1. As you would expect, the Stretford End were showering Edwin Van der Sar with attention in the first half. On one particularly occasion, with his name being sung louder and louder as he went to collect the ball for a goal kick, he looked up to the crowd and grabbed his badge. We love you too, big guy!
2. In the second half, the fans showed off our large and varied song book again, singing for players past and present. One chorus of “Ooh ahh Cantona” was the loudest I can remember hearing it for years. He started it all off for us, the catalyst for our success in 92-93 when we claimed our first title in 26 years, so it was spine tingling to hear him remembered so passionately today.
3. Towards the end of the game, Van der Sar made a great save. In response, Patrice Evra got down on his knees and bowed down to the keeper, in a ‘we are not worthy’ gesture. Edwin grabbed him and pulled him back up on to his feet, embarrassed, before telling him to get on his post for the corner.
4. Who would have thought back in 1997, when Michael Owen was a teenager making a name for himself at Liverpool, that a few years later we’d be overtaking their title record and Owen would be scoring for us on the day the league was won? As if it wasn’t funny enough that their one time hero got to win the league with us anyway, after going 21 years without it themselves, but for Owen to actually score was the icing on the cake.
5. I don’t think there were many inside Old Trafford who actually wanted to see Blackpool relegated. Of course you want to win the last game of the season, whether you’ve won the title or not, but I know I wasn’t alone in hope results elsewhere helped them out. After our players had been given the guard of honour by Blackpool’s ahead of kick-off, I was proud to see our fans applaud the Blackpool players off the pitch. They responded by clapping our fans. Ian Holloway made his way off a minute or so later and even got a song from the Stretford End, whilst he turned and applauded all four stands. Classy stuff from both sides.
6. Whilst waiting for the players to come out, one of the streamer cannons randomly exploded, leaving the organisers running around like blue arsed flies to try and clear up the mess. After the trophy was awarded and the rest of the streamers went off, it took the players’ kids all of two seconds to be running around in and trying to collect the ball of shiney stuff. Mini Fletch #1 and #2 were particularly cute.
7. Evra was handed a French flag with a picture of Cantona on it. He proudly waved this around and posed for photos, before wrapping his son up in it. He then spent about ten minutes chasing him around on the pitch.
8. Rafael and Fabio lifting the trophy together was a lovely moment. The pair of them will be pleased with their contribution this season and it was nice getting to see them celebrating today together. Definitely one for the Da Silva mantelpiece.
9. Van der Sar’s goodbye speech was nice, with him admitting he wishes he had joined the club earlier. It ended with a rousing claim that we were going to get that trophy on Saturday.
10. Nineteen. We did it. Now for twenty…
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