Manchester United celebrate, but where does 20th league title rank?

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No doubt there will be a few sore heads in the red half of Manchester this morning.

That’s because the title celebrations continued long into the night as Manchester United grabbed the EPL crown back from ‘noisy neighbors’ Manchester City in emphatic fashion. The Red Devils sealed the 2012-13 trophy with a 3-0 win against Aston Villa on Monday night at Old Trafford, clinching the hallowed title with four games to go.

Defender Rio Ferdinand tweeted out this picture of pretty much the whole squad having a drink to celebrate late last night. And incredibly for Ryan Giggs, this is the 13th league title in his United career.

Robin van Persie’s clinical first-half hat trick sealed the title in front of their own fans, as United’s target now switches to registering a record points haul. They can better Chelsea 2004-05 record of 95 points in a season by winning their remaining four games.

So after a stroll in the park for much of this campaign, where does Manchester United’s latest league title rank alongside the others?

Well, it’s right up there. Many wrote United off after Manchester City grabbed the crown so dramatically on the final day of the 2011-12 season. But Sir Alex Ferguson splashed the cash to get RVP on board and United have won 27 of their 34 EPL games this season. I’d say this title win ranks in the top five for United since Ferguson took charge. The 1998-99 crown was crucial, due to it being part of the famous treble, and the first few EPL titles spearheaded by Eric Cantona in the mid 90s were significant in establishing the dynasty that remains today. But this season’s success isn’t far behind, as United have roared back to silence Roberto Mancini’s Man City side by recording their 13th EPL crown in 20 years with consummate ease.

However this United team isn’t a vintage one. Wayne Rooney, Danny Welbeck and RVP have all gone through long barren spells in front of goal and there’s been plenty of scrappy 1-0 and 2-1 wins along the way. But after their acrimonious Champions League exit to Real Madrid, United have rallied admirably to accelerate away from the rest of the EPL with professional and focused displays.

The fact that they’re taking the title away from Manchester City makes it that much sweeter, and with a plethora of players all under the age of 23 — including Tom Cleverley, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Rafael, David de Gea and Danny Welbeck — it seems as though Ferguson’s rebuild has set United up for yet another decade of dominance.

Henry, Aguero discuss playing up top under Pep

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One great striker got another one to open up on an up-and-down year at Manchester City.

Thierry Henry — one of the greatest of all-time, it must be said — sat down with Sergio Aguero ahead of Thursday’s Manchester Derby at the Etihad Stadium, and asked the Argentine about Pep Guardiola, Gabriel Jesus, and more.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

At times, it’s a fascinating discussion on playing lone striker. Even apart from the obligatory questions regarding Jesus’ arrival at City, Henry and Aguero speak their craft in a manner you don’t see too often.

That’s helped by the fact that Henry played for Guardiola at Barcelona, and can relate to the positional demands of Man City’s boss. Consider this exchange, from Sky Sports:

HENRY: When I was at Arsenal, I played up front and if I wanted to drift out to the left, I could. But when I got to Barca, I had to stay out wide and press. Sometimes doing that can be hard.

AGUERO: The thing I’ve found the hardest has been getting into my head the fact that I have to press the centre-back and the goalkeeper in matches. That’s what Pep asks me to do. It may not be a big deal, but in terms of processing it, the two of us speak a lot. He knows what I’m like.

I’ve been gradually learning and adapting to that style of pressing over the last few months. The first thing he taught me was how to press and how to do it well. Obviously there are times when I might drift out of position or I might press in an area where I’m not supposed to be, which might make it hard for the wingers or midfielders.

In the game itself, I may not realise because I’m so immersed and you can’t stop yourself. I’ve learnt a lot from him in terms of zones. He asks me to play as a No 9 and to stay in that position. I often drift out wide during matches and he looks at me and says, “If there’s a player out wide who wants to cross it in, who’s in there? Nobody.”

HENRY: I know all about that, believe you me.

I love this, because it shows how difficult it is for an elite striker to adapt his mentality. Both Henry and Aguero found world-celebrated success by playing in a certain fashion, and Guardiola understood that and still demanded a change. Earlier this season, the manager somewhat famously spoke of improving Aguero.

Aguero has been linked with Real Madrid given the tumult at City.

PHOTO: Liverpool unveils 125th anniversary kit for next season

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Liverpool rolled out its 125th anniversary kit, featuring a special crest to celebrate the occasion.

The Liver bird has 1892 on one side and 2017 on the other, with “125 YEARS” spelled out underneath the club’s emblem.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

The red shirt with a gold crest has a white V-neck and white at the ends of the sleeves. The goalkeeper kit is green.

The jersey will be available on May 19, and was announced last month.

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Jara’s goal lifts Pachuca to CONCACAF Champions League crown

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Hirving Lozano’s dipping shot rebounded into the path of Franco Jara, who scored the goal that won Pachuca its fifth CONCACAF Championship early Thursday morning.

The Argentine’s goal was the only one of the win over UANL Tigres, and gave Pachuca its first continental title since 2009-10. USMNT veteran Omar Gonzalez played for the winners, while Jose Torres started for Tigres.

[ PL PREVIEW: Manchester Derby ]

Major League Soccer teams were eliminated in the semifinals, with FC Dallas falling to Pachuca and Vancouver Whitecaps losing to Tigres.

Beginning with the 2017-18 tournament, qualified MLS and Liga MX teams will not enter the tournament until the Round of 16. The entire tournament will be held in the same calendar year.

USMNT: Brooks out with hip strain; World Cup qualifiers loom

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John Brooks is out of Hertha Berlin’s lineup “for the time being” after scans revealed a hip strain suffered in this weekend’s win over Wolfsburg.

That’s all Hertha has said, and that makes it hard to imagine whether American fans should be a little concerned or very concerned ahead of the USMNT’s World Cup qualifiers against Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in early June.

Brooks was unavailable for two weeks with an adductor strain in September, missing a month before returning to the starting lineup.

The U.S. center back pool isn’t teeming after Brooks and Geoff Cameron. Matt Besler, Tim Ream, Omar Gonzalez, and Walker Zimmerman were called up for the last World Cup qualifiers, and Gonzalez struggled but is a Bruce Arena favorite from their time in L.A.