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Manchester United 4-0 Stoke - Match report
There may not be a new Premier for the country just yet, but there are now new Premier League champions after Manchester United's 4-0 win against Stoke City proved to be in vain.
United failed in their attempt for an historic fourth consecutive Premier League title as, with football as in politics, England changed from red to blue.
- Manchester United 4-0 Stoke
Sir Alex Ferguson's team were clear favourites to beat the Potters at Old Trafford, but it was always highly unlikely that Wigan would stop a Chelsea victory at home, and so it proved.
United finished only a point behind the Londoners - a not inconsiderable feat after the loss of stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Teves last summer.
It proved to be that a fourth title was a Stamford Bridge too far with Chelsea also scoring a century of goals and Didier Drogba beating Wayne Rooney for the golden boot award.
United took the lead in the 31st minute. Ryan Giggs' corner was met by the head of Nemanja Vidic 12 yards out and, although Andy Wilkinson blocked his effort and Robert Huth denied Rooney's follow-up, Darren Fletcher buried the ball in the back of the net right footed from close range.
Seven minutes later it was 2-0. Dimitar Berbatov brushed aside Wilkinson as he cut into the Stoke box from the left and his low cross to Giggs saw the Welshman fire his left-footed shot home from 12 yards with the ball going in underneath the body of goalkeeper Asmir Begovic.
The contest was effectively over, but United added a third goal nine minutes after the interval.
Fletcher found Rooney on the left side of the Stoke penalty area and his low cross was hammered into the back of his own net from six yards by former United defender Danny Higginbotham.
That was the 11th own goal United have benefited from this season.
United's final goal came six minutes from the end of normal time when Ji-Sung Park scored with a spectacular diving header from Giggs' corner six yards out on the far post.
United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar made spectacular saves from Ricardo Fuller, Rory Delap and Danny Pugh, but there was to be only a consolation prize for United on the last day of the season.
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