So after 37 games, 3390 Premier League minutes (+ Fergie time), of a long, hard season it seems United may fall just sort of the magical 19th title. Only the wonderfully inconsistent Wigan Athletic can stop Carlo Ancelotti claiming the League crown in his debut season.
Most of the post mortem may be saved until after the Stoke game next week, but if Chelsea do win the title, it will be thanks to the quality of their supporting cast.
Ronaldo left a match-winner shaped hole when he signed for Madrid which has been filled magnificently by Rooney, the most obvious player of the year since... well probably since Ronaldo in 2008.
But beneath that who is there? Giggs and Scholes have both been impressive for the most part, but have a combined age of 102 and should not have to bear the burden of responsibility. Evra has once again been superb, but never has a left back been the key player in a title winning team. Valencia and Nani have both looked good in places, and... well, Iâ€™m struggling.
Whilst Chelsea may be remarkably easy to dislike (particularly their captain), they have had a supporting cast better than any other in the League this season.
Drogba has scored only one less then Rooney, but Anelka, Kalou and Malouda have all pitched in with big goals and big performances when it counts. Lampard has been exceptional and provides a goal and assist rate better than any player in Europe from midfield (barring the masterful Xavi at Barcelona).
This is not a bad United side, and with a tweak here or there, will challenge for the title next season. But no matter how good your leading man is, you need a strong supporting cast to win trophies.