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Man United on cloud nineteen

Manchester United were crowned English champions for a record 19th time on Saturday when Wayne Rooney's penalty earned a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers and the point they needed to win the Premier League title.

sports Updated: May 15, 2011 11:33 IST

Manchester United were crowned English champions for a record 19th time on Saturday when Wayne Rooney's penalty earned a 1-1 draw at Blackburn Rovers and the point they needed to win the Premier League title.

Rooney, who came close to quitting United earlier in the season, struck the equaliser in the 73rd minute to take United seven points ahead of Chelsea, who have two games to play.

It is United's 12th title since the Premier League began in 1992-93 and 19th in total, surpassing the record they had shared with Liverpool.

"The players worked their socks off," said manager Alex Ferguson, who leapt in delight as the final whistle sounded. "We gave away a bad goal but we kept on," added Ferguson. "That's a good quality."

It had been a nervous afternoon for United after they fell behind to a Brett Emerton goal on 20 minutes. While they enjoyed most of the possession, clear chances were hard to come by until Javier Hernandez was sent sprawling by a challenge from goalkeeper Paul Robinson.

Referee Phil Dowd consulted with a linesman and after furious arguments involving players from both teams, Rooney stepped up to score the crucial equaliser.

“It was terrifying,” said Rooney, who changed his mind about leaving United in October, signed a long-term contract and has since rediscovered his scoring form. Ryan Giggs, who has been in all 12 Premier League-title winning teams, said, “Obviously we're rubbish — we've won the EPL and we’re in the Champions League final."