Manchester United are champions of England for the nineteenth time and, like a broken pregnancy test kit, the city glowed both red and blue on Saturday night. One of my friends made the appalling decision to marry a City fan and neither of them can remember who trashed the house at the weekend. Who cares?
Let’s make one thing very clear, this victory is an astonishing achievement. I was very young when I was made aware of the statistics, at the time we may have been level with Aston Villa on league titles, and there were many who never though this day would come. It has arrived.
Football is a comparative exercise, for all the talk of concentrating on our own team and paying scant attention to our rivals, sport is competition. It is only when you face up to your opponents that you know how your work stacks up against the standard. Manchester United are now indisputably the top team in this country. The debate is over.
It would also be churlish to do anything other than congratulate City on their FA Cup triumph against a club with a hundredth of their budget. The dynamism and excitement of their play at Wembley reminded me of Brazil 1970. Not. There is talk of changing the Stretford End’s banner to one that reads ‘43’ (years since they won the league). We shall see.
Talking of banners, those brave souls who went to Anfield on Sunday to unfurl the ‘MUFC 19 Times’ slogan have my full respect. Perhaps the closest Red Mancs can get to being suicide bombers.
Against a backdrop of instability with the playing staff (Rooney’s petulance, VDS’s retirement) and massive discontentment with the club’s ownership, Alex Ferguson has delivered the goods again. Whatever happens over the next few days, weeks or even years, this is time to salute the greatest manager of them all.
Follow Mark on twitter.com/markjpayne
Follow ESPNsoccernet's Football Correspondents on Twitter