How the title was won: The vital 15 minutes where United won #19
Date: Saturday 1 January 2011
Game: West Brom 1-2 Manchester United
Wayne Rooney headed in the first Premier League goal of 2011 inside 3 minutes before West Brom’s defence had got out of bed. To think this was an easy win for Manchester United was a mistake. James Morrison scored a spectacular equaliser in the 14th minute, before West Brom had a legitimate shout for a penalty when Gary Neville brought down Graeme Dorrans inside the penalty area as the last man. Manchester United rode their luck in this New Year’s encounter and were fortunate not to be behind as Peter Odemwingie scuffed a second half penalty wide, before Javier Hernandez was left unmarked from a corner to head home Manchester United’s winner in the 75th minute.
Result: Manchester United are ahead of Manchester City on goal difference with 2 games in hand, having played their 19th of the season on New Year’s day.
Date: Tuesday 25 January 2011
Game: Blackpool 2-3 Manchester United
Craig Cathcart and DJ Campbell had stunningly given Blackpool a 2-0 half time lead over Manchester United on a cold Tuesday night at Bloomfield Road. Sir Alex Ferguson may have got under his side’s skin at half time, and introduced Ryan Giggs for Darron Gibson at the break. Blackpool started to tire in the second half and the comeback was started in the 72nd minute; 6 minutes after Javier Hernandez was introduced for Wayne Rooney. Dimitar Berbatov scored the first; 2 minutes before Chicharito equalised. And it was the Premier League’s leading goalscorer, Berbatov who won the game in the 88th minute when he lashed home Paul Scholes’ through ball. This was Blackpool’s third consecutive defeat as their season began fading out after Christmas.
Result: This extended Manchester United’s lead over Arsenal to 5 points after 23 games.
Date: Saturday 12 February 2011
Game: Manchester United 2-1 Manchester City
A week after losing at Wolves, Wayne Rooney’s acrobatic and goal-of-the-season candidate effectively ends Manchester City’s title hopes as Manchester United do the business over their rivals once again at Old Trafford.
Result: Manchester United maintain their 4-point lead over Arsenal with 26 games played.
Date: Saturday 19 March 2011
Game: Manchester United 1-0 Bolton
Manchester United looked like they may be dropping points at Old Trafford for only the second time this season when Jonny Evans was sent off with 15 minutes to go against Bolton when the score was still 0-0. However, up stepped Dimitar Berbatov to be the hero once again this season when he bundled home Nani’s parried shot.
Result: Arsenal drop 2 points at West Brom and trail Manchester United by 5 points, with a game in hand; the leaders having played 30 games.
Date: Saturday 2 April 2011
Game: West Ham 2-4 Manchester United
Mark Noble had converted two penalties to give West Ham a 2-0 lead at half time in a game they had rarely threatened in. Javier Hernandez was introduced for Patrice Evra at half time, but it was a Wayne Rooney hat trick in the space of 15 minutes that turned the game on its head between the 65th and 79th minute. Queue his celebration that earned the England star a two-game ban, before Hernandez ended the contest with United’s 4th, coming in the 84th minute.
Result: Later that day, Arsenal are head 0-0 at home to Blackburn as their season continues to fall apart at the end and Manchester United have a 7 point lead with 7 games to play; Arsenal with 1 game in hand.
Date: Saturday 23 April 2011
Game: Manchester United 1-0 Everton
After 82 minutes of this game, Manchester United hadn’t scored a goal in 275 minutes of football (excluding stoppage time), following their 1-0 defeat to Manchester City in the FA Cup, and being held 0-0 at St James’ Park. A deflected Antonio Valencia cross changes things when Javier Hernandez heads home at the back stick to score the winner. At the time, this was regarded as the goal that won the title, but defeat at Arsenal the following weekend would still give Chelsea hope.
Result: Manchester United lead Chelsea by 6 points with 4 games to go.
Despite Phil Dowd trying to run time off the clock, Wayne Rooney’s penalty was converted in the 73rd minute yesterday. Not late enough to be added to the list, but it was the goal that won Manchester United the 2010/11 Premier League crown.