The day United won the title at Wigan

Thursday 04 January 2024 09:00

With a finale that could not have been scripted better, Manchester United won Premier League title number 10 away to Monday's Emirates FA Cup opponents Wigan Athletic in 2007/08.

Ryan Giggs, a player who had been heavily involved in each of those triumphs, coming through the ranks at the club, was introduced as a substitute with the destiny of the trophy still in the balance.

Sir Alex Ferguson may have been thinking of his horse-racing connections when he uttered afterwards: "As soon as the rain came down, I knew I should get Giggsy on because he loves the soft ground."

This was a special occasion in itself for the Reds veteran. As his 758th appearance for the club, it equalled the long-standing record set by the great Sir Bobby Charlton.

It's fate as Ryan Giggs seals another Premier League title for the Reds.

"It's special," Giggs admitted. "I'm not going to play it down."

You see, the score was 1-0 to the Reds at the time. Wayne Rooney, an injury doubt for the last-day clash, had earned a penalty when being flattened by Emmerson Boyce inside the box. Cristiano Ronaldo stepped up to confidently tap the penalty past Chris Kirkland and everything was very much going to plan, with 33 minutes on the clock.

Yet there was plenty of time for more twists and turns, with title rivals Chelsea facing Bolton Wanderers in their fixture and needing to better United's result due to our superior goal difference.

Wigan were upset Paul Scholes was not shown a second yellow card, for a foul on future Red Antonio Valencia, while Rio Ferdinand escaped a shout for handball inside his own box.

Another spot-kick appeal was thwarted, when Titus Bramble felled Scholes, and, when Emile Heskey went close for Steve Bruce's side, it became clear the contest was far from over.

Things were getting nervy but Owen Hargreaves and Giggs were brought on, in a bid to see the job through. And Giggs was never going to be merely content with playing a supporting role in our 17th league title success.

Rooney threaded a pass into the feet of the Welshman, with 10 minutes remaining, and he steadied himself before stroking home with the most trusty of left feet. The release of joy was memorable, Sir Alex jigging on the touchline. and the away fans going crazy.

Wigan Athletic 0 United 2 Video

Wigan Athletic 0 United 2

11 May 2008: United faced the Latics on the final day knowing that a win would seal a second successive championship...

Bolton scored a late equaliser at Chelsea, to ensure United finished as champions by two points, with sights swiftly switched to the Londoners providing the next challenge, in the UEFA Champions League final in Moscow, where there would be more rain and more celebrations.

"Sometimes, you don't have the words to say what it feels like to be a champion," said first scorer Ronaldo. "It's amazing. When the ref finished the game at the DW Stadium, you can say 'we are the champions'. The feeling is great because we have worked for nine months to win this title. I feel very proud, very happy and everything."

Ferguson acknowledged: "It's fantastic for Giggsy. Maybe it's fate but he deserves it."