By 90Min
May 06, 2019

As we roll towards the finishing line of yet another pulsating Premier League season it looks as though Manchester City will become the first club in a decade to claim back-to-back titles.

Pep Guardiola's recruits are two points behind first-placed Liverpool, but crucially have a game in hand on the Reds. If they defeat both Leicester City and Brighton in the next fortnight, they will be crowned champions of England for a second successive campaign, something that has not been achieved since the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.

The mighty Manchester United teams that Fergie assembled dominated both domestically and abroad, honing a cut-throat mindset to overcome adversity. They were simply phenomenal, consistently holding off opponents to climb to the top of the footballing pyramid.

In homage to some great United sides of the past and the sparkling City team of the present, here's the seven squads to successfully defend their Premier League title.

Manchester United 1993/94

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Having won their first top flight title in over a quarter of a century the previous season, United kicked on to secure a second in succession. This was the reemergence of the club as a global superpower, harking back to the days of George Best and Sir Matt Busby.

Ferguson and his cohort ran out comfortable victors in 1993/94, finishing eight points clear of second-placed Blackburn Rovers. How strange to see a fresh-faced Ryan Giggs gliding down the wing for the Red Devils, the Welshman becoming the first of the Class of '92 to break onto the scene as his side claimed a league and FA Cup double.

Manchester United 1996/97

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Giggs was not alone for long, however. His fellow academy graduates began to establish themselves as United's stranglehold on English football tightened in the mid-1990s.

The Neville brothers, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt and David Beckham featured in a combined 163 matches for the team in the 1996/97 campaign, going on to become legendary figures at Old Trafford. Notably, this season witnessed Beckham's sumptuous score from the halfway line.

There was just the single trophy to add to the cabinet this time round, though that is not to undermine the achievement. Their closest rivals Newcastle United were still reeling from their collapse the year prior and had acquired Alan Shearer for a then world record £15m, Ferguson's men doing excellently to stave off the Magpies.

Manchester United 1999/00

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The famous treble of Champions League, Premier League and FA Cup had been secured in the previous campaign, leaving this trailblazing outfit unsure of quite what constituted success.

Of course, Ferguson's motivational skills would not allow for a downturn in form and ambition as he locked horns with fierce foe Arsene Wenger at the Arsenal helm. This was at the peak of the pair's rivalry, the Frenchman having delivered the Gunners' first league triumph in 1998.

Unfortunately for him, Fergie's crushing side overpowered the north Londoners, their thirst for glory extending an era of supremacy.

Manchester United 2000/01

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Now, this is an accomplishment to follow on from winning the treble - finish top of the pile for three years running. That no club has won even two in a row since 2009 demonstrates what a formidable squad this was.

Interestingly, United lost two of their lethal collection of strikers as Andy Cole and Teddy Sheringham left in the summer, Dwight Yorke following them through the exit door just 12 months later. Their continued involvement at the top of the game thereafter proves Ferguson was a man of supreme footballing intelligence and innovation.

Chelsea 2005/06

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Wait, what? Not Manchester United? When Jose Mourinho is in town, anything is possible. At the peak of his powers the Portuguese was decisive in helping Chelsea stamp their authority on the Premier League, amassing over 90 points in consecutive seasons.

This was a side teeming with virtuoso, Arjen Robben and Claude Makelele lining up alongside club stalwarts such as John Terry, Frank Lampard and Didier Drogba. Chelsea were pioneers in this period, paving the way for the likes of City to use financial muscle in the pursuit of glory.

This was still the early stages of a power shift, the Blues going on to replace Arsenal as United's main challengers. They have now collected two more Premier League trophies than their London rivals, a process that began with a bit of Mourinho magic.

Manchester United 2007/08

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Another Champions League triumph, another league title and another Ballon d'Or winner. Cristiano Ronaldo became the first Red Devils player since Best in 1968 to be awarded the accolade, emerging as one of the leading players in the world to drive the team to further prestige.

On paper, this is one of the finest squads ever assembled. Household names like Wayne Rooney litter it, consummate professionals such as Edwin van der Sar and Patrice Evra formed the spine, and at the back there was the disgustingly high-quality pairing of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic. No wonder they brought home a fantastic double.

Manchester United 2008/09

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Giggs, Scholes and Neville are still around! With such gifted, devoted individuals it is unsurprising that United enjoyed such unrivalled success at the top of the game. In fact, they were so successful that they equalled Liverpool's record of English titles in 2008/09, something which was inconceivable prior to Ferguson's arrival at Old Trafford.

How fitting then, that it was the Reds who they overcame in a pulsating race for the championship. The sweet taste of that victory over their mortal enemies will even have softened the blow of a 2-0 loss to Barcelona in the final of the Champions League, as will their League Cup triumph. Yeah, Fergie was an alright manager.

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