Five By Five

Well, never has a matchday programme so thoroughly made good on its promise.

Today in B71, the footballing world bid farewell to Sir Alex Ferguson: he of the petulant tantrums, referee bullying, and manipulation of time that would make Einstein scratch his head. Albion offered a tribute, and delivered it with a vengeance. 3-0 down within half an hour, we fought back to 3-2 just after half-time, only to let the scoreline slip to 5-2. And so it stayed, until with ten minutes to go, Steve Clarke threw the troops forward in grand old kamikaze Albion fashion, harking back to the finest traditions of Tony Mowbray, Ossie Ardiles, Ron Atkinson, Alan Ashman.

On 81 minutes, a sudden Lukaku break into the box tucked away under Lindegaard to make it 5-3.

Thirty seconds later, Billy Jones and Youssouf Mulumbu linked up to recreate almost exactly a goal they scored against QPR back in October. 5-4.

And with minutes left, up popped Lukaku again to somehow head the ball across the line while lying prone on the ground, and complete one of the all-time great Baggies comebacks. It's been 35 years since we last scored five goals against Manchester United, and though it wouldn't be fair to compare this result to that one, it will still go down in the annals of our club as a fantastic day to be blue and white.

It'll be all change again in August, as we bid a fond farewell to "Av-A-Gew" Romelu and a few other players - hopefully finding new heroes to replace them with our Spartan budget - but for now, it's satisfying enough to be the eighth best team in England for the first time in decades. And I bet Sir Alex will never forget today; no matter how hard he tries.

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