News, views and rumours relating to Manchester United in the past 24 hours.
Manchester United were crowned league title winners for the 20th time last night after a sensational 3-0 victory over Aston Villa at Old Trafford via a stunning hat-trick scored by Robin van Persie.
"They focused on the challenge of City and came up trumps," said Ferguson. "Our consistency for the last 20 years is unbelievable,” said the Scot.
Ferguson described the title win as ‘phenomenal’ in his post-match interview with the BBC and hailed the outstanding contribution of veterans Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs to the club, along with summer signing Van Persie.
The boss singled out the Dutchman and described his second goal of the night as ‘goal of the season’, followed by perhaps even higher praise, comparing Van Persie’s ‘impact’ to that of United legend Eric Cantona.
United’s champions were granted a night on the town to celebrate, which The Sun described as an ‘all-night bender’, as seen in photographs featuring Chris Smalling and Phil Jones emerging rather jubilant from a Manchester nightclub at 6am this morning.
The players weren’t the only revelers celebrating – United fans were overjoyed on the streets outside Old Trafford through the night, following their side’s emphatic 3-0 home win.
UEFA president Michel Platini praised Ryan Giggs for his ‘loyalty’ and service to the club where he has spent his entire 22-year career, making over 1000 senior appearances and winning 13 Premier League titles.
“That is beautiful. I like the people that fight for their colours and don't change [clubs] every two months to make business," Platini said.
"He's a guy who would never change clubs."
Hat-trick hero Robin van Persie described his first ever league title win as ‘a great feeling’ and went on to thank the club’s staff and manager.
"I had to wait so long for my first title. It is a great feeling," he said.
"This is a fantastic team and fantastic players. It is a championship for every single one of them. The staff, the managers, the physios. This is our 20th title, it is deserved."
Ferguson revealed Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger’s advice to him upon the sale of the striker last summer:
"I remember Arsene saying 'he's a better player than you think' after I'd done the deal and he was right. He has never disappointed us. I knew he could gel into the team."
The manager also claims youngster Phil Jones may be one of his ‘best ever’ signings:
“He may be one of the best players we have ever signed. He has such a massive influence, instinct, reading of the game."
Meanwhile, veteran defender Rio Ferdinand hit back at Manchester City ‘doubters’ on Twitter.
"It's always sweet when you win the title and it's nice to do it here, in the right way and in style, not on goal difference,” wrote the Englishman.
Vice-captain Patrice Evra also took his opportunity to make a ‘dig’ at Liverpool’s Luis Suarez by biting into a fake arm in reference to the Uruguayan’s recent misconduct last weekend.
England manager Roy Hodgson hailed Sir Alex Ferguson as a ‘magician’ after the boss claimed his 13th league title in 21 seasons in charge of the Red Devils.
"If we're talking about magic in football, the only magicians I know are people like Sir Alex," said Hodgson.
Full reaction of United’s title-winning players’ responses and that of their elders and high-profile fans to their victory on Twitter can be found here and include:
Ruud van Nistelrooy: “M.U.F.C 20th league title! Congrats to the big red family. #RvP!”
Next up, United travel to the Emirates on Sunday where they face Arsenal – their first fixture as champions – in what will be Robin van Persie’s first return to his former club as a player of the opposition.
However, the Dutch ace chose to focus on the present moment and not his imminent trip down memory lane.
“Let me enjoy this moment, the next game is against Arsenal, but let me enjoy this moment,” he urged.
image: © Nasmac