At the start of the 2010/2011 season, Chelsea were run away favourites and Manchester United looked to have their weakest squad in years as they undergo a rebuilding faze. Fast forward nine months later, and no one could have imagined that United would be pipping Chelsea to a record 19th title in search of the much sought after double.
"We just need one point now and I think, knowing the players, they'll get their point - there's no doubt about that,” Sir Alex Ferguson said of his side, straight after United defeated Chelsea 2-1 yesterday to come within a pinch of the title.
"To win the 19th title would be fantastic. To be the most successful team in the country in terms of championship victories... the minute we won for the first time in 1992, the door opened for us. It's an incredible achievement."
United have been looking to beat Liverpool’s record of 18 titles for years – after losing last season to Chelsea by just one point in the race for their 19th Barclays Premier League trophy, it all came to a showdown in Old Trafford once more for who would take this season’s title rights. And this time, Ferguson and the United squad were making no mistakes.
"We do it all the time, take it to the very wire," Ferguson said.
"We could've scored six in the second half!
"We had lots of chances but we expected a tough game and got a tough game. I thought we were brilliant and it was a fantastic start.
“Petr Cech made two fantastic saves but it was a good team performance. When we gave the ball away for their goal, understandably it was a bit nervous but the fans helped us a lot.
"We kept creating chances and Wayne Rooney could've scored six. Credit to the players because they deserve it."
Refereeing performances have sparked controvercy surrounding Ferguson, and while there were some decisions by Howard Webb during the Chelsea match that the United manager disagreed with, Ferguson isn’t dwelling on them.
"I can only say if we end up winning the title we didn't need the referees to give us anything and that's even more pleasing," Ferguson said.
Now United need one draw from their meetings with Blackburn away and Blackpool at home to clinch the title. And with the high confidence the team have of achieving this feat, Ferguson is looking forward to Champions League glory against Barcelona.
"In the next few weeks we've got to be doing some work on Barcelona," Ferguson said.
"But we've got to get a point at Blackburn [first]."
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