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Manchester United Revels in Champagne

Posted May. 08, 2007 07:46,   


Manchester United, Park Ji-sung’s team, secured its 16th English Premier League win yesterday. Chelsea, the team’s main competitor, recorded a tie with Arsenal at 1-1 on May 7, putting Manchester in first place for the season regardless of the results of the rest of games. Manchester has 88 points with 28 wins, 4 ties, and 4 losses; Chelsea has 81 points total.

Manchester and Chelsea will play each other on May 10 on Chelsea’s home ground. If Chelsea had won against Arsenal, this game would have determined who the ultimate winner would have been.

Manchester will now march onto the field with their chin up on the day of the match. Manchester will likely take home more than 50 billion KRW that comes from broadcasting proceeds and others.

For Alex Ferguson, who took the helm of Manchester since 1986, it is their 9th league win. Chelsea had won for two consecutive seasons, but failed to do so this time. Park Ji-sung is the first Korean player whose team has won the Premier League.

Chelsea’s coach Jose Mourinho, who has been rehashing conspiracy theories and launching personal attacks, said, “I congratulate Manchester on its victory. But, we still have one more game to play.” Manchester and Chelsea will have a match on May 19 in the final to vie for the England FA Cup.

Manchester’s victory was different from the initial prediction that it would finish 4th. Manchester striker Ruud van Nistelrooy moved to Real Madrid and Roy Keane retired after a long career before the year. Ferguson turned the situation around: He encouraged Cristiano Ronaldo, who was under severe criticism after the 2006 World Cup, to excel, and filled the offensive gap by temporarily leasing Henrik Larsson.

Manchester faced another challenge toward the end of the year from injuries to its players that came one after another. When midfielders and defensive players such as John John O’Shea, Rio Ferdinand, and Park Ji-sung were not able to play, Ferguson changed formations to include Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick. Ferguson missed the Chelsea match because he had to attend his grandson’s soccer match. When he heard about his team’s victory, he said, “It was a great season. Besting Chelsea is a great achievement.”