bloody-minded refusal to accept even a share of the spoils. After that free-flowing abandon had established a seven-point lead going into the turn of the year, it became a matter of wading through games thereafter.
Of course, some are never satisfied. Detractors who bemoaned five months of porous defending have been just as vocal in opposition to the calm, controlled course United have plotted through the second half of the campaign.
Last year, were City’s celebrations muted by the knowledge that United’s complacency was the major factor that handed them the title, or the fact that QPR’s titanic defensive resolve sunk the moment they discovered they were safe from relegation? Not at all, and nor should they be. A title won is a title to savour, invariably won by the best team, and the emergence of City has broadened all emotional parameters for United fans. Lows are lower, highs much higher.
So savour it. There will most likely be a response from the Etihad Stadium next season, while others can also throw themselves into the mix – a stabilised Chelsea would contend – and Sir Alex and his staff will already have their sights trained on meeting those challenges head on.
Until then, it’s party time.