with the way his team almost allowed Manchester City to hold a four-point lead at the top of the Premier League.
Grant Holt’s 83rd-minute goal looked to have earned the Canaries a draw and it needed Giggs’ late strike to give United victory.
Ferguson added: “Everyone knows we never give up. No matter who plays us, they know they will have to battle right to the death. But we were lucky because Norwich were the better team.”
Scholes was not a member of Manchester United’s 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning squad that included future senior teammates David Beckham, Nicky Butt, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs, but he was part of the youth team that reached the final in the following season, alongside Phil Neville.
Scholes turned professional on 23 July 1993 and was issued with the number 24 shirt, but did not make his breakthrough into the senior squad until the 1994–95 season, when he made seventeen league appearances and scored five goals.
Scholes announced his retirement on 31 May 2011, with immediate effect, and joined the coaching staff at Manchester United.
On 5 August 2011, United held a testimonial match to honour his 17 years of service to United. The match was played at Old Trafford against New York Cosmos.
United won the match 6–0, with Scholes opening the scoring with a trademark strike from 25 yards out.
On 8 January 2012, Scholes reversed his decision to retire because of the injury crisis in the Manchester United squad and made his return as a substitute during a 3–2 win, against neighbours Manchester City in the FA Cup. He wore the number 22 shirt, which he last wore during the 1995–96 season, and replaced Nani in the 59th minute.
He made his first start in the next game against Bolton Wanderers, where he scored his first goal since returning in a 3–0 victory at Old Trafford, converting a Wayne Rooney pass; this meant he had scored at least one goal in every season in the Premier League since 1994–95.
He scored his second goal since coming back in a 2-1 away win against Norwich City on Sunday heading home a cross from Nani.
Meanwhile,Giggs made his League debut against Everton at Old Trafford on 2 March 1991, as a substitute for the injured full-back Denis Irwin in a 2–0 defeat. In his first full start, Giggs was credited with his first ever goal in a 1–0 win in the Manchester derby on 4 May 1991, though it appeared to be a Colin Hendry own goal.
Giggs became United’s longest serving player when Denis Irwin left in May 2002, and he became a pivotal part of the club, despite still being in his twenties. Giggs continued to excel in the four years that followed the Treble triumph of 1999. United were Premier League champions in three of the four seasons following the treble, as well as reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals three times and the semi-finals once.
On 26 February 2012, Giggs incredibly made his 900th appearance for Manchester United, in a 2-1 away win against Norwich City. He marked the occasion by scoring the winning goal in the 90th minute, scoring from a cross by Ashley Young.