Five games which won Manchester United the Premier League

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Manchester United have won their 20th league title in English football.

Manchester United have reclaimed the Premier League title, winning 3-0 against Aston Villa, after Manchester City lost 3-1 to Spurs a day earlier.

United have won it with four games to spare, but just how did they make it look so easy?

We have pinpointed five victories in their season which were crucial for them.

Here's how the 2012/13 league title was won. 

Southampton 2-3 Manchester United

United had an indifferent start to the season, losing their opening encounter 1-0 to Everton. David de Gea was dropped after a shaky display in their 3-2 win over Fulham, with Anders Lindegaard starting away at Southampton. The Saints took an early lead, threatening to make it two defeats in three for United. They very nearly did. After Robin van Persie equalised, the home side took a lead again, before Van Persie missed a penalty. He would not be denied, with the introduction of Paul Scholes changing the game, and Van Persie hit two more to complete his hat-trick and give United the win. A hat-trick in only his second start for the club signified he was to take no trouble settling in and set the tone for the first half of the season.

Chelsea 2-3 Manchester United

The battle of the Bridge was a controversial affair, and one which still rankles with the Chelsea support. The Blues started the season in fine form, still with Di Matteo as boss appeared to be a genuine title threat. This game was where it began to go wrong. United's two-goal lead was cancelled out by Chelsea, only for Javier Hernandez to bag a winner against the side he simply loves to score against. Chelsea had two players sent off, and the fallout from Jon Obi Mikel's argument with referee Mark Clattenberg cast a sour note over the affair for the Blues. For United, they had seen off a pretender.

Manchester City 2-3 Manchester United

Yes, another 3-2 victory, but this one simply can't be ignored. Following up away wins against Newcastle and Liverpool, United traveled to rivals Manchester City for their biggest challenge yet. And they did not disappoint. Wayne Rooney stunned City with two first half goals, an often forgotten contribution in his mixed season, giving the visitors the edge. City though fought back through a Toure goal, and then Pablo Zabaleta's equaliser four minutes from time. United would not be outdone, with top scorer Robin van Persie curling home a stoppage time equaliser. United went wild, Rio Ferdinand received a coin to the head from angry City fans amid the celebrations, but United had gone six points clear at the top.

Manchester United 2-0 Everton

United made this win look routine, but in doing so, confirmed their stranglehold on the Premier League title. It was only early February, but it was this game which made their lead unassailable. City had lost 3-1 to Southampton 24 hours before, the latest of their stumbles, giving United an incentive to increase their lead to 12 points. It was days before their visit to the Bernabeu, and Phil Jones was tasked with 'doing a job' on Marouane Fellaini. He nullified the threat expertly, with goals from Ryan Giggs and Robin van Persie in the first half putting the game beyond doubt.

Manchester United 3-0 Aston Villa

Robin van Persie. There is no coincidence each of these five matches have featured goals by the Dutchman, he has been central to United reclaiming the title. City's defeat to Tottenham 24 hours earlier meant that a win against relegation-threatened Villa would gift United the title with four games to go. After 90 seconds the game was never beyond doubt, Robin van Persie tapping in, but his second was sensational. Wayne Rooney's long ball was volleyed home from 25 yards for a goal of the season contender. A 33-minute hat-trick, arguably the most important of his career.

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