In an alternative universe, with 40 minutes on the clock, Alexis Sanchez played a one-two with Marouane Fellaini against Sevilla, and instead of blasting his shot across at the goalkeeper, the Belgian played a simple pass across the face of goal for Romelu Lukaku to tap in. United go 1-0 up, shut up shop, and progress to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
United were drawn against Bayern Munich in the next round, who are 20 points clear of any other team in the Bundesliga, and are beaten at Old Trafford. Jose Mourinho employed the same gutless tactics that he did against Sevilla but against a superior team they were found out. United suffer an embarrassing 3-0 defeat and chances of them progressing to the next round were slim.
Days later, United travelled to the Etihad with their heads down and exhausted from the defensive efforts against the German champions. At half-time, United were 5-0 behind, thanks to a hattrick from Raheem Sterling. “Stand up for the champions!” is sung throughout the break. In the second half, thanks to passionate speeches from Mourinho, Ashley Young and Michael Carrick, United managed to pull one back.
At the final whistle, there was a pitch invasion, as City supporters celebrated the title win. This was a moment for the history books. City weren’t able to match the crushing 6-1 victory of years gone by, but their emphatic scoreline saw them crowned champions. City have claimed the record for the earliest title win in Premier League history and they did it against their Mancunian rivals.
The United players rushed down the tunnel while the three tiers of the away end were forced to watch on. The fireworks from the roof were set off, with light blue sparkles lighting the sky. Chants that would be sung for decades to come lauding this momentous occasion were created.
Four days later, United travelled to Germany, where Bayern saw out a 1-0 victory to secure their place in the Champions League semi-finals.
All in all, it was a week from hell for United.