Last weekend, Manchester United picked up their first piece of silverware in some six years when they defeated Newcastle United at Wembley Stadium. Online bookmakers compared by OddsChecker had made the Red Devils the favourites for success, however they still needed to get the job done. Two goals in six first-half minutes from Caesmiro and Marcus Rashford had the game wrapped up at halftime, with the Magpies never truly threatening throughout the second period.
The last time the Old Trafford club managed to win a trophy was way back in the 2016/17 season. That year, Jose Mourinho led United to the UEFA Europa League, as well as the League Cup and the Community Shield, completing a treble of sorts.
With Erik Ten Hag’s side finally managing to pick up some silverware, the club’s Dutch manager finally has fans dreaming that a climb back to the Premier League’s summit could be on the cards. United are currently eight points behind league leaders Arsenal with 14 matches remaining, and they are clinging on to their slight title hopes.
In honour of the club’s League Cup success, we take a look back at the last time United claimed the Premier League for a record-breaking 20th time. The season was 2012/13 – exactly a decade ago – and it was a special one for Manchester United. After narrowly missing out on the title to rivals Manchester City in the previous season, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were determined to make amends and reclaim their throne atop the Premier League. And that is exactly what they did.
The Arrival of Robin van Persie
The start of the 2012/13 season saw one major addition to the Manchester United side – Dutch striker Robin van Persie, who arrived from Arsenal in a £24 million deal. His partnership with Wayne Rooney proved to be devastating for opposing teams as the two combined for 38 goals over the course of the season. Van Persie scored an impressive 26 goals alone, winning him both his first Premier League title and Golden Boot award.
Big Wins Against Big Rivals
Manchester United faced off against all of their big rivals over the course of the campaign, and their performances on enemy territory were crucial to their title success. Back in September, they came from behind at Anfield to pick up a 2-1 victory, with van Persie bagging a late winner. The following month a late Javier Hernandez goal gave them a 3-2 victory over nine-man Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, with the Blues having Branislav Ivanovic and Fernando Torres both dismissed within six minutes of each other in the second half.
United would also defeat Manchester City at the Etihad courtesy of a last-gasp Robin van Persie free-kick, as well as picking up points on the road away at both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.
The 2012/13 season marked Sir Alex Ferguson’s last in charge of Manchester United before he retired at the end of the campaign. He had been managing the club since 1986 and had led them to thirteen league titles during his tenure – making him one of football’s most successful managers ever. This final title was especially sweet given that it was achieved after being pipped to it by their arch-rivals just one year earlier, and it was the icing on top of the cake of a wonderful career.
The 2012/13 season will always be remembered as one of Manchester United’s most triumphant campaigns ever – not only because they reclaimed their crown as England’s top team but also because it marked Sir Alex Ferguson’s final achievement with them before he retired after 27 years at Old Trafford. New signing Robin van Persie played a huge part in this success, forming an unstoppable partnership with Wayne Rooney up front while helping them achieve notable wins away at some of their biggest rivals.