Date:Monday May 12 2008
United might have won - but for all the conspiracy theories, Wigan gave us one hell of a game. They were not exactly threatening but defended superbly and fought with one hundred percent commitment.
In the first half we found life very, very difficult despite the shock return of Wayne Rooney and Nemanja Vidic. They attacked in numbers and had a shoot on sight policy but when they lost the ball they regrouped very quickly to frustrate us with the sort of disciplined defending we displayed all season.
We also rode our luck: I thought Valencia's cross hit Rio's shoulder but it could easily have been given as a handball and we could have had no complaints as he moved towards the ball. And Scholes' case was tricky: his yellow card was deserved, no doubt and when that Wigan player fell over near him I was certain Scholes would be sent off.
I felt mixed shame and gratitude when Steve Bennett opted for a little talk instead but replays showed that Scholes, actually, did not even commit a foul - his opponent made a right meal of things. Therefore Bennett committed a double mistake: it wasn't a foul but he gave a free-kick. But if he deemed it a foul then he should have sent Scholes off.
United's penalty was a stonewall one though, Boyce's stupidity gave us the goal that we need very much. It calmed United down a bit but no more came in the first half.
At the start of the second half, the visitorst threatened to overrun Wigan: Rooney, Ronaldo and Tevez all had chances to put the game past the Latics. We spurned all these chances and were denied a clear penalty when Scholes was fouled inside the box.
It looked set for a nervy finale as Wigan pressed for an equaliser and Chelsea took the lead but Rooney's brilliant pass found Giggs and he made no mistake from 15 yards to seal his own 10th title and United's 17th. Great moment, a deserved win - but hats off to our opponents who gave their all.
United were always the more threatening side though, our 4-4-2 with Park and Ronaldo on the wings worked, Carrick had a belter of the game and we defended superbly: Van der Sar did not even have to make a save. It really reflected the season...
Date:Monday May 12 2008
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