PREMIER LEAGUE / LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

 

PREMIER LEAGUE / LEAGUE DIVISION ONE

Manchester United have won a record 20 English league titles - two more than closest rivals Liverpool, who were last crowned champions way back in 1990.

The Reds' total comprises 13 Premier League titles (since 1992) and seven First Division Championships (pre-1992).

The club's first League Championship was secured in 1908, six years after the name of Newton Heath - league entrants in 1892 - was changed to Manchester United. A second title followed in 1911 but it wasn’t until after the Second World War, when United really became a force in English football under the leadership of Sir Matt Busby.

The Reds finished league runners-up in 1947, 1948, 1949 and 1951 before winning a third League Championship in 1952. The next few years were to see the birth of the famed Busby Babes. More Championships followed in 1956 and 1957 before the tragic events of the Munich air crash, which claimed the lives of 21 people, including eight United players. Busby rebuilt his team successfully in the 1960s, winning the title again in 1965 and 1967.

United had to endure a long wait of 26 years for the next title (finishing runners-up on four occasions in the meantime). Sir Alex Ferguson was the man who masterminded the triumph in the inaugural Premier League season, in 1993. The Reds have since dominated the top flight with titles in 1994, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2013 .

United's title triumph of 2008/09 was achieved despite a slow start to the campaign and the rigours of fighting for seven trophies (the Club World Cup, Champions League, Premier League, FA Cup, Carling Cup, UEFA Super Cup and Community Shield). The Reds eventually clicked into gear, finishing the league season in style with 18 wins from the final 21 games. Only a point was required against Arsenal on the penultimate weekend, and a goalless draw at Old Trafford secured United's 11th title since the Premier League began and the club's 18th League Championship overall.

After Chelsea won the Double under Carlo Ancelotti, the Reds wrestled the title back to Old Trafford with a success based on the foundation of an incredible home record. After the West Londoners were beaten in front of a jubilant home crowd in a virtual title decider, a point at Blackburn sealed the 12th league success of Sir Alex's remarkable reign with Wayne Rooney's penalty ensuring United could not be caught at the top.

That championship set a new record for the English top flight of 19 titles, but United were made to wait for the 20th after missing out in the following season by the most agonising of margins - local rivals Manchester City snatching the prize in the dying seconds of their final league match.

Stung by this, the Reds vowed to bounce back and did so in style, actually winning the 2012/13 title race with four games to spare by romping ahead of City. Summer 2012 signing Robin van Persie underlined the impact he'd made in his debut season by scoring a hat-trick in the decisive 3-0 win over Aston Villa on 22 April 2013.