United went 1-0 inside two minutes last night, giving struggling Villa an uphill struggle if they were to get anything from the game.

A little over ten minutes later it was as good as all over as Robin Van Persie – United’s star striker this season and Ferguson’s £24m wonder buy last summer  – fired in a stunning volley to put the Reds 2-0 up.

Twenty minutes later, in the 33rd minute, Van Persie put United 3-0 up with a hat-trick, and as good as sealed this season’s title back from their ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City.

It is Alex Ferguson’s 13th league title since he joined Manchester United in 1986 and the smile on the Glaswegian’;s face at the final whistle cleared showed how much this one meant to him.

The collective roar from the stands showed too how much it meant prising the title back from Manchester City, who won the Premier League crown in such dramatic fashion last May.

Photo: Getty.