Moments that won Man U the EPL

18 05 2009

manu

So Man United  have won their 18th Premier League title, joining the record haul by rivals Liverpool. They clinched it with a 0-0 draw against Arsenal, and can now look forward to a Champions league date with Barcelona in earnest.

The season has had all sorts of intriguing twists and turns (full season reviews will come after we find out who goes down) but United have been mostly a constant at the top of the league. So here at the fifteen moments that ensured it was Manchester United who took home the championship title.

1. Liverpool sign Robbie Keane. A player Rafa didn’t want, didn’t fit into the system he had, and was treated pretty badly by the Spanish manager by the time he was sold cut-price back to North London.

2. Arsenal lose to Hull. We should have seen the signs early that this wasn’t going to be the year of the Gunner.

3. Ronaldo’s penalty against Bolton. Jllyod Samuel supposedly bought down Ronaldo in the box, but clearly won the ball. United were gifted a penalty and three points. The tide seemed to be turning in United’s favour.

4. Liverpool beat Chelsea at the Bridge. Chelsea’s epic unbeaten run, which made it look like they’d never be beaten at Stamford Bridge was ended by who else but Liverpool, in a game that seemed to end Chelsea’s league season. Confidence shaken, they then lost to Arsenal at home and then they underwent a bad run of form at home that eventually saw the demise of Scolari as manager.

5. Cesc Fabregas ruptures his knee ligaments. Arsenal fail to recover, despite early season promise with wins against United and Chelsea.

6. Tevez scores against Stoke. Man United return from the World Club Cup looking shaken, and it took a last minute Tevez goal against Stoke to secure three points.

7. Rafa loses his mind. Rafa engages in a series of mind games against Sir Alex Ferguson, that seemed to take on a slightly unhinged quality. He starts of by calling Man United nervous, and carries on with that absurd prepared document about all Sir Alex’s misdemenours. Liverpool promptly go on a bad run of form featuring a series of draws.

8. Man United 3 – 0 Chelsea. Ryan Giggs masterminds a United performance that makes them look uncatachable at the top.

9. Berbatov’s last gasp goal. Much derided this season, Berba has had his moments. Indeed, his last gasp winner against Bolton gave United an extra two points.

10. 14 Clean Sheets. United win 12 games and draw two, without conceeding any in a record breaking run. Vidic and Ferdinand are imperious and Van Der Saar does what’s needed on the few times he’s called into action.

11. Boro 2 – 0 Liverpool. Steven Gerrard comes off, Rafa looks slightly crazier, and Liverpool lose to struggling Middlesbrough.

12. Kiko Macheda. Two weeks in a row, the young Italian comes on to score vital goals when United looked like they might slip up. It causes all sorts of rows through Europe about when clubs should be able to sign players, what it doesn’t do is halt United’s title charge.

13. From Russia, With Love. Andrei Arshavin scores all his shots on target to effectively end Liverpool’s title charge. The diminutive Russian bought by Arsene Wenger in a rare rush of blood to the head will surely be a massive impact on Arsenal’s own charge for trophies next season.

14. United 5 – 2 Spurs. United come from two down to turn the game into a rout in their favour. A controversial penalty – which even Howard Webb admitted he got wrong – helped mind.

15. Beating Wigan. Again a ragged United look down and out, this time against Wigan, but goals from Carlos Tevez and Michael Carrick mean United all-but clinch the title, which they confirm in the manner of their season, with an effective nil-nil against Arsenal.

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