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United Have Their Trophy Back!

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One more victory, one more precious three points, and what has seemed inevitable for weeks has became a reality. Manchester United have claimed the 20th top division crown, which has now given the club a two title lead over great rivals Liverpool.

And Manchester City may well return with a strong assault next season, but the hinted power shift from red to blue appears once again premature.

When Sergio Aguero broke the hearts of United supporters up and down the country,  and round the world, with his famous last gasp winner in May last year, Man City had achieved the minimum requirement that their vast wealth and monumental spending power made necessary. Their Sheikh owners would have expected nothing less.

But for United, it was simply a setback that was not unfamiliar despite their status as perennial trophy winners; the message from the players, and one which resonated with the United faithful was “we’ll be back”.

And back they were. Buoyed by the signings of Robin van Persie from Arsenal, and Borussia Dortmund’s impressive young Japanese international Shinji Kagawa, a dodgy start awat to Everton, and a perhaps undeserved turnaround against Premier League new boys Southampton were quickly put to bed United quickly found their stride. Victories against Fulham, Wigan Athletic and Liverpool put United up to second, and fears of a hangover from a trophyless season were eased.

The only other slip up in the first three months of the season came at the hands of Tottenham Hotspur, and in truth it was an unfortunate defeat, with Nani and Kagawa’s second half goals not enough to grab the draw, Spurs running out 3-2 winners. A run of five league wins, against Newcastle United, Stoke City, Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa put the Red Devils right where they wanted to be, at the top of the table.

At the same time, City were struggling to reach the heights of what was undoubtedly their best moment for many decades. The goals weren’t flowing as they were a year ago, and coupled with defensive culpability that had not been there in the previous campaign, City quickly got acquainted with the idea that a league title defence is not an easy thing to pull off.

Having said that, they did not suffer a Premier League defeat until Derby Day in December. The sight of van Persie curling a last-gasp free-kick past Joe Hart at least eased a slice of the pain that United fans felt last May.

United slipped to defeat on one more occasion before Christmas, and indeed the last time they would lose until the reverse game against City. Antony Pilkington grabbed his moment of history for Norwich in their 1-0 victory, but little was the football world to know that it would be months before a team ran out winners against the reds. 1-1 draws at Swansea City and Tottenham’s White Hart Lane were the only matches until April that United did not collect the three points from a match.

With City losing four matches, and dropping points all over the shop, United took advantage, and at various points have held 15 or 18 point leads. The final nail in the metaphorical coffin looks like having been put in place by Tottenham, who overturned a 1-0 deficit against City courtesy of Samir Nasri, to spectacularly record a 3-1 victory, on a day when Sky Sports Super Sunday lived up to its name, at least for fans of the Manchester Red persuasion.

Disappointing exits to Chelsea in both the FA Cup and Capital One Cup, and the defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League last 16, which will continue to rankle fans for years to come, are blots on the copybook for a team used to competing on all fronts  to the end.

But the ultimate aim of claiming the trophy back will in all likelihood be sealed in the next week. With van Persie and unsung midfield lynchpin Michael Carrick up for PFA Player of the Year gongs, and Danny Welbeck nominated for Young Player of the Year, the good times have most definitely returned to United this season.

Our trophy has come home.

By Daniel Matcham @boymetworld91

2 thoughts on “United Have Their Trophy Back!”

  1. 'Our' Trophy ……look at the names on it and see that every time some stuffy outfit wins it, we return and take it back.

    If you want to doubt it then come and try and get it. United own that trophy.

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