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Kings of England

The joy had to come after the match. It was apt that Manchester United should take the 18th league title of their history by achieving the minimum required against Arsenal. No insult intended. This is a more contained team than any Sir Alex Ferguson has pieced together in the past.

sports Updated: May 16, 2009 22:50 IST
Kevin McCarra

The joy had to come after the match. It was apt that Manchester United should take the 18th league title of their history by achieving the minimum required against Arsenal. No insult intended. This is a more contained team than any Sir Alex Ferguson has pieced together in the past.

Only the neutrals will deplore that. Fans appreciate that they are witnessing a line-up that is hard to eliminate from any tournament. Perhaps there would have been a berth in the FA Cup final if they had been awarded a penalty that was their due in the shoot-out loss to Everton.

Still, there were hints of vexation before the celebration. No outsider could have anticipated booing aimed at Ferguson yet there was unhappiness when the decision was taken to remove Carlos Tevez and send on Park Ji-sung.

There is, of course, no insurrection, just a sporadic sense that a little more adventure could be accommodated. Still, United did what was required. They cut it fine, particularly when Cesc Fábregas hit the outside of the post near the end. Oddly, this fixture seemed to carry more meaning for Arsenal.

No plans to quit

Alex Ferguson could have never imagined Saturday's feat of matching Liverpool's record haul of 18 titles. Asked ahead of Saturday's game if he had reached a level of success that would never be matched, Ferguson quickly responded with a smile: “Is the world coming to an end?”