By Matt Dodd.
1) Done and dusted
Champions. It’s rarely done the easy way with Manchester United, and Saturday was no different. A 73rd minute spot-kick from Wayne Rooney rescued a point for United against Blackburn, and that was just enough to secure a historic 19th league title. Although it wasn’t a convincing performance, Sir Alex will be delighted to have the title wrapped up a week early, so he has the luxury of resting whoever he likes for Sunday’s game against Blackpool with the Champions League final in mind at the end of the month.
2) Domestic kings
Of course, it is United’s 19th league title which overtakes Liverpool’s total of 18. Even Sir Alex did not envisage that this feat would be possible, but the day has arrived, and it’s definitely worth saving. Man United fans sang “Are you watching Merseyside?!” and I’m sure now United have knocked the scousers off their domestic perch, they will surely be thinking about knocking them off their European one.
3) Same old away story
Yet again this season, United were below-par away from home. Fergie and co are able to boast a near-perfect home record this season (W 17/ D 1/ L 0), yet when the team travel to other English grounds, it seems to be a completely different team that turns up. United were lacklustre against Blackburn, especially in the first-half and the Rovers deservedly took the lead through Brett Emerton. Despite an improved second-half, which saw United draw level, the performance was by no means convincing – and that will surely be something that Fergie will have to look at for next season.
4) Bye-bye Kuszczak?
Probably not the best of displays to end his 5 years at United. The Polish ‘keeper made a gallery of errors, including one which led to Emerton’s goal, which could have cost United the game. Kuszczak has had five seasons at Old Trafford, four of which have been title winning years. However, he has only made a mere 32 league appearances for United in half a decade. A month ago, he declared that he would be leaving United at the end of the season, and, despite making a number of mistakes, it’s surely not a bad way for the Pole to bow out – seeing United win a historic 19th title.
5) Party time then Wembley
Win, lose or draw at Old Trafford on Sunday, there will be a party. Although it was only two years ago, it seems like a lifetime since United lifted the prestigious trophy in Manchester against Arsenal following a 0-0 draw. Blackpool will be fighting for their lives, and Fergie may opt to play a weaker team – so a tricky game is certainly on the cards. But whatever the result, there will be special, memorable scenes at Old Trafford on Sunday. And then when the party is over, and the hangover has passed – the focus must turn to Barcelona.
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