After losing the title on the last day of the previous season, Manchester United were determined to get their hands on the Premier League crown. The fact that they lost the title to their bitter rivals Manchester City hurt them even more. They had done their job, by winning at Sunderland on the final day of the season. As the final whistle blew, they thought they were champions. However, news filtered in that City had scored two goals in stoppage time to steal the title on goal difference. Most teams would never recover from a blow like that, but Manchester United used it as fuel for another title charge.
On that day in May 2012, Sir Alex Ferguson told his players that they should never forget this moment. They should never forget the anguish of having the championship taken away in such a cruel manner. He vowed that his young team would come back fighting, and they would show how good they are. Many doubted his claim as Manchester City seemed to be on the rise. It was all set to be a period of blue domination, but Ferguson and United had other ideas.
While United have sealed the Premier League title, there is plenty at stake in the remaining four rounds of games. Get Premier League tickets to witness the exciting conclusion to the season. Champions League places are up for grabs, and the relegation dogfight is winding down.
They began their title charge in the summer, with the ambitious signings of Shinji Kagawa and Robin van Persie. The Dutch striker was the top scorer in last season’s Premier League, and captain of their bitter rivals Arsenal. Despite the difficulties in completing the transfer, United got their man. And what a difference he made. Robin van Persie has scored 22 goals in this season’s Premier League, and is set to win the Golden Boot for a second successive season. He is also a frontrunner for the PFA and Football Writers’ Player of the Year awards.
There have been other star performers for United, who have won the title with four games to spare. Rafael has been a revelation at right-back while Michael Carrick’s excellence in central midfield has earned him a PFA Player of the Year nomination. Rio Ferdinand rolled back the years in central defense while Wayne Rooney chipped in with a handful of goals and assists.
A special mention must go to 22-year old David de Gea, who put all the criticism of his performances to one side and emerged as a world-class goalkeeper. He pulls off saves that few goalkeepers in the world can manage. He was vulnerable from crosses in the early part of his United career, but hard work at the gym and on the training ground have resulted in huge improvements.
The title may be wrapped up, but United have other fish to fry. They are chasing Chelsea’s record of 95 points in the Premier League. If they win their remaining four games, that record will be theirs. Many believe that the Premier League is the most entertaining league in the world.