With the dust settled from another remarkable Premier League season which saw our beloved Manchester United brilliantly reclaim the championship, it’s worth looking back at 10 key results that enabled Nemanja Vidic to lift the title come the end of the season.
Here are the first 5 games out of the 10 key results that stand out for me.
The next 5 will follow tomorrow, so be sure to look back to see what games they are.
1) Liverpool (h) Won 3-2:
This game for a number of reasons was a significant one. First up it was important to win this game after the disappointment a week earlier when we somehow let slip a 3-1 lead at Goodison, conceding two goals in injury time to only draw a game that on paper we should have comfortably won.
The manner in which we came back to retake the lead after Steven Gerrard scored twice after half time was a blueprint really for how resilient and gutsy our season would go on to be. It was great to get back to winning ways and even better to do it over the old enemy.
Lastly of course the game was significant because it was the game when Dimitar Berbatov finally (in the eyes of the media as well as some of the fans) made his mark at Old Trafford. Berba’s hatrick was absolutely sensational and his second goal – a stunning overhead kick – that still today has to be seen to be believed, was one of the best United goals of all time.
2) Stoke City (A) Won 2-1:
Alike many of our performances early on in the season, our victory over Stoke was another case of us getting the job done when we needed to. Going to the Britannia is never easy and despite us having won there on our previous two visits, it’s a ground where all the top teams have struggled since the Potters gained promotion back in 2008.
Our win on that day was our first away win of the season and coming of the news that Wayne Rooney had signed a new contract extension after only days after supposedly wanting to leave, the result was a real boost to the fans.
Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez stole the headlines on the day with his two goals proving the difference on the day. His first an amazing back header set us on our way and his second a close range finish won the game with four minutes remaining after Tuncay Sanli had equalised for the hosts.
3) Wolves (H) Won 2-1:
This was another game that looking back at now was certainly an important one for us as but for Park Ji Sung’s late winner we would have dropped two points in this game.
Mick McCarthy’s side had defended well but Park’s moment of brilliance in the 93rd minute won the game when his shot after a mazy run crept into the bottom corner of the net. It was a goal that we needed and another sign us getting the job done
Despite Park’s late goal, the game will likely be remembered for the final United apperance for Owen Hargreaves who sadly could only last 5 minutes before hobbling off after surprisingly starting.
4) Aston Villa (A) Drew 2-2:
On the face of it, a draw away at Villa Park is not a bad result. This result for us felt like a win strangely enough as with our unbeaten record still going, we somehow managed to salvage a point from a game that Villa should have won emphatically.
Our first half performance in this game was shocking and it was only due to poor luck that Villa didn’t take a lead going into half time. In the second half we started dreadfully and after some close shaves Villa finally went ahead through an Ashley Young penalty with 18 minutes left.
Four minutes later Villa doubled their lead when Marc Albrigthon finished of a brilliant counter attacking move to seemingly win the game for the hosts.
But incredibly we somehow woke up in the game and five minutes after Villa’s second got back in the game when Kiko Macheda powered home a strike from long range that Brad Friedel could do nothing about.
With that goal our passing and movement came back and there was a sense of predictability in the air when Vidic headed home a Nani cross to get us back on level terms. It was a great comeback which again showed the never-say-die attitude that’s a trademark of the club and it’s players in never knowing when a game is lost.
5) Arsenal (H) Won 1-0:
Going into this game, there was a sense of optimism within the press that Arsenal were seemingly going to end our unbeaten run. Everyone bar-United fans were writing us for this one as with the Gunners going into the game top of the league, they seemingly had the momentum on their side.
The press not for the first time this season were proved wrong, as on a cold Monday night at Old Trafford, our midfield proved the difference on the day as a sole headed goal from Park proved the difference. It was some header by Park who kept up his habit of his of either scoring or playing well against our various title rivals.
Whilst this wasn’t a game that will be remembered as a classic United/Arsenal battle, it was one that gave the boys lots of confidence afterwards in the manner of the victory which was all down to hard-work and concentration, which are two great themes any side wanting to win a league championship must have.
By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87