The road to victory: title no.19

Played: 38
Won: 23
Drew: 11
Lost: 4

Goals For: 78
Goals Against: 37

Biggest win: 7-1 v Blackburn (H)

14/05/2011 16:00, Report by Nick Coppack
1 of 2 Next 

Title by title: 2010/11

Manchester United's record 19th English league title – the team’s 12th under Sir Alex Ferguson’s stewardship – was secured on the penultimate day of the season as the Reds came from behind to draw 1-1 at Blackburn Rovers.

In a topsy-turvy, roller-coaster ride of a season, the experience of Sir Alex's squad ultimately paid dividends in the title run-in, with a May win over Chelsea at Old Trafford all but securing the silverware.

The biggest contribution to the 19th league title, though, was the team’s sparkling home form. Of United’s 18 Old Trafford league games, the Reds won 17 and drew one. The team's home form meant a few bumps on the road could be absorbed. Not that there were many defeats, mind you. In fact, Sir Alex’s men didn’t lose in the league until February, at Wolves, but then lost at Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal. The real stumbling block was the side’s inability before Christmas to turn away draws into wins: six of the seven away games in 2010 yielded only a point.

Perhaps because the Reds weren't consistently scintillating, the side attracted plenty of criticism. Some even dared to suggest this team was the worst assembled since the trophyless class of 2004/05. And yet, from mid-December, United were top of the league at the conclusion of every single round of fixtures. Worthy winners, surely?

In many ways, 2010/11's success was a collective victory rather than one built on an individual's brilliance. Sure, there were outstanding contributions from the likes of Nemanja Vidic (the Barclays Player of the Season), Dimitar Berbatov (Golden Boot winner), Nani (the league's top goal-maker) and Wayne Rooney (who will ever forget his magnificent overhead kick against Manchester City?), but there was no player substantially more important than another, no player who bore the burden of knowing that if he didn't play well the team didn't either.

Rooney, for instance, who almost single-handedly kept United in the title race in 2009/10, blew hot and cold, and almost not at all for the first half of the campaign. The striker, who came close to leaving the club in October before

1 of 2 Next