Even if the bookmakers haven’t settled our bet yet. Even if the league tables don’t have a ‘C’ next to Manchester United. And even if the trophy hasn’t been raised yet, Sir Alex Ferguson’s side won the Premier League this afternoon with a 2-1 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford.
It took just 36 seconds for Manchester United to open the scoring when Javier Hernandez latched onto Park Ji Sung’s through ball and tucked away his one-on-one.
Manchester United were on top for the opening 15 minutes but failed to add a second before Chelsea got a foothold in the game. Saloman Kalou had two great opportunities, but a tame shot at Edwin van der Sar and connecting poorly with a header saw the Dutch goalkeeper deny Chelsea becoming the first opponent to score at Old Trafford in the Premier League this season.
Half way through the first half, Nemanja Vidic headed home a Ryan Giggs cross after a move from a corner. Manchester United were cruising at this stage. Wayne Rooney would pick up a yellow card before half time and Jonny Evans was brought on for John O’Shea for the start of the second half.
Chelsea’s half time change in a desperate attempt to get back in the title race saw Alex replace the yellow-carded David Luiz and Ramires come on for the ineffectual Jon Obi Mikel.
Alex would end up with a clean sheet to his name as Manchester United failed to score in the second half. Frank Lampard poking home a goal in three successive games in the 68th minute gave Chelsea a lifeline, but Manchester United were never in doubt of losing the game.
Park Ji Sung had a fantastic first half, including the opening assist, as well as stringing a number of good passes together and breaking up Chelsea attacks on a number of occasions. Ryan Giggs’ performance was noted too, throughout the game playing a number of splendid passes. Wayne Rooney wasted good positions to get shots in towards the end of the game, whilst an effort was brilliantly blocked on the line by Alex shortly after Chelsea had scored.
Fernando Torres fired a shot wide, but Edwin van der Sar wasn’t tested in the second half having been forced into five first half saves.
This victory gives Manchester United a 6 point lead with two games remaining; visiting Blackburn next weekend where they will lift the trophy should they avoid defeat before hosting Blackpool on the final game of the season. Perhaps Ian Holloway’s side will be pleased with this result after they dropped into the relegation zone today following Wolves’ victory over West Brom. Blackpool may need something in that final game of the season to avoid relegation, and will head into that game with West Brom being the only visiting side to come away from Old Trafford with a point this season.
Title number 19 for Manchester United means they are now the most successful English side in league history, overtaking Liverpool’s 18. The Merseyside club never thought this would happen less than 20 years ago. Sir Alex Ferguson will collect his 12th Premier League medal next weekend.