Manchester United are 12 points clear at the top of the English Premier League and now look certain to win the championship for the 20th time in the club’s history. A 2-0 win against Everton on Sunday helped them establish that lead after Manchester City lost to Southampton the previous day.
In last season’s corresponding fixture with Everton, United conceded two late goals which meant the match was drawn. They then lost to City in the next match and missed out on the league on goal difference. City scored two goals in injury time of their last fixture to beat Queens Park Rangers and clinch their first title in England for 24 years.
Ferguson has been the manager of Manchester United since 1986. When he was appointed his objective was to knock Liverpool ‘off their perch’, the team that were dominating English football at the time. That goal has now been achieved as this season’s title will mean United have been champions on two more occasions than their great rivals in the North West of England.
The first goal in the win over Everton was scored by Ryan Giggs (pictured) who has now scored in each season of the Premier League and found the net for 23 seasons in succession. The veteran Welsh player may well sign a contract that will see him play for United in his fortieth year.
United’s second goal was scored by Robin van Persie. Ferguson signed him from Arsenal last summer to ensure that United would never again lose out on a title on goal difference while he was the manager. Van Persie has now scored 23 goals in all competitions and looks the most obvious candidate to be named Footballer of the Year.
United won the Premier League, Champions League and FA Cup in the 1998-99 season and no other English side has achieved that treble. The squad for that season included four strikers who all made a vital contribution to the cause. However, Ferguson believes his current quartet is even better than that vintage.
In addition to van Persie, Wayne Rooney is now at his peak and Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez are waiting in reserve if the two main strikers are injured or require a rest. In any case, United could well emulate the side of 1998-99, and Ferguson is well equipped to rotate his players to give his side the best chance of winning more trophies this season.