1st: Money, money, money
United are named the richest club in the World, worth £0.9 billion, rising from £0.7 billion of last season.
2nd: Another award for Ronaldo
After being named the PFA Player of the Year for the second season running, he matches that with a consecutive Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year award.
3rd: West Ham home
After our defeat to Chelsea at the end of last month, we could not afford to drop any more points. Winning our last two games meant our crown was retained at the very least thanks to goal difference.
West Ham had a history of throwing a spanner in the work for us, last denying us of the league title in 1995. We missed out on the opportunity to relegate them on the last day of the season in 2007, losing to them at home after the title had been won a fortnight previously. Surely that wasn’t going to be something we’d live to regret.
This year, Carlos Tevez was playing in the red of Manchester United and let rip on the West Ham goal with less than half an hour played. He struck the ball beautifully, scoring his best United goal to date.
By this point, United were already 2-0 up thanks to two goals from Ronaldo. It might as well have been game over.
Dean Ashton got one back for the visitors, scoring a great overhead kick, that was applauded by the United and West Ham fans alike. Then, just to keep us on our toes, Nani received his marching orders before half time, meaning we had to hold on to our two goal margin for over 45 minutes with just 10 men.
It was business as usual in the second half though, with the only goal falling to United, as former Hammer Michael Carrick scored our fourth.
Sir Alex Ferguson gave a speech at the end of the match as the players assembled in the centre circle. He was full of praise for both the players and the fans, speaking of our next games to follow. There were two games until the end of our season, which could win us the titles of Champions of England and Champions of Europe. It was odd to say goodbye to our home season without knowing whether we were applauding what would become Double winners or not, as they performed their lap of honour.
11th: Wigan away
Knowing what hung on today’s game, I imagine I wasn’t alone in being pretty terrified before kick-off. It’s only Wigan, we’ll be fine… but there was that nagging doubt. What if we didn’t show up? What if all the decisions went against us? What if it was ‘one of those days’ where we’d see shot after shot come back off the woodwork.
Our nerves were settled when with half an hour played, Ronaldo put away a penalty with ease. There were no jitters after his miss at the Nou Camp, he knew what he needed to do. Rooney had been fouled in the box and Bennett showed no hesitation in pointing to the spot.
It wasn’t until an hour played that the pressure really started to pile up. Shevchenko put Chelsea 1-0 up, meaning any Wigan goal now could cost us the title.
With ten minutes to play, none other than Ryan Giggs stepped up to the plate, finishing perfectly from a lovely Wayne Rooney ball. He ran in front of our travelling fans, ecstatic, knowing that was the goal that confirmed we’d be English champions again.
12th: Award for Fergie
The League Managers Association deemed Sir Alex Ferguson the best.
13th: Ronaldo at the right club
“I’m at the right club, playing with the right players and I learn things all the time,” Ronaldo said. “That’s what great about being at United. I improve all the time and I want to improve every season. I think I’m a better player now than five years ago. This season has been a great one for me – I’ve scored a lot of goals, the team have played very well and we’re champions. It’s amazing.”
15th: Rio signs
“To be able to stay at Manchester United for another five years is something I wanted desperately,” Ferdinand said. “This is a fantastic club and I am definitely very happy after signing a new contract. You see the surroundings, training every day at Carrington and playing in front of 70,000-odd fans every week, what more could you ask for? It is a great honour to be part of this trophy winning team and to share in the success, which I am sure, will continue for many seasons to come.”
17th: Carrick signs
“I am delighted Michael has signed a new contract,” said Ferguson. “Michael has been outstanding since joining us from Tottenham and it is great to know he will be a part of this squad for many years to come.”
18th: Ronaldo feels at home
“The boss is the reason I am here in the club,” said Ronaldo. “He helped me a lot, not just this season but the seasons before. I feel very good at the club. I want to carry on like that. I have many friends here in the club. I have been at the club five years and I know everyone now – the staff, the players – and I feel like this is my home.”
20th: Solskjaer’s given Reserve job
“We see this as a progressive move as Ole finalises getting his coaching badges,” said Ferguson. “He is doing very well and we are very pleased because he has the right character. One thing you need in coaching is patience and Ole has that in abundance.”
21st: European Cup final
United created enough chances to be three up at half time against Liverpool, but a ridiculous unfortunate deflection between our defenders, followed by a slip from Van der Sar, saw Chelsea get back in to the game.
All the domination and chances we had in the first half were in vain because were drawing 1-1 and Chelsea had the stronger of second halves.
Neither side were willing to commit when extra time came about and an incident that boiled out of nothing saw Didier Drogba sent off. The penny dropped. Chelsea are one penalty taker down, if we got to that… which we did.
Tevez and Carrick but their penalties away with ease, before our goalscorer, Ronaldo, took an uncharacteristically weak penalty. Chelsea carried on putting away their penalties, as we waited for them to miss and go on sudden death. But they hadn’t missed and John Terry was walking up, fidgeting with his captain’s armband. It was more than I could stand. Losing the European Cup on penalties was one thing, losing to Chelsea was even worse, but for John Terry to be the one to win it for them, I just couldn’t bear it. I couldn’t bear even more eulogising over this cunt, not only as England captain, British bulldog, and all-round superhero, but now as the captain of the European Champions, scoring the deciding penalty. It was agony.
The celebrations that came when Terry’s penalty came back off the post were as though we had just won the Cup, we might as well have done. All their players who had volunteered to take a penalty had been used, with Anelka shunning his responsibility, whilst United still had the likes of Anderson, who had been subbed on just to take a penalty, and old pro Ryan Giggs.
With Anelka needing to score to stop United from winning, Van der Sar looked Anelka in the eye and kept pointing to his left. When Anelka struck to the ball to Van der Sar’s right, our keeper was there to palm it away. We are the Champions of Europe again!
29th: Real accept Ron defeat
“You can’t buy what the owner does not want to sell,” said Calderon. “Real Madrid are friends with Manchester United and we do not want to fall out with them.”
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