As Mikel Arteta smashed in Arsenals winner against Manchester City at The Emirates last year, the obituaries were being written for Roberto Mancini's men.
An 8 point gap seemed insurmountable, especially as United were the leaders. If there is one thing 'Fergie' can get his United sides to do, it's win titles.
However after two defeats, a draw, and the most dramatic final day in Premier league history, United watched on, as their "noisy neighbours" literally snatched the title out from under their noses.
But this time around, even with 12 games to go, United are well equipped to kick on and wrestle the title back from the Blue side of Manchester.
Losing the title on goal difference was a bitter blow for United. However with the addition of Robin van Persie, one of the top goal scorers in world football, United are scoring freely this year.
Despite some defensive problems, even when they have conceded goals, they still have enough potency in attack to win games.
With the Dutchman topping the goal scoring charts, with nineteen to his name, and the likes of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez also contributing to the goal tally, (the Mexican holding the best goal per minutes ratio out of any striker in the league), It is clear to see that after losing the title on goal difference last year, Sir Alex Ferguson sees his certainly has enough goals in his side this time around.
Unlike 12 months ago, this just doesn't seem to be their year. Last season their key players performed well. Vincent Kompany, Sergio Aguero and David Silva all helped them to their first title in forty-four years.
This year, Kompany has struggled with a recurring calf problem, while Aguero's injuries along with his marital issues have meant he has struggled to find the net consistently.
Silva’s form has also dipped as he seems to be struggling from "second season syndrome", a problem maybe linked to Aguero's absence also.
Even their goalkeeper has began to make uncharacteristic mistakes, with this weekends 3-1 defeat to Southampton a game he will look to forget.
United on the other hand look strong, fresh and ready to grab the title back. The loss of Nemanja Vidic for the majority of last season was a big factor in their late collapse as May approached. To win the Premier League, luck must be on your side and this season, it seems City are out of luck.
Ferguson will not let his side get complacent:
For all of City's heroics deep into added time at the Ethiad last year, the fact of the matter is that United threw the title away.
While the fight back from the blue side of Manchester was admirable, United only had themselves to blame. A shock defeat to Wigan, as well as a late collapse against Everton which saw them lose a two-goal, where uncharacteristic mistakes from a title-chasing United side, usually so clinical come the business end of the season.
Unlike many of Ferguson's previous title winning sides, they failed to deliver the knockout punch when their opponents were there for the taking.
Those players who felt the heart ache at the end of the final game of last season, against Sunderland, will use that pain to drive themselves on this year. The strength of United over the past twenty years, has been present in that they always have bounced back to claim their place at the top, when their rivals have won the title. This year seems to be no different.
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