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Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Sunday, 11 May 2008 19:58 UK

BBC pundits on the Premier League

Garth Crooks
Garth Crooks
BBC football pundit

Manchester United thoroughly deserve to be the champions - the league table does not lie and they are the best team in the country.

They have won it on their points total, nothing to do with goal difference or goals scored, so they are clear champions albeit only by two points.

They did the job against Wigan.

It should have been a penalty against Rio Ferdinand and Paul Scholes should have been sent off, referee Steve Bennett bottled it in my opinion.

But they turned that fortune around and they took control of the second half.

Every champion needs a stroke of luck and some would argue that Manchester United deserved that luck.

606: DEBATE
BBC Sport's Phil McNulty

No-one should doubt the integrity of the Premier League, every team who had to perform, like Wigan and Bolton, did. It was a fantastic advert for the league.

I was very impressed by Chelsea, however, and the way they ran United so close after being so far adrift earlier in the season. Their manager Avram Grant did a fantastic job and do not rule them out of the Champions League final.

At the other end of the table, for Fulham to stay up was one of the best escape acts I have seen in many a year.

The turning point for them was their win at Manchester City when they were 2-0 down and dead and buried but they came back to win.

They won four of their last five games, their last three away, and they deserved the rewards they got.

My congratulations go to their manager Roy Hodgson who has retained his dignity under difficult circumstances in recent weeks and played some good football into the bargain.

Lee Dixon
Lee Dixon
BBC football pundit

Manchester United are worthy champions. Over the course of the season you end up where you deserve.

A lot has been made about their attacking prowess but for me their defence has been absolutely outstanding.

You can't win the title unless you are solid at the back and their goal difference has proved that.

Against Wigan, the luck was with Manchester United but they went on to win it and they deserve the title

BBC Sport pundit Gavin Peacock

If any man is fitting to score the goal that won it for them is Ryan Giggs. He has been the best player in the Premier League since it started.

They did not play that well against Wigan but you don't have to in order to win championships. You have to grind out results at the end of the season.

Sometimes it is written in the stars that a team stays up. Fulham have deserved to avoid relegation with the way they ended the season. They have got the results.

The players have responded to Roy Hodgson and how he has been calm and collected. He has not ranted and raved after games, he has shown his passion in interviews but he has been very focused on the job in hand.

Normally going into the closing part of the season you need a bit of momentum, they did not have that so for them to go and survive is a testament to what he has been saying in the dressing room.

Gavin Peacock
Gavin Peacock
BBC football pundit

Sir Alex Ferguson is the man. He has done it and been there for so long. That is the test of quality, can you keep doing it? He has and his teams have.

They have scored so many goals and played such attacking football. They have a huge goal difference.

Against Wigan, the luck was with them in the first half but they went on to win it and they deserve the title.

If Chelsea go on to win the Champions League it will be difficult for them to sack Avram Grant. The noises coming out of Stamford Bridge is that he is going to be there next season.

Chelsea pushed Manchester United all the way - and it has been a great title race. It is what makes the Premier League such a global product.

In the relegation battle, Fulham were down at one point and it has been a Houdini act to survive. Some players have come back like Brian McBride and Jimmy Bullard and that has been key.

Birmingham got the result on the final day - which is all they could have done - but it is about the rest of the season.

Alex McLeish is a good manager and I think he could bring them back up again. They have things to do there and they have to rebuild over the summer. It's very disappointing for them.

For Reading, the lack of goals was the problem - it affected their confidence and they went on that bad run. Steve Coppell is a great manager and has done tremendously well but ironically he was battling with another thinking man's manager in Roy Hodgson and Hodgson came out on top.

Garth Crooks, Lee Dixon and Gavin Peacock were talking on the BBC's Score programme

Graham Taylor
Graham Taylor
BBC Radio 5 Live summariser

Chelsea were disappointing for me today. It was almost as if they were playing knowing that Manchester United would go on to win at Wigan.

There seemed to be a lack of zip about them and they were not at their best.

After they lost John Terry to injury there were two or three occasions when they were fortunate to not to concede an equaliser - although they did in the end.

Graham Taylor was talking on BBC Radio 5 Live


see also
Tenth triumph delights Ferguson
11 May 08 |  Man Utd
Grant gracious after title blow
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Comment: Sir Alex adds to legend
11 May 08 |  Football
How the title was won
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Title race photos
11 May 08 |  Football
Wigan 0-2 Man Utd
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Chelsea 1-1 Bolton
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Premier League finale as it happened
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Premier League photos
11 May 08 |  Football
Garth Crooks's team of the week
24 Feb 08 |  Score on BBCi
How to watch Match of the Day
08 Oct 07 |  Match of the Day


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