Sunday, May 11, 2008

England's Evil Empire Champs Again

Manchester United won their 10th Premier League championship today and their second consecutive one as they defeated Wigan, 2-0, on goals by Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs. Meanwhile in London, Chelsea, who was still mathematically alive today, as both they and Man U were tied on points, faced Bolton.

Chelsea led 1-0 at Stamford Bridge, but the result at Wigan made it a foregone conclusion that they wouldn't take the title. And just to rub salt into the wounds, Bolton scored an equalizing goal in added time to make it a 1-1 tie. (I guess watching Man U over the last decade and a half is like watching the Yankees in the 1940s and '50s. And you either love them or hate them.)

On the other end of the table, Fulham, will all their Americans on their roster, survived the regulation battle with a 1-0 win at Portsmouth, and will be back in the EPL next season. Birmingham and Reading both won, but it made no difference, and they both take the drop to the Championship.

Manchester United and Chelsea will face each other one final time this season, in the European Champions League final in Moscow on May 21. Man U now have won 17 English titles, one behind Liverpool's 18. And speaking of "18," it is now 18 years since Liverpool (who ended the year today with a 2-0 win at Spurs) won an English title. Back in 1990 they had 11 more championships than United.

It's getting a little too close for comfort for the Merseysiders.

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