It was nervous, tense, nail-biting stuff at times, but Manchester United are league champions for the 17th time, after beating Wigan at the JJB Stadium.
Goals in either half from Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs sealed the trophy for United, who have now won 10 titles since the inception of the Premier League. It was only fitting that the goals came from Ronaldo, from the penalty spot for his 41st goal of a prolific season, and Giggs, who joined Sir Bobby Charlton as United’s joint all-time appearance-maker.
Bolton's late equaliser to earn a 1-1 draw against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge means United win the league by two points.
United went into the make-or-break clash buoyed by the return of Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney from injury, as Sir Alex Ferguson fielded a strong attacking side. For all the attacking intent evident in the Reds’ line-up, however, it was the hosts who showed the most promising early signs, as Jason Koumas twice shot wastefullty off-target from decent positions outside the area.
The Reds were undoubtedly on the back foot, but could have sneaked ahead after 15 minutes if Wayne Rooney’s close-range effort hadn’t been deflected wide. Paul Scholes then lashed comfortably wide of Chris Kirkland’s post from 20 yards, but Wigan should have opened the scoring shortly afterwards, passing up two decent chances from corners.
First, Titus Bramble could only fire over the bar after the loose ball had fallen to him, then Marcus Bent planted a free header over the bar. Wigan, although they had nothing to play for other than pride and prize money, were giving it everything they could. Having been in the media spotlight all week, they knew anything less would be scrutinised endlessly.
Ronaldo mustered United’s first effort on target after 25 minutes, but Kirkland was able to paw away his 30-yard free kick in