Sayonara Sir Alex: How the Premier League title was won
After Sir Alex Ferguson’s conformation that this will be his final season in charge, we look at how Manchester United sealed their 20th Premier League title.
Now that we know it’s his final season in charge of Manchester United, winning a 13th Premier League title is the ideal way for Sir Alex Ferguson to bow out before he enjoys his new role as a club director and ambassador at Old Trafford. United sealed the league with victory against Aston Villa, winning the title back from cross-city neighbours Manchester City. In 1993, it is well-known to many that Sir Alex found out that he had won his first league title with United whilst on a golf course. 26 years later and United have sealed their 20th Premier League title in what has been a wonderful reign for Britain’s most successful club manager.
After the last-day decider 12 months ago saw City take the league in dramatic fashion, Sir Alex felt that change was needed. He made a few big signings in the summer transfer window, decided to put faith in younger players and hoped that, blinded by their new-found status, City would fail to live up to expectations. Thankfully for United, the latter happened.
Van the man
Arguably United’s most important player this season, summer signing Robin van Persie didn’t disappoint. Since his arrival from Arsenal, he has proved to be a constant thorn in the side of opposition defences. His ability to score goals from impossible situations helped, as did his early season form, where most of his 25 league goals came.
Other players who have impressed this season include Michael Carrick who, like van Persie, was nominated for the PFA Player of the Year award, young Tom Cleverley and Rafael da Silva, who has become the first-choice right back. They’ve all made telling contributions this season, helping to grind out results in difficult games and help them sprint toward the title.
After winning their first title for what seems like an eternity, the moneyed Manchester City were expected to kick on and battle on all fronts. Sadly for City fans, a disappointing European campaign and a surprising lack of firepower up front have proved to be their undoing as the title race was effectively over before winter had ended.
The fact that their top scorer, Edin Dzeko, has only scored 13 times in the league this season shows how disappointing they’ve been when going forward. As for the others, Arsenal were too lightweight, Chelsea were undone by managerial upheaval while Tottenham were too reliant on Gareth Bale to get the job done.
Fergie reign ends on a high
Now that he’s decided to retire, Sir Alex has ended his 26-year spell at United with yet another Premier League title. This one will be particularly special because of the fact that it came at the expense of their city rivals, and because it was by such a wide margin, but the circumstances surrounding his first league win were more spectacular.
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