Manchester United won their 13th Premier League trophy on Monday night with a thumping 3-0 win over Aston Villa and have now been crowned League Champions of England for 20th time.
This season has been all about Manchester United’s recovery after last season’s dramatic last minute loss to Manchester City in the title race.
There were to be no repeats of a slip up this time as Manchester United had virtually wrapped up the title with eight games remaining after amassing a 15 point lead over nearest rivals Manchester City.
This victory now means Manchester United go two league titles clear of 18 times winners Liverpool who have now failed to win a single league trophy in the 21 years since the inception of the Premier League.
Liverpool’s glory days have faded away and to say that Manchester United have the dominant force in England since the creation of the Premier League would not be an understatement.
Manchester United's heart breaking loss last season proved to be the catalyst that motivated the club to strive for the right results this term. They have since looked like a team possessed, winning 25 out of their first 30 games.
Here we assess the factors behind the comprehensible manner in which Manchester United won the title ahead of rivals Manchester City
Best player | Michael Carrick
Although Robin van Persie will get all the plaudits because of his goal-scoring and assisting talents it is Michael Carrick who has been the ever-present force in the Manchester United squad this season.
Carrick’s composure, his passing ability and the aptitude to pick out a pass in tight situations has made Michael Carrick United’s best player this season.
A simple measure of his significance can be gauged by the accolades being showered over him in recent weeks as his customary status as unsung hero of the club has been revoked.
Michael Carrick deserves the hero status that he has been designated to for taking over the mantle from an aging Paul Scholes and papering over Manchester United’s midfield cracks.
Worst player | Antonio Valencia
The irony is that Antonio Valencia is at this point enjoying a tentative resurgence in form, but there is no question that Valencia's form has been wayward this season. A high-quality crosser of the ball Valencia’s crossing has often let his team down this season. Injuries have hindered his progress this season and he seems a shadow of the player whose lightning fast pace coupled with his deadly crossing ability made him the dread of full backs throughout England. Even with his indifferent form the Ecuadorean looks the least likely to be sold this summer.
Significant Moment of the Season | Derby Victory over Manchester City
Manchester United’s win over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium in December proved to be the turning point of the season with City only two points adrift of Manchester United at that moment the match was an all out football festival.
Robin van Persie’s injury time winner won the match for Manchester United in the most dramatic of fashions and took United five points clear of their rivals. The importance of that match could not have been gauged at that moment but in retrospect a win for City and they would have been top of the league and how different the landscape of the Premier League would have panned out is up for debate.
Five most important wins
Chelsea (away) 3-2, October
Aston Villa (away) 3-2, November
Manchester City (away) 3-2, December
Newcastle United (home) 4-3, December
Everton (home) 2-0, February
Goal of the season | Robin van Perise vs Aston Villa
Manchester United’s main striker’s return to form came at the right moment for United along with “the goal of the century” as described by Sir Alex Ferguson.
Wayne Rooney’s 40-yard pass was volleyed into the back of the net from 20 yards out with sublime ease. The second best goal went to Rafael for his outstanding effort against Queens Park Rangers.
Weakest point | Midfield
Manchester United’s weakest link still seems to be their midfield with Anderson still not fulfilling his potential, Tom Cleverley still not the finished package, Darren Fletcher out injured and both Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes coming towards the end of their illustrious careers.
It is a fair assessment that United’s midfield is in a serious need of a over haul this summer. The current midfielders at United’s disposal seem to be faring well in England but it is in European Competitions that Manchester United struggle to dictate terms.
Possible Departure | Nani
A player who promised so much and delivered so little, Nani is almost certain to say goodbye to United and move to greener pastures in search of football. Nani’s contradictory performances ranging from to stellar to below mediocre have infuriated United fans and manager alike.
Star of next season | Shinji Kagawa
There is a lot more to come from the Japanese international from the glimpses of brilliance that he has shown this season. With injuries hampering his settlement at the club Kagawa is definitely a player to watch next season.
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