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Champions review
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Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter won the Premier League, Spanish Primera Division, and Serie A respectively on the same day. Now with the three leagues coming to the end, it is time to review their respective paths towards their championships.

Man United, the most convincing champion

With more than three teams good enough to clinch the title, the Premiership is arguably the best as well as the most difficult league in the world at the moment. However, with consistently solid performances, the "Red Devils" pocketed three trophies: the Club World Cup, the League Cup and the Premier League. Defeat to Barcelona in the Champions League final should not cast a shadow over United's glorious season.

Following an average pre-season, which culminated in lifting the Community Shield by beating Portsmouth, and losing the UEFA Super Cup showdown with Zenit St. Petersburg, Manchester United started the season slowly.

After defeat at Anfield and a draw at Stamford Bridge in September, the defending champions found themselves 8 points behind Liverpool, then leading the table.

Then in December, Cristiano Ronaldo was awarded the Ballon d'Or for his performances in 2008 and Man United headed to Japan for the Club World Cup. The "Red Devils" seemed to get a boost from Ronaldo's award and the Japan trip. They regained their form after Christmas.

Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to regain his form after lifting the 2008 Ballon d'Or.

 Cristiano Ronaldo is ready to regain his form after lifting the 2008 Ballon d'Or.

Just as Sir Alex Ferguson had predicted, his side started 2009 with an unbelievable run. On January 17, after a 1-0 victory at Bolton Wanderers, their tenth clean-sheet in a row, Man United went to the top of the Premier League for the first time in the campaign.

From then, everything went smoothly until the middle of March, when Man United lost to Liverpool and Fulham in succession. At a time when Ferguson's side needed something special to fight their way to the title, the unknown 17-year-old Federico Macheda stood out. His two goals in two successive matches bagged 6 points for his team and got them back on track.

Young Federico Macheda doesn’t take long to make his mark for the Red Devils.

 Young Federico Macheda doesn’t take long to make his mark for the Red Devils.

Through the rest of the season, the likes of Liverpool and Chelsea never really had a chance to catch up. After a goalless draw at Old Trafford on May 16, Man United secured their 18th top-flight title. Could Sir Alex have imagined a better scene than celebrating in front of his bitter rivals, the Gunners and Arsene Wenger?

United thus equal Liverpool's record of 18 top-flight titles, and win an astonishing second Premier League hat-trick. For the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson, it's eleven wins as the legend continues to be written.

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