2005-06 Manchester United Away Shirt Size Small
Team: Manchester United
Era: 2005-06 (Used for the 2005-06 Barclays Premiership season)
This shirt is in excellent condition with very little sign of wear on display! The material, the sponsor decal, the club crest and Nike swoosh are nothing short of immaculate!
Pit to Pit Measurement: 19 inches
Shirt Length: 28 inches
Made in Nike’s second Total 90 mould that they introduced ahead of the 2005-06 season; this shirt provides excellent dimensions for a size small fitting football shirt.
The final Manchester United shirt made by Nike to bare the Vodafone sponsor was the 2005-06 away shirt! Nike’s second classic Total 90 template was used to devastating effect as blue was reprised for the first time since the 2002-03 season, meanwhile, red was selected as the secondary colour; creating a wonderful away shirt befitting of the clubs history of fine change attires! This shirt debuted competitively in the 3-0 win over Debrecen in the 2nd Leg of their UEFA Champions League Play-Off on 24/08/05! This was also the last shirt to be worn by former club captain Roy Keane before he departed for Celtic in November 2005 as well as 05/06 being the last played for the club by Ruud van Nistelrooy. This shirt was also used as the 3rd kit for the 2006-07 season; however, the sponsor was changed to AIG who took over as United’s main shirt sponsor.
For only the 2nd time in the Premiership era; Manchester United finished without winning a single piece of silverware! The 2004-05 season would also yield a second successive 3rd place finish and Last 16 exit in the Champions League; and with a controversial take-over by the Glazer brothers dominating the newspapers in the summer; there was a degree of spotlight and pressure on Sir Alex Ferguson and ‘The Red Devils’ hitherto seen been before since the inception of the division!
Recruitment would bring in two new faces in the form of the veteran Edwin van der Sar from Fulham and Park Ji-Sung from PSV Eindhoven. Long term servant Phil Neville would depart the club for Everton.
The season began on August 9th where they would have to qualify for the Champions League proper by way of the Play-Off. United put Debrecen away 3-0 at home where Wayne Rooney, Ruud Van Nistelrooy and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored in a fine performance. They would kick off the 2005-06 Premiership season 5 days later, and in the season curtain raiser; they’d defeat Everton 2-0 at Goodison Park, getting revenge for ‘The Toffees’ stunning upset on this ground just 4 months earlier. A fine month of August saw United go 3 wins for 3 in the league with wins coming over Aston Villa and Newcastle United and following another 3-0 win against Debrecen; they were amongst the 32 teams in the Champions League Group Stage where they were drawn alongside Benfica, Lille and tournament debutants Villarreal.
September was a brutal disappointment as they could only muster goalless draws with Manchester City and Liverpool, before tasting defeat for the first time on September 24th when they were beaten by Blackburn Rovers. The European frontier would start with a draw against Villarreal and then a 2-1 win at home against Benfica with Ruud Van Nistelrooy netting an 85th minute winner to bring his tally to 7 goals for the season.
Back to back wins over Fulham and Sunderland propelled United into 2nd place, however, they would fail to capitilise on Chelsea dropping points for the first time, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Tottenham. United would then collapse to a4-1 defeat away against Middlesbrough on October 29th, the performance would prompt the infamous Roy Keane MUTV rant, which all but signalled his departure from the club on November 18th.
On the league front, the defeat seemingly re-galvanised the squad as they became the first team to defeat the champions Chelsea in the league for 40 games on November 6th! The win reduced the arrears between the two sides to just 7 points, before a maximum 9 points were collected following wins over Charlton and West Ham. A 3-1 win over West Bromwich Albion on November 30th ensured passage to the 5th Round of the Carling Cup, but failure to win against either Lille or Villarreal in the Champions League left it still all to play for ahead of the final Group Stage game away against Benfica on December 7th.
On November 18th Roy Keane would acrimoniously leave the club to join Celtic, and then the football would be left in mourning as club legend George Best sadly passed away on November 25th 2005 aged just 59 years old.
They would prepare for the encounter with the Portuguese side by seeing off Portsmouth 3-0 at home, and Paul Scholes would give United an early lead, however, the unthinkable occurred as Benfica would go on to win 2-1 and after 9 years of successive Group Stage passages, Manchester United would be eliminated at the first hurdle! More damming was that their European adventure was over for the season as their 4th place finish saw Lille drop into the UEFA Cup.
They would then draw with Everton in the reverse fixture at Old Trafford which allowed Chelsea to go 9 points at the clear at the top of the table. A fixture packed December would eventually end with United 4 of their 5 league games, and reaching the semi-final of the Carling Cup when they beat Birmingham City 3-1. 8 days later, it would be ‘The Blues’ who took a point from United when they came back to Saint Andrews in the league in the fine 2-2 draw on December 28th. 2005 would end with Manchester United in 2nd place.
2006 would start with their last ever visit to Highbury to take on Arsenal, and after close to a decade as the Premiership’s marquee fixture; this would be the least significant game between the 2 side’s in the time Arsene Wenger has been ‘The Gunners’ manager as his side sat in 6th place and 11 points adrift of United. The game would 0-0; symbolic of their fall from grace in the shadow of a seemingly unstoppable Chelsea.
United would then embarrassingly be held to a goalless draw away against Burton Albion in the FA Cup on January 8th, and the 3 days later in the 1st Leg of their Carling Cup semi-final with Blackburn, would only be able to draw 1-1 at Ewood Park. Their unbeaten league run would be halted at 11 games, as Manchester City won the derby 3-1 in what was a forgettable debut for new signing: Patrice Evra.
After the less than ideal start to the year, results would pick up starting with a 5-0 win over Burton in their FA Cup Replay, which was followed by Rio Ferdinand’s 90th minute winner in the grudge match at home to Liverpool on January 22nd! More importantly, the win allowed United to go back into 2nd place after Liverpool had usurped them of the position in what was likely going to be highest either side would finish. Louis Saha made it 4 Carling Cup games in a row where he would find the back of the net as the 2-1 win at home in the 2nd Leg against Blackburn got United into their first League Cup Final since 2003, where Wigan Athletic awaited as opponents on February 26th after they upset Arsenal. The month end would have United see off Wolverhampton Wanderers 3-0 to set up a 3rd meeting with Liverpool!
February would a be month revenge against Sir Alex Ferguson’s side as Blackburn avenged their cup exit with a thrilling 4-3 defeat of United on February 1st, and then Rafa Benitez would get his first win over United as Liverpool manager when his side won 1-0 in their FA Cup 5th Round encounter on February 18th! There would be unsavoury scenes at the end as Alan Smith tragically broke his leg in an exchange with John Arne-Riise.
The defeat to Blackburn would inspire United’s most fruitful stint of the season as they embarked on a 9-match winning spree in the league! This began with a 4-2 beating of Fulham on February 4th. The month would end with Manchester United winning the League Cup as they beat Wigan 4-0 in the Millennium Stadium Finale. The decision to drop Ruud van Nistelrooy for Louis Saha all but set the wheels in motion for the Dutch striker’s exit from the club…
With just 2nd place to seal in the league; United beat Wigan again, before follow up wins over: Newcastle, West Brom, Birmingham and West Ham saw them collect 15 points from an available 15 in March to move 8 points clear of 3rd place Liverpool with 7 games to spare. United would secure wins 8 and 9 of their streak over Bolton and Arsenal respectively, and their form was as such that they were able to get within 7 points of Chelsea with an impending meeting at Stamford Bridge to come on April 29th.
Any notion of an unlikely late title charge was dashed as relegated Sunderland held United to a goalless draw on April 14th. A Wayne Rooney brace would edge his side past Tottenham 2-1 in their Easter Monday meeting, and with the benefit of a 12-day rest, they prepared to meet the champions at Stamford Bridge. United would be soundly beaten 3-0 as Chelsea were crowned as champions for a 2nd season running. A goalless draw with Middlesbrough still left 2nd place hanging in the balance however, in the final game of the season; United would buzz-saw through Charlton 4-0 to finish 2nd with 83 points.
The notable players that season were:
Ruud van Nistelrooy, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alan Smith, Wayne Rooney, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Louis Saha, Giuseppe Rossi, Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Park Ji-Sung, Roy Keane, Darren Fletcher, Liam Miller, Kieran Richardson, Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Gabriel Heinze, Nemanja Vidic, John O’Shea, Gerard Pique, Patrice Evra, Mikael Silvestre, Wes Brown, Roy Carroll, Tim Howard, Edwin van der Sar
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