NEWS & FEATURES

The road to victory: title no.14

Played: 38
Won: 24
Drew: 8
Lost: 6

Goals For: 79
Goals Against: 31
Biggest win: 6-0 v Bradford City (H)

14/05/2011 16:00
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Title by title: 2000/01

Three titles in a row. Just as the league and Cup double was a rare old bird until United began making a habit of it during the 1990s, three titles on the trot had only been won by three teams in history. And the only modern one was Liverpool in their 1980s heyday. As the song goes, anything you can do...

A good start was made when Sir Alex secured the services of French World Cup winner and part-time showman Fabien Barthez from Monaco, and even though the signing of Dutch goal machine Ruud van Nistelrooy from PSV appeared to be off after he snapped his cruciate ligament during training, United, a country mile stronger than the opposition, seemed to have a fine nucleus of players to work with.

The fact that we ended the season shipping 14 fewer goals than in 1999/2000 suggests considerable work had been done behind the scenes on the defensive side. And although this campaign wasn't the most dramatic of our Premiership triumphs, especially in the post-Christmas period, it was solid, reassuring stuff: stamped with the authority and assurance of champions from the word go.

It was a one-horse race as early as February, when Arsenal came to Old Trafford looking to claw back a few points, only to return well and truly spanked 6-1. Dwight Yorke's first-half hat-trick took just 19 minutes, and Arsenal ended the day 16 points behind us.

Six weeks later, what we'd all known for months was confirmed as Roy Keane got his hands on the Premiership trophy once again. The 10-point winning margin over Arsenal - the Reds averaging more than two goals a game once again - would surely have been closer to the previous season's points record had anyone been able to push us harder.

Points tally: 80
Nearest challenger: Arsenal (70 points)
Most appearances: Gary Neville (32)
Top scorer: Teddy Sheringham (15)

Player of the season: Teddy Sheringham
Freed from tension at last by 1999's Treble, Teddy's 15 goals came at just under

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