On 23 December 2006, Manchester United scored their 2000th goal under Sir Alex Ferguson, delivered by Cristiano Ronaldo in a 0-3 trouncing of Aston Villa.
United started the day at the top of the table, 2 points clear of second-place Chelsea, whose manager, José Mourinho, had predicted that United would not top the table at Christmas. Despite the pressure to get all three points, Ferguson rested star striker Wayne Rooney in favor of Louis Saha, playing alongside wingers Ronaldo and Ji Sung Park in a 4-3-3 formation. That decision looked questionable in the first half, as Saha failed to ignite United's anemic attack.
But as Ferguson prepared to bring Rooney on in the second half, Ronaldo completed a dashing 50-yard run then unleashed a fierce shot in the 58th minute. Villa defender Gary Cahill managed to block it, but failed to control the ball which landed at Ronaldo's feet for an easy goal--United's 2,000th under Ferguson. Paul Scholes added a second in the 64th minute before Ronaldo completed the rout with another in the 85th minute.
The win secured United's position at the top of the table for Christmas; indeed, they remained in first for the remainder of the season to capture their 16th league title.