By Mikey Jordan
Title Number 20, surely now nothing more than a formality for the red side of Manchester, and instead of being just another day and just another fixture, the 22nd April could now become a part of the history of the Premier League’s most successful club.
There is little doubt that at the start of the season ‘United v Villa’ wasn’t the first fixture that United fans would have been looking for, that’s if they looked for it at all, and it was hardly seen as being a fixture or a day that would hold such significance in the race for the league title, but a late slip up against Spurs at White Hart Lane saw Man City on the wrong side of a 3-1 score line, and left the door wide open for United to reclaim their crown, which will be their 5th in the last 7 seasons.
Sir Alex Ferguson’s intentions were well and truly clear when he came to United, to knock Liverpool off their perch, and any Manchester United fan will remember the day when they claimed their 19th League Title. All of that seems long in the past now, before the blue side of Manchester were ever realistic title contenders, and before they broke United hearts across the globe by snatching the title in the cruelest of ways.
A win against Villa at Old Trafford is enough for United to take the title though, by opening a 16 point gap, with City only having 15 points left to play for, but in what has arguably been less than a stellar season, the delirium that would come with claiming a 20th crown isn’t all that there is to play for. The opportunity to mend some of the heartache of last season, the chance to further rub the salt into the wounds of Liverpool by opening the gap yet further in terms of league titles, and to once again silence the noisy neighbours.
It would be unfair to Aston Villa to say that it is already decided, but it is more than difficult to see Sir Alex’s side slipping up, with United not having lost to Villa since 2009, and what will surely be a packed Old Trafford already set to party mode.
There will likely be lingering thoughts in the minds of United fans about what might have been, if only they had won their controversial Champions League tie against Real Madrid, if only they hadn’t thrown away a two goal lead to Chelsea in the FA Cup, could they have won more? Should they have won more? But ultimately it is all in the past. With the league title now all but wrapped up, United fans can begin to look to the future. The potential for a record points total in the league, the excitement of new arrivals including Wilfried Zaha, and with the old master showing no signs of calling it a day, who knows? Maybe a second treble for the Scotsman and the club is just a season away. One things is for sure though, United are well and truly back on top of English Football.
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